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Texas Senate Proposes a Budget With a No-Vista-Upgrades Rider

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the macro-vs.-micro dept.

Windows 290

CWmike writes "The Texas state Senate yesterday gave preliminary approval to a state budget that includes a provision forbidding government agencies from upgrading to Windows Vista without written consent of the legislature. Sen. Juan Hinojosa, vice chairman of the Finance Committee, proposed the rider because 'of the many reports of problems with Vista ... We are not in any way, shape or form trying to pick on Microsoft, but the problems with this particular [operating] system are known nationwide,' Hinojosa said during a Senate session debating the rider (starting at 4:42 of this RealMedia video stream). 'And the XP operating system is working very well.' A Microsoft spokeswoman said in response, 'We're surprised that the Texas Senate Finance Committee adopted a rider which, in effect, singles out a specific corporation and product for unequal treatment. We hope as the budget continues to go through the process, this language will be removed.'"

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this language will be removed (5, Insightful)

sofar (317980) | more than 5 years ago | (#27437547)

I'm sure Microsoft can pay to have that done.

Re:this language will be removed (5, Funny)

Tibor the Hun (143056) | more than 5 years ago | (#27437641)

Texas follows different set of laws. I'm sure Microsoft can just pray to have that done.

Not at all (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27438019)

What they tell their constituents is different from real life. Neo-cons, like Tom Delay was, LOVE to be paid to change their opinion. In fact, I would not be surprised if large amounts of funds show up in Texan pols re-elect funds, with the disappearance of that language.

Re:this language will be removed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27438993)

Or Vito will give the good senator an offer he can't refuse, either his signature or his brains will be on the "revised" bill.

Texas BOR (3, Informative)

mrmeval (662166) | more than 5 years ago | (#27437875)

If any agency already has a contract their law means diddly squat. The historical meaning of bill of attainder is to try and convict a person or group in the legislature. It may apply to a product if it can be seen as inflicting punishment on Microsoft.

No bill of attainder, ex post facto law, retroactive law, or any law impairing the obligation of contracts, shall be made.

Texas's constitution still has the post WWII eugenics provisions, how quaint.

Re:Texas BOR (1)

nog_lorp (896553) | more than 5 years ago | (#27437983)

I don't see why any agency would have a contract obligating them to upgrade to Vista.

Even if they do, the legislature can refuse to foot the bill.

Re:Texas BOR (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27438207)

till Steve Breathing Apparatus Ballmer strides in black cape, and booming voice:

"I am altering the deal...pray I do not alter it further..."

Re:Texas BOR (1)

Nefarious Wheel (628136) | more than 5 years ago | (#27438975)

Too. Funny. Can't. Breathe.

Any possible way to mod TFA up?

Politicians interfere with our abuse methods??? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27438885)

"If any agency already has a contract their law means [nothing]."

You are saying that if there is a contract with a company, and the company delivers a poor product, the government can do nothing? Don't forget that Microsoft top managers deliberately and knowingly delivered an unfinished product, as court records have shown. The costs of dealing with the hassles of Vista are far greater than the price of Vista. (And Microsoft has done that before: Windows ME and DOS 4.0 are just two examples.)

The following quote may need translation for those who are unfamiliar with habitual abuse:

"A Microsoft spokeswoman said in response, 'We're surprised that the Texas Senate Finance Committee adopted a rider which, in effect, singles out a specific corporation and product for unequal treatment.' "

Translation:

"We're a corporation. Corporations should be allowed to be as abusive as they want, without comment from you political peons who are far below us in power and hierarchy."

Re:this language will be removed (4, Insightful)

Martin Blank (154261) | more than 5 years ago | (#27437971)

It's not a matter of whether Microsoft can pay to have it done. It shouldn't be in there because it sets a bad precedent. If they can forbid Windows Vista, why not forbid any other piece of software that has, whether or not for valid reasons, gotten bad press? These decisions are much better left to those deploying the technologies.

