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The Army has decided to upgrade all of its computers, like those shown here (at the NCO Academy's Warrior Leaders Course) to Windows Vista. It says the adoption will increase its security and improve standardization. It also plans to upgrade from Office 2003 to Office 2007. As many soldiers have never used Vista or Office '07, it will be providing special training to bring them up to speed.  (Source: U.S. Army)
Army will upgrade all its computers to Vista by December

For those critics who bill Microsoft's Windows Vista a commercial failure for failing to surpass Windows XP in sales, and inability to capitalize in the netbook market, perhaps they should reserve judgment a bit longer.  Just as Windows 7 hype is reaching full swing in preparation for a October release, the U.S. Army announced that like many large organizations, it will wait on upgrading to Windows 7.  However, unlike some, it is planning a major upgrade -- to Windows Vista.

The U.S. Army currently has 744,000 desktop computers, most of which run Windows XP.  Currently only 13 percent of the computers have upgraded to Windows Vista, according Dr. Army Harding, director of Enterprise Information Technology Services.

It announced in a press release that it will be upgrading all of the remaining systems to Windows Vista by December 31st.  The upgrade was mandated by a Fragmentary Order published Nov. 22, 2008.

In addition to Windows Vista, the Army's version of Microsoft's Office will also be upgraded.  As with Windows, the Army is forgoing the upcoming new version -- Office 2010 -- in favor to an upgrade to Office 2007.  Currently about half of the Army's computers run Office 2003 and half run Office 2007.

The upgrade will affect both classified and unclassified networks.  Only standalone weapons systems (such as those used by nuclear depots) will remain unchanged.  Dr. Harding states, "It's for all desktop computers on the SIPR and NIPRNET."

Army officials cite the need to bolster Internet security and standardize its information systems as key factors in selecting a Windows Vista upgrade.  Likewise, they believe that an upgrade to Office 2007 will bring better document security, and easier interfacing to other programs, despite the steeper learning curve associate with the program (which is partially due to the new interface, according to reviewers).

Sharon Reed, chief of IT at the Soldier Support Institute, says the Army will provide resources to help soldiers learn the ropes of Windows Vista.  She states, "During this process, we are offering several in-house training sessions, helpful quick-tip handouts and free Army online training."

The U.S. Army will perhaps be the largest deployment of Windows Vista in the U.S.  Most large corporations keep quiet about how many Windows Vista systems versus Windows XP systems they've deployed.  However, past surveys and reports indicate that most major businesses have declined to fully adopt Windows Vista.  Likewise, U.S. public schools and other large government organizations have only, at best, partially adopted of Vista.


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RE: Missing the point
By gigahertz20 on 5/23/2009 4:50:58 PM , Rating: 4
+1 I agree with everything you say. Microsoft needs to include features and enhancements that make a new OS a "Must Have" but they have failed to do that. Most people I know just stick with XP because it works and performance is fine for the stuff they do. Why upgrade to a new OS, if it doesn't really offer that much over the old one?

Most people here on Anandtech will upgrade to Windows 7 or make a trip to a bittorent site, but your average person will not change a thing. The store bought computer they own that has Windows XP/Vista on it will stay that way until they buy a new computer in the future.

It's too bad they cannot increase performance dramatically with each new Windows release, but I guess there is only so much you can do to optimize the code and still maintain backwards compatibility. Imagine if your FPS in games went up 30% by upgrading to a new OS or application load times decreased by 60%, people would surly upgrade then.


RE: Missing the point
By Flunk on 5/24/2009 1:39:53 PM , Rating: 2
I agree the average person just buys a new computer, if Microsoft hypes Windows enough they may sell more machines but that's about it.


RE: Missing the point
By Darkk on 5/26/2009 12:37:14 AM , Rating: 2
I too was using WinXP for years and recently reformatted my hard drive to run Windows 7. I've skipped Vista entirely as most people have to wait out on Win7.

For the most part I do like Win7 and it's features. Since it's currently in RC form there are some quirks. None of them are earthshattering but still annoying. Hopefully at the time of the offical release those quirks will be ironed out.


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