Two of Sydney's largest universities have
signalled they will hold back on wide-scale adoption of
Microsoft's Windows Vista until the next-generation operating
University of Technology Sydney (UTS) and Macquarie University
each have extensive desktop fleets servicing more than 30,000
students each, and some 2,500 and 7,000 staff members
"I haven't even looked at it," UTS director of IT
infrastructure and operations Peter James told ZDNet Australia
via telephone late last week. "I think we're still not fully
across on XP yet."
Macquarie's director of IT services Mary Sharp echoed her
"I'm not going to be bleeding edge, I'm not going to be one of
the early adopters, that's for sure," she said via telephone. "We
certainly won't be upgrading in the foreseeable future."
Both executives noted Vista contained improvements over its
predecessor Windows XP, and stated that their respective desktop
deployments would eventually be upgraded.
However, as with other CIOs around the nation, the stability
of the cutting edge code remains a concern.
"The same question was asked about XP. We will move there
eventually, but it's going to be a while," said UTS's James. "Do
we want to be the first to move to Windows Vista? No, thank
"We will obviously upgrade at a later date, but I'd like to go
to the next version, or the next release," said Macquarie's
Sharp. "Rather than the first one. I think you're flirting with danger with any product -- even Microsoft -- if you go for the first version when it's such a
major leap in technology."
Another reason for Macquarie's decision to hold back is a need
to allocate internal resources to other, more pressing IT
Preparing for the future
While the vast majority of Australian
chief information officers polled by ZDNet Australia recently
have signalled they won't rush ahead in adopting Vista, that doesn't mean they're not preparing for the future.
Signs are emerging that large organisations are switching
their procurement policies to make sure all desktop PCs bought
now will be capable of running Vista in the future -- even if they
are constrained to XP for the time being.
The Australian Electoral Commission, the Australian
Competition and Consumer Commission and the federal Department of
Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs have all
recently gone to market for new desktop PCs, stating the hardware
must be ready for Vista.
"At this stage we're looking to make sure that when we buy PCs
that they've got the Vista-capable sticker on them. We wouldn't
buy anything that wasn't," agreed Sharp.