Re:this language will be removed (4, Interesting)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 5 years ago | (#27438011)

It's the legislature's job to control the budget. They have every right, and even an obligation to stop it from being wasted. Yes, this can including dictating technology. Hopefully they'll discuss this with experts before voting, but its a perfectly legit rider to put on a budget bill. In this economy I'd probably go with no upgrades period unless there's a health or safety reason for doing so.

Re:this language will be removed (2, Insightful)

Martin Blank (154261) | more than 5 years ago | (#27438827)

The software cost of upgrading is often effectively nil, because most large enterprise environments are on multi-year Enterprise Agreement contracts that allow for no-additional-cost software upgrades. There is the time to deploy which costs some money, but depending on how they do it, it shouldn't really be that expensive with current software management mechanisms, including those built into Active Directory which produce a lower cost of deployment.

It's appropriate for the legislature to specify technologies in more abstract terms, such as ordering a pilot project for IPv6 or requiring that all networks have IDS/IPS on them. Deciding that a specific product is inappropriate is out of their purview, however, as they do not as a group have the expertise to make that decision. I would wager that a significant portion of them are still running Windows XP (if not OS X) and have little or no experience with Vista aside from what their son's best friend's cousin's neighbor told them.

Would you be comfortable with them blocking Red Hat on the reason that Fedora's update servers got cracked last summer, and therefore we can't rely on Red Hat-sponsored projects to properly secure their systems?

Re:this language will be removed (4, Insightful)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 5 years ago | (#27438107)

As AuMatar states, the legislators are doing their jobs. They can forbid the state doing business with Microsoft at all, if they decide that to be in the State's interest. In this case, they have refused to foot the bill for upgrading to a shaky operating system. Besides which, it is highly doubtful that very many government owned machines will run Vista's aero "features" anyway. Waiting for Win 7, IF they decide to upgrade at all, makes sense. Of course, it makes even more sense to me that Texas upgrade to open source, require that their employees get the proper training to provide their own support, and simply stop paying for proprietary software. WinXP is, and will remain, a good business operating system for quite some time, after all.

Re:this language will be removed (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27438559)

Although it would be best if a strong IT department could make that determination on their own, maybe they need some help to make it stick. There is nothing unusual about avoiding Vista. My company is very Micrsoft-centric and even THEY won't touch it. The situation to avoid is where agency X decides on their own to upgrade (especially if they get subsidized freebies), and then agency Y is pressured into upgrading to be compatible with agency X. Sooner or later, some critical piece of software refuses to run on Vista and the brown stuff hits the fan.

There are probably a few state agencies that are either exempt (or pretend to be exempt) from the state IT dept. And they probably need more guidance than they are willing to admit. For all we know, it may have been the IT department that asked the legislature for help.

My guess is that MS can get this language removed, but they will have to provide all kinds of freebies. The best outcome would be to leave the language intact and bag Vista. Second best would be getting all the upgrades for free. From the legislative point of view, a win/win situation.

Re:this language will be removed (1)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 5 years ago | (#27438733)

Exactly. This decision is best left in the hands of the government's IT staff, not lawmakers who probably don't have a damn clue about the technology they're drafting legislation on.

Furthermore, legislating that they don't do business with a company is just a bad idea in general... what's to stop a company from bribing lawmakers to pass legislation forbidding state agencies from buying its competitor's product?

Re:this language will be removed (1)

SupremoMan (912191) | more than 5 years ago | (#27438917)

Everything is bigger in Texas. Even the bribes.

And what about Windows 7? (1, Interesting)

Chyeld (713439) | more than 5 years ago | (#27437561)

Dudes, Vista is a fossil already. By the time your law is passed, it'll be 'end of life'ed. Ban upgrading from XP, not upgrading to Vista. Then do the Macarena as Microsoft slips a thick stack of bills in your pocket to ensure the bill dies in committee. Like you ever had an intention of passing that law in Texas.

Re:And what about Windows 7? (1)

initialE (758110) | more than 5 years ago | (#27437795)

not sure who trolled that, but the parent makes a point. since the next version is out "soon", it makes more sense to pay once for an upgrade than twice. Of course we're assuming here that people can live with the XP security model for that much longer.

