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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 amanojaku on 5/23/2009 9:18:10 PM , Rating: 4
x86 is "32 bit". x86-64 is 32 bit instruction set with ability to address 64 bits (2^64) of RAM.

When people refer to 64-bit CPUs they are referring to the word size , i.e. the size of the CPU registers (data and/or instruction) and the amount of data processed at once. 64-bit data registers yield the following native ranges:

Unsigned Integers - 0 to 4,294,967,295
Signed Integers - -2147483648 to 2147483647
Floating Point - See
Memory addresses - 0 to 16 exbibytes (colloquially, and incorrectly, referred to as exabytes)
Bus component transfer - 0 to 64 bits transferred between bus components (PCIe slots, CPU sockets, RAM slots, etc...)

There are exceptions, however, generally based on practicality. 16 exbibytes of RAM is inconceivable today due to cost and complexity of manufacture. I challenge you to find any company that CAN manufacture that much RAM globally in a year, let alone for one system. CPU manufacturers reduce memory address space to reflect the limits of available memory (pebibytes) in order to shrink CPU die size. Why bother producing memory addressing for memory that won't exist for a few years, if not decades? As higher RAM densities are produced the CPU address space will increase accordingly.

AMD, IBM, Intel, SUN, VIA, and other companies produce native 64-bit CPUs with the addressing hobbled, and in some cases the bus width is limited to 32-bit. All other features are 64-bit. The x86-64 instruction set architecture includes 32 and 64-bit registers, appropriately activated when the OS chooses an operating mode.

RE: Missing the point
By foolsgambit11 on 5/24/2009 3:55:22 PM , Rating: 5
I think you've got the ranges for 32-bit, not 64-bit, at least for signed and unsigned integer. 64-bit is about 0 to 18 quintillion or so.

RE: Missing the point
By amanojaku on 5/24/2009 5:41:24 PM , Rating: 2
You are 100% correct. Thanks for pointing that out!

Unsigned integer range: 0 to 18,446,744,073,709,551,615
Signed integer range: -9,223,372,036,854,775,808 to 9,223,372,036,854,775,807

"I f***ing cannot play Halo 2 multiplayer. I cannot do it." -- Bungie Technical Lead Chris Butcher

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