The U.S. DOT isn't quite ready to make the transition to Microsoft's latest software applications

While consumers may be interested in making the upgrade to Windows Vista, Office 2007 and Internet Explorer 7.0, the federal Depart of Transportation (DOT) wants no part of Microsoft's latest software applications. According to an internal memo, "an indefinite moratorium" has been placed on performing this software upgrades to DOT computers.

The DOT currently operates roughly 15,000 computers running Windows XP Professional. The machines run a variety of programs including (but not limited to) Aspen 2.8.1, Capri 6.5, ISS 2.11 and ProVu 3.1.1. All four applications are known to have compatibility problems with Windows Vista.

"There appears to be no compelling technical or business case for upgrading to these new Microsoft software products. Furthermore, there appears to be specific reasons not to upgrade," said DOT chief technology officer Daniel Mintz. "Microsoft Vista, Office 2007, and Internet Explorer [7] may be acquired for testing purposes only, though only on approval by the DOT chief information officer."

The internal memo notes that the Federal Aviation Administration's 45,000 desktop computers will also be banned from making the upgrade to the latest versions of Microsoft software applications.

The DOT internal memo also notes that DOT is also open to looking at alternatives to Microsoft operating systems including Suse Linux and OS X.

"We have more confidence in Microsoft than we would have 10 years ago," said DOT chief technology officer Tim Schmidt. "But it always makes sense to look at the security implications, the value back to the customer, and those kind of issues.”

"We are going to continue to work with them to make sure they understand the reality of the Internet.  A lot of these people don't have Ph.Ds, and they don't have a degree in computer science." -- RIM co-CEO Michael Lazaridis

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