Good (4, Insightful)

AvitarX (172628) | more than 5 years ago | (#27437579)

With Windows 7 just around the corner, it makes far more sense to wait for the first service pack of Windows 7, then to upgrade XP to a soon to be replaced OS.

Re:Good (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27437761)

Windows 7 is basically an expensive service pack for Vista.

Re:Good (1)

AvitarX (172628) | more than 5 years ago | (#27437929)

Only if you purchase Vista though.

That is why I think anybody who can should avoid it at this point.

Re:Good (4, Funny)

cheater512 (783349) | more than 5 years ago | (#27438633)

Sssh! Your going to give Microsoft's business plan away!

surprise, surprise (1)

turkeydance (1266624) | more than 5 years ago | (#27437585)

quote from Gomer Pyle, USMC.

Re:surprise, surprise... SHAME SHAME SHAME (1)

davidsyes (765062) | more than 5 years ago | (#27437717)

(Or, was that Goober?)

Well, GOOwahhLEEE, Sargeant Carter. I think mshaft is crying sour grapes.

Msoft should pray that OTHER countri... umm, states don't do this, and that there is no grassroots campaign to save the public a hunk of change. It would be interesting if the White House passes similar edicts and supports the Texas tone.

ROFL; but stupid (4, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#27437589)

As much as I'm unimpressed by Vista(and dread the eventual move of the PC side of the operation I work for) and amused by this bill, it is a stupid idea.

It is perfectly acceptable, indeed kind of the whole point, for legislatures to make laws, and handle budget matters, and this would give them the legal authority to do something like this; but that doesn't make micromanagement a good practice. If Texas' state IT minions are so incompetent that they need politicians to tell them what software to use, based on anecdotal evidence, then they should be fired at once. If not, then they should be treated like reasonably responsible adults, and allowed to do their jobs to the best of their expertise.

Broad requirements like "thou shalt use only open, interoperable systems" are perfectly appropriate; but "thou shalt not use item X" is just stupid, even if I happen to dislike item X.

Re:ROFL; but stupid (5, Insightful)

belmolis (702863) | more than 5 years ago | (#27437809)

But are you sure that in Texas such decisions are made by competant IT professionals? I wouldn't be surprised if: (a) decisions about software purchases are made separately for different parts of the state government; (b) in at least some of them people who aren't all that savvy make the decisions. It is also possible that even the IT pros are heavily invested in Microsoft and do pretty much what Microsoft says to do. So this may not be an instance of ridiculous micromanagement.

Re:ROFL; but stupid (2, Informative)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#27437867)

It may not be as stupid as it appears.
For example the city counsel here ahs forbid the upgrade to Vista for anyone due to a myryiad of issue, many dealing with legacy issues. Add to that the fact that XP works fine it would be econimically stupid to implement Vista.

And it's not really practical to think that mean Microsoft is being singled out. It's not like the users are going to upgrade to anything else.

Re:ROFL; but stupid (4, Interesting)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | more than 5 years ago | (#27438165)

And it prevents "upgrade by fiat", when new hardware is ordered and automatically comes with Vista and some poor local admin has to explain to his manager that no, they should _not_ accept that unwanted upgrade and stick with a consistent, existing hardware and software version. It also prevents departments from releasing Vista-only technologies: this is important for Internet Explorer and other applications.

It also keeps the Texas paperwork pushers from playing Halo 2 or Halo 3.

Re:ROFL; but stupid (1)

Repton (60818) | more than 5 years ago | (#27438397)

It might not be stupid .. because a different group did the same thing?

You know, there's another possible conclusion we could draw...

Like color TVs in prison (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27437873)

Yeah, plus how hard/expensive will it be to get a new PC with XP instead of Vista?

It is like a friend of mine that compared prison to hotels because they both have color TVs.
Yeah, just the same.
Plus, I don't what my state officials having to go out to find B&W TVs.
You know how hard those would be to find now-a-days?
That is a lot of flea markets the prison system employees would have to attend.

