Inland Revenue has eschewed Microsoft Vista and will instead upgrade to Windows XP, while continuing to evaluate the merits of a switch to open source rival Linux.
Chief information officer Ross Hughson says the department is now migrating its 6000 desktops to XP from Windows 2000.
It rejected installing Vista as it would have had to replace most of its personal computers to run the power-hungry operating system and didn’t see sufficient benefit, he says.
By the time Inland Revenue needs to move off XP, Inland Revenue wants to have the option of switching to Linux, he says.
The stance highlights the challenges Microsoft faces in persuading corporate customers to quickly adopt Vista, which businesses have been able to buy since November.
US magazine Computerworld polled 40 US organisations last week and found that only three expected Vista to be deployed on more than half of their desktops by the end of the year.
Most said they would be running the operating system on only a few test machines, if at all, citing training costs, inconvenient validation tests and a lack of return on investment.
Inland Revenue began testing the SuSE distribution of Linux on a few PCs in 2005, suggesting it might become the first government department to take a big punt on open source desktop software.
Mr Hughson says other priorities emerged, but the pilot will now be extended and put on a formal footing – in particular to assess the amount of support users require.
He may test the operating system on his own computer.
February 4, 2007
Vista too taxing but Linux on agenda
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