Federal Parliament opts for Vista

Federal Parliament opts for Vista

Summary: Microsoft's Windows 7 has been out for over a year. But Australia's Federal Parliament will reportedly ignore its release in the short term and instead focus on upgrade its much-maligned predecessor, Windows Vista.

SHARE:

Microsoft's Windows 7 has been out for over a year. But Australia's Federal Parliament will reportedly ignore its release in the short term and instead focus on upgrading its much-maligned predecessor, Windows Vista.

In unrelated tender documents, the Department of Parliamentary Services, which provides IT services to the nation's federal politicians, their staff and employees of the parliament itself, said it was "partway" through upgrading its approximately 3900 workstations from Windows XP to Vista Service Pack 1.

The department's desktop fleet consists of Compaq EVO, HP DC7100, Acer Veriton and Dell Optiplex machines, including laptops used by politicians. The parliament didn't give a reason for its decision to pick Vista instead of Windows 7 in the documents.

With most organisations continuing to run the long-lived Windows XP platform, Windows Vista has been broadly ignored because of the problematic development cycle it suffered. A number of features promised for Vista didn't make it into the end release, and reviewers pinioned Microsoft for stability and driver problems in the platform.

However there have been several notable installations of Vista in the Federal Government.

The Australian Customs and Border Protection Service, for example, became one of the first organisations in Australia known to have deployed Vista in its 2007 rollout to some 5500 machine, upgrading from Windows 2000 at the time. In early 2009 the agency stipulated it had no plans to upgrade to Windows 7.

As Windows 7 was released in late 2009, the Department of Finance and Deregulation, which houses the Information Management Office, deployed Windows Vista Service Pack 2 to its 1870 desktop PCs and laptops.

Other agencies, however, decided to wait for Windows 7. When Windows 7 launched Centrelink said it would make the system it's standard by this year.

Telstra in April 2009 also revealed plans to shift its tens of thousands of desktops onto Windows 7.

Vista was initially released in January 2007. Two years later analyst firm Forrester released a report showing that Vista was powering just below 10 per cent of all PCs within enterprises in the United States. At the time the analyst firm noted "considerable interest" in Windows 7, slated to be released later that year.

Topics: Government, Government AU, Microsoft, Windows

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

14 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Just when i thought our government had reached the peak of its stupidity
    Bioxide
  • Same process as Conroy's brilliant "Spams & Scams" filter LOL.
    grump3
  • If the Liberals are really worried about Government waste, then they should be screaming about this waste.
    frank0-3f91e
  • I am actually lost for words!
    Mark Wilkinson-9f1e6
  • I just checked - it's not April Fools Day!
    Wakemewhentrollsgone
  • Someone should lose their job over making such a stupid decision.
    formerzombie
  • This decision defies logic ! It shows how completely removed the government and it agencies are from current thinking.
    itwhizz
  • Good decision. This is the best suited version of Windoze for politicians!
    syampillai
  • Stupid people running a system which was crap from day 1 & remains a dumb decision - keep doing dumb, don't do anything unexpected - FOOLS.

    Use Linux, be safe & secure...
    alfielee9
  • Windows Vista was a fail from day one. Compatibility issues, system problems, stability... although they worked hard to (eventually) rectify these problems, people nevertheless only remember Vista at all because of this. Why else would Microsoft themselves extend the "lifetime" of WinXP to 2014 (I think it is, but I've forgotten...)?

    If I was in charge of organising the new rollout, I'd have skipped Vista and gone straight to Win7.
    dmh_paul
  • I do agree that Linux would have been a better idea right off the bat. But the end-user, many of whom would have only a basic knowledge of computers, would probably be dumbfounded if they should encounter a Linux interface instead of old, comfortable Windows, even if it is missing a few panes of glass (excuse the pun).

    Myself, for general usage I see no difference at all. What would be the bigger problem is in the initial setup and maintenance. Configuring Linux for a laptop is not much of a problem at all. Drivers are usually readily available not long after the release of a laptop, even for devices like built-in webcams, wireless network adapters and Bluetooth. A desktop, on the other hand, usually does not come standard with those devices, requiring third-party cards, adapters or devices, most of which have not been ported for the Linux kernel.
    dmh_paul
  • Typical! We can always trust Australian bureaucrats to choose the worst of the available options. Honestly, the mind boggles, over and over again, systemic failure! Is it possible to be so incompetent, or or corruption a more plausible scenario?
    ghcp
  • Typical! We can always trust Australian bureaucrats to choose the worst of the available options. Honestly, the mind boggles, over and over again, systemic failure! Is it possible to be so incompetent, or or corruption a more plausible scenario?
    ghcp
  • Well, if they're already paid for it I guess Vista SP2 isn't a bad objective to be considering.

    Just every other agency is going to leave them in the dust very shortly, and it may cause some interoperability problems.
    scott2010au