Re:Like color TVs in prison (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#27438611)

Um, it really wouldn't be that hard. Assuming Texas orders PCs in bulk, most vendors would be more than happy to ship XP rather than Vista if you are talking about hundreds to thousands of machines, and for a low price too. Also, assuming that Texas would get Vista Business, that comes with a downgrade (upgrade?) option to XP, and if Texas had bulk licenses for XP, its simply a matter of ordering computers with no OS and formatting the disks with an XP image.

Sure, it might be a pain to order one or two computers with XP, but when you are talking about an entire state with hundreds to thousands of computers and an IT staff, well, it becomes less of a pain.

Re:Like color TVs in prison (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27438893)

New York State has stipulated that XP will remain an option for its OGS contract (statewide contract that government organizations, schools and libraries can buy through), you can choose between Vista Business/Premium with or without a XP upgrade

Re:Like color TVs in prison (0)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 5 years ago | (#27438803)

Yeah, plus how hard/expensive will it be to get a new PC with XP instead of Vista?
Big customers don't care what the OEM windows sticker on the machine says. It's only purpose is to satisfy the fact that windows volume licenses are generally for upgrading/downgrading only not for installs on machines with no previous versions of windows. Thats why you see so many machines in big organisations with XP home or vista home basic license stickers even though they are running XP pro.

When the machine arrives it gets it's stock windows install blown away and replaced with a corporate image based on an install from VLK media. Some OEMs will even preload your image for you if you make a big enough order.

A bigger issue is drivers but I suspect as long as most big organisations want to run XP the big buisness PC vendors will supply them with XP drivers.

Eventually they will probablly have to upgrade to something but in most cases I doubt it will be vista (I suspect most of them will move to windows 7 in the end, some may also take the approach of running mostly linux with windows XP in a vm for apps that need it)

Re:ROFL; but stupid (4, Interesting)

Clandestine_Blaze (1019274) | more than 5 years ago | (#27437919)

If Texas' state IT minions are so incompetent that they need politicians to tell them what software to use, based on anecdotal evidence, then they should be fired at once. If not, then they should be treated like reasonably responsible adults, and allowed to do their jobs to the best of their expertise.

Why would they want Vista anyway when they could just go with Microsoft Mojave, which is a clear upgrade!

Jokes aside, I agree that this bill is stupid. Why have an I.T. department if they need the state politicians to tell them what software to use? Rather than legislate a "no-vista-upgrade" rider, they should instead devote a portion of the budget to setting up a development lab so that they can test their applications against whatever operating system they want to go with.

I had a brief three-year stint with a county government here in Northern VA and they had done just that -- they had a core group of testers test the shit out of every piece of legacy software the county used against Vista. When Vista came out, the county said "no-way" to upgrading until almost a year went by. The upgrade to Vista was definitely on their schedule, but they wanted to be sure that everything played nice together. Once their testing was done, they slowly rolled out in a beta fashion where select employees would use Vista (usually the I.T. guys within individual agencies) and then eventually upgrade everyone else.

Anyway, that was the vision of the I.T. director and NOT the county superintendent, board of directors, Virginia General Assembly, county executive or any other politician.

IT manager for a small govt org in TX (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27437951)

As an IT manager for a small govt org in Texas, it would not surprise me one bit if this was not actually requested by some of my more politically influential colleagues.

I and my group are avoiding Vista like the plague, mostly because of the unnecessary expense of the hardware upgrades it'll require, but also additionally because of the additional end-user training it'll require.

We're having a hell of a time just getting our users to recover their productivity after the Office 2007 mess that was rammed down our throats, and most of them still hate Office 2007 with a bloody passion. We do not wish to repeat this ordeal with a changeout of the whole desktop operating system anytime soon.

Re:IT manager for a small govt org in TX (2)

jack2000 (1178961) | more than 5 years ago | (#27438607)

What? You actually bothered to upgrade to Office 07?

Re:ROFL; but stupid (1)

registrar (1220876) | more than 5 years ago | (#27438253)

A well-advised legislature might make better technical decisions than IT departments. In this case, I strongly suspect they have.

Senior IT managers are highly susceptible to being advised, wowed, flattered and bribed into going with whatever $BigCompany tells them is most cost-effective. Given that MS is about maximising their own profits, they have a major conflict of interest when giving advice. Basically, while IT managers might be competent to manage IT, it is not necessarily efficient to have them assess whether Vista is cost-effective.

