U.S. Army Says No to Windows 7, Yes to Vista Upgrade
May 23, 2009 4:00 PM
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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
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: Man I can already feel the headache...
5/26/2009 4:52:55 PM
I'm a network administrator at a USAF base. I'm sure this varies across the different branches, but I received the following machine a month ago as a "Quarterly Buy" to replace my old XP workhorse, and there's already an updated configuration available that's better than this one.
Windows Vista Enterprise SP1
AMD Phenom 8600B Triple-Core Processor 2.3GHz
ATI Radeon 3100
WD 160GB HD
From the login screen to reading email in Outlook takes about 1 minute 20 seconds, with local DCs and remote Exchange servers, and this is after NAS authentication to the domain. Honestly, it just sounds like your ADPE shop/Resource Advisors aren't doing their jobs and keeping your workstations up to date.
From an administration stand-point, Vista is a huge improvement over XP. SMS/SCCM is vastly more dependable with Vista, MSRA is now built-in instead of being tacked on in XP, and Vista plays much nicer with multiple CAC readers when interfacing with the UAC and our PKI infrastructure.
Granted, there are some user-education issues with a new OS, but you're always going to have users who are just not tech-inclined, and aren't willing to expend the minimal effort required to learn something new.
"Nowadays, security guys break the Mac every single day. Every single day, they come out with a total exploit, your machine can be taken over totally. I dare anybody to do that once a month on the Windows machine." -- Bill Gates
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