(For the same reason, each doctor is not personally responsible for testing the safety and mechanism of action of drugs. In principle they could, but it would be a tremendous waste of time and prone to all sorts of mistakes.)

It is quite reasonable for a government to assess whether Vista is cost-effective for "standard installs" once and for all, and there is no reason to redo the analysis at a lower level. So no, it isn't a question of letting IT professionals do their job, but defining their job in such a way as makes them efficient.

Vista rules (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27437603)

If 7 weren't just coming out, Vista would be superior enough to justify upgrading from XP.

Not uncommon (3, Insightful)

squidfood (149212) | more than 5 years ago | (#27437623)

Several/many Federal agencies already have done this as a agency-wide policy, i.e. "XP is fine, we're not officially approving or allowing Vista purchases". (Though I approve in general I'd prefer if it was left to IT in agencies to make the choice, not legislative mandate).

New Fed computers come with - XP! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27438145)

My wife is a Federal employee and just received new laptop with a fresh install of.... XP!

Of course it's probably been sitting in a warehouse for three years but no one is in any rush to upgrade to Vista. It's probably sensible to block Vista adoption until everyone is at least running XP, and by that tine Windows 7 service pack 2 or 3 will be out.

Re:New Fed computers come with - XP! (2, Informative)

squidfood (149212) | more than 5 years ago | (#27438547)

Of course it's probably been sitting in a warehouse for three years...

Not necessarily, when using (for example) the Dell website under the Federal customer option, XP is a standard choice--- got a truly new XP laptop (newest hardware) 1-2 months ago.

Re:New Fed computers come with - XP! (1, Informative)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 5 years ago | (#27438877)

Last I checked XP was still an option on the dell website for ordinary customers buying buisness machines. I think it's even an option on one or two of thier consumer machines.

Bill of attainder? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27437655)

Is this not a bill of attainder [wikipedia.org] ?

Re:Bill of attainder? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27437757)

If you're thinking of the US Constitution prohibition against bills of attainder, that only applies to the US Congress. Unless the Texas Constitution includes such a prohibition, the state legislature can do that all it wants.

Re:Bill of attainder? (2, Informative)

Clay Pigeon -TPF-VS- (624050) | more than 5 years ago | (#27437765)

Not unless all laws outlawing purchasing certain products, like PCP and nuclear weapons, are also bills of attainder (which they aren't).

Re:Bill of attainder? (3, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#27437767)

Umm. Only if "producing a product that some customers believe isn't worth buying" is now a crime...

As I said in another comment, I think that this is a bad piece of law. However, the legislature has the legal authority to write up the budget, that is, and historically has been, one of the most important legislative powers. "Don't buy X without special permission" is a perfectly licit thing to put in a budget.

If they were trying to make the sale of Vista illegal in Texas, you'd have a stronger case, though probably not strong enough; but exercising budgetary control to not buy something is totally licit.

Re:Bill of attainder? (1)

Savage-Rabbit (308260) | more than 5 years ago | (#27438935)

If they were trying to make the sale of Vista illegal in Texas, you'd have a stronger case, though probably not strong enough; but exercising budgetary control to not buy something is totally licit.

Right... I don't see the difference between this and, say, the army making the decision not to buy a piece of equipment from a certain manufacturer for the troops because it has found that product to either offer such marginal improvement over existing equipment that the added expense of introducing it isn't justified or simply because they have found the product to be substandard.

Psychology (0, Flamebait)

Akzo (1079039) | more than 5 years ago | (#27437657)

It's interesting to see how widespread the anti-Vista sentiment is. Just name-recognition seems to scare most people away.

Not sure about that (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 5 years ago | (#27438071)

You mentioned it, and apparently with that 0 mod, it appears that the fan-bois are attracted to you.

Sigh (4, Insightful)

halcyon1234 (834388) | more than 5 years ago | (#27437665)

...but the problems with this particular [operating] system are known nationwide,' Hinojosa said...

Looks good so far, reasonable, tech savvy-- he just wants to ensure everyone uses stable, functioning software, and---

(starting at 4:42 of this RealMedia video stream).

*facepalm*

Re:Sigh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27437793)

Nice.

Don't worry, they'll just upgrade to Mojave instead.

Though this is likely something more like: "We'll make this big grandstand and bitch and moan about how horrible Vista is and outlaw its use....(until microsoft cuts us a discount)"

Re:Sigh (5, Funny)

PhxBlue (562201) | more than 5 years ago | (#27438297)

*facep -- Buffering -- alm*

There, fixed that for ya.

Re:Sigh (1)

fm6 (162816) | more than 5 years ago | (#27438579)

So tell me, please, which streaming media stack should they be using? Yes, Real sucks, but so does Windows Media, Move Player, and Quicktime. And there's nothing else, not off the shelf.

You can always roll your own (as Netflix had the wisdom to do) but not everybody has the resources for that.

Why Bother (4, Interesting)

alvinrod (889928) | more than 5 years ago | (#27437755)

Why bother upgrading to Vista at all. Just wait another two years or so until Windows 7 comes out and either upgrade machines at that time or purchase new machines which will come with Windows 7 installed.

If it would cost a lot to upgrade from XP to 7, then it's time to either switch to Linux or at least start talking about it so that Microsoft will help make the transition available for a more reasonable cost.

Considering that we're at a point where computational power is considered to be sufficient or in excess for normal, non-power users, in two years this should allow the government to purchase some low-end machines that have more than enough power to take care of the work that will probably be done on most of them.

Re:Why Bother (1)

interval1066 (668936) | more than 5 years ago | (#27438013)

Wow, Linux, now there's a thought...

Re:Why Bother (1)

ausekilis (1513635) | more than 5 years ago | (#27438065)

If it would cost a lot to upgrade from XP to 7, then it's time to either switch to Linux or at least start talking about it so that Microsoft will help make the transition available for a more reasonable cost.

Look at the Vista debacle (see the past 2 years of "Vista Capable" and "Large corporations not picking up vista"). We have no reason to believe that Win7 will be *any less* a resource hog than the Vista business edition, which is what any company would likely run anyway. Knowing that we can rule out the Vista starter pack that allows only 3 applications (word, outlook, excel, close one to browse the web), we can reasonably assume that Win7 will be a resource hog and likely require hardware upgrades. It's true that many corporations rotate hardware every couple of years, but to replace thousands of machines with the "Vista Ready" boxes just to gear up for Win7 is a pipe dream. What incentive do companies have to upgrade to the latest OS if:

  • Win7 doesn't have any history in the business sector
  • Would require hardware upgrades across the board
  • Requires training/retraining of IT personnel (all I've read says Win7 is vastly different than XP)
  • There are less expensive alternatives, like sticking with XP (not moving to Vista worked to keep XP alive), or OSS

Considering that we're at a point where computational power is considered to be sufficient or in excess for normal, non-power users, in two years this should allow the government to purchase some low-end machines that have more than enough power to take care of the work that will probably be done on most of them.

You may have a point here, but we're still talking a lot of money in hardware and training. My company used to have a lot of mixed OS development (Mac, *nix, Windows), but within the past few years have migrated to XP-only. If you want something else, you have to go through the red tape with a damned good business reason, and support it yourself. Most of the IT support people are XP-trained. Anything else they refuse to touch. When machines are upgraded every 3 years or so (yea, I know) they are replaced with the least expensive desktop they can get away with. The latest round would have been top of the line a year and a half ago, maybe two, still barely able to run Vista reasonably well (thank you Intel integrated graphics).

Re:Why Bother (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27438533)

Knowing that we can rule out the Vista starter pack that allows only 3 applications (word, outlook, excel, close one to browse the web), we can reasonably assume that Win7 will be a resource hog and likely require hardware upgrades.

If you think you can reasonably 'assume' that, then you haven't been paying attention to any testing or usability reports on Windows 7. Ignorance doesn't help your point, wilful or otherwise.

Re:Why Bother (1)

XorNand (517466) | more than 5 years ago | (#27438085)

Who's to say that Windows 7 is going to be much better than Vista? Sure, we can hope that MS learned from that misstep, but this is also the same company that also brought us Bob and Windows ME.

Re:Why Bother (3, Informative)

Real1tyCzech (997498) | more than 5 years ago | (#27438491)

.....

Because there have been numerous betas that have blown both Vista and even XP out of the water?

http://content.zdnet.com/2346-12554_22-278706-34.html [zdnet.com]

[] ...or that it is even improving as it progresses through beta:

http://content.zdnet.com/2346-12554_22-278706-35.html [zdnet.com]

Yeah, I know....someone backing up their statements on Slashdot with actual results? What was I thinking?

Re:Why Bother (1)

PRMan (959735) | more than 5 years ago | (#27438783)

With the same hardware and software?

Speed is not the only measure of an Operating System. If it were, we'd all still be using command lines.

Re:Why Bother (1)

snowraver1 (1052510) | more than 5 years ago | (#27438913)

I really don't get it. One of the major problems with Vista was the new driver model. Drivers sometimes were unavailable, and at other times were buggy as hell and caused the OS to crash. Windows 7 uses the SAME driver model. Why will this be any better?(it's not MS's fault either, but rather buggy, immature drivers.)

I admit, I have never tried either Vista or Windows 7, but from what I have read, Windows 7 is Vista with a new UI. The foundation is still very much the same. I'm not saying that either Vista or 7 is good or bad, but I find it puzzling how so many people hate Vista, often based on nothing, but in the same breath will praise Windows 7.

I honestly don't get it. Maybe I'm missing some huge new feature that Windows 7 offers. A new taskbar? That's okay, but not cool enough to warrant spending hours reinstalling an OS and apps. I hear calculator is new and improved wow-ee.

Re:Why Bother (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 5 years ago | (#27438931)

Why bother upgrading to Vista at all. Just wait another two years or so until Windows 7 comes out

You don't have to wait two years until Windows 7 comes out. If the RC will be available in May [geek.com] , then we should definitely see the release by the end of this year one way or another - and probably sooner rather than later.

Re:Why Bother (1)

falconwolf (725481) | more than 5 years ago | (#27438963)

we're at a point where computational power is considered to be sufficient or in excess for normal, non-power users

Saying that is like saying "Nobody will ever need more than 640 kB RAM [cdfreaks.com] ". In 2 years software will require more power.

Falcon

Microsoft + Monopoly = whining (1)

Mishotaki (957104) | more than 5 years ago | (#27437775)

singles out a specific corporation and product for unequal treatment

If they consider that they single them out, they should have a discussion about their monopoly... changing the language would be simply "not to upgrade their uperating system with a newer one" and by not buying Vista they are saying the exact same thing...

MOLP? (3, Informative)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 5 years ago | (#27437785)

If they are enterprise, they most likely have a MOLP, which if its current they paid for Vista anyway.

Gotta admit, it is strange. (1, Funny)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 5 years ago | (#27437799)

We're surprised that the Texas Senate Finance Committee adopted a rider which, in effect, singles out a specific corporation and product for unequal treatment.

I'm surprised that they would single out a specific corp/product by name. Not so much that they would "in effect". I thought that was the standard way they did things -- don't name a company or product, but specify the product requirements so specifically that there was precisely one product that met them all. Then when they wanted to change their mainstream products they had to keep an old line just to produce the government-required product, and this was part of why the government ends up paying out the nose for everything.

But I guess it's harder to disallow a specific product via the same method. "No Texas Government Agency shall install an operating system with an obnoxious security mechanisms that constantly ask your permission to do everything and gets in your way when you're browsing sketchy pr0n sites..."

Re:Gotta admit, it is strange. (1)

BlackRookSix (943957) | more than 5 years ago | (#27437953)

Uhm... okay. So please demonstrate how else they could do it without calling out the company and product by name?

"The next product version of the Operating System that the government agencies run, hereafter referred to in this document as Company M, product to be referred to as Product V?"

XP's only natural upgrade path is Vista. To say that they are not upgrading is to explicitly stop purchases or installs of Vista.

This isn't singling out a company or product. It is an IT department simply stating, in a governmental bureaucratic setting, that they are not confident in the upgrade-ability of the software.

Re:Gotta admit, it is strange. (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 5 years ago | (#27438059)

Uhm... okay. So please demonstrate how else they could do it without calling out the company and product by name?

Exactly how I said -- refer to the properties of said product with enough specificity that only that product meets them all. But it's usually used in the opposite direction, when the government wants to hand a company some phat government lewt for a contract but doesn't want it to look like that's what they're doing.

This isn't singling out a company or product. It is an IT department simply stating, in a governmental bureaucratic setting, that they are not confident in the upgrade-ability of the software. ... which is singling out a company and product. You don't think it's a bad thing, and I don't disagree.

Re:Gotta admit, it is strange. (4, Funny)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 5 years ago | (#27438001)

But I guess it's harder to disallow a specific product via the same method.

No texas government agency shall install an operating system that has a name starting with a "V" and ends in "ista," from a company that rhymes with "schmicrosoft."

Oy (4, Insightful)

Tridus (79566) | more than 5 years ago | (#27437811)

So, does this person actually know anything about operating systems? Or is this "my friend heard from a friend heard from that friendly Mac guy" type of silliness?

I mean, where I work we're not upgrading to Vista either. But that was a decision made by IT, after actually looking into it. I highly doubt the politicians have any idea of what they're talking about.

Remember, next month they could just as easily say "no upgrading to Linux, everyone knows that's socialism!" It'd have just as much research behind it as this legislation does.

Re:Oy (5, Informative)

benjamindees (441808) | more than 5 years ago | (#27438089)

There is no IT dept for the entire State of Texas. So, first of all, your analogy is flawed.

Secondly, the legislature writes the budget for the state's OS upgrades. It is certainly within their purview to forbid an especially worthless OS on a cost/benefit basis, regardless of technical considerations.

Re:Oy (5, Insightful)

gadlaw (562280) | more than 5 years ago | (#27438139)

Yeah well, legislatures don't know anything about highway construction or job creation or stem cell research but they still seem to be able to 'represent' the people that elected them and vote for things by and large that numbers of people support and would like to see addressed by the legislature. They don't have to be 'IT' people to pass a law. Hasn't stopped them before, that argument won't stop them anytime in the future.

Re:Oy (1)

tukang (1209392) | more than 5 years ago | (#27438227)

Politicians are not going to be experts in every field they pass laws for. Ideally, they get advised by experts and this may have been the case here.

Re:Oy (1)

pegasustonans (589396) | more than 5 years ago | (#27438629)

Ideally, they get advised by experts and this may have been the case here.

Experts are ideal, but state governments are more likely to go off half-cocked.

I don't know much about the Texas legislature specifically, but many state legislatures are relatively unprofessional compared to the national equivalent. Some state legislatures even operate on a part-time basis.

Pretty much (2, Interesting)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 5 years ago | (#27438325)

We aren't upgrading to Vista either, but we aren't preventing it. More or less if a new system comes with Vista, that's fine. We have two reasons for this:

1) XP works well. We see nothing for most uses that Vista offers an improvement on. That isn't to say it's worse, just that it isn't better by enough to warrant an upgrade.

2) Vista wants more RAM. If you are buying a new system, it should have plenty of RAM for Vista and then some, RAM is cheap. Old systems may not, and may not be so easy to update. Thus a new system will likely run it well, and old system may not.

It is a technical decision on our part.

To me, this reeks of "Something I heard on the 'net," or "Something my friend told me a guy told him." Seems to me that most people who have real hate for Vista fall in to one of three categories (yes I like ordered lists):

1) People who tried it on inadequate, unsupported systems. It was slow and problematic because they lacked the power to run it, and lacked the drivers for their devices.

2) People who got second hand information on it. They never actually used Vista, they just heard from a friend or online that it was bad. They are just repeating what they heard, not relating any real experience.

3) Linux/Mac zealots that hate MS and want to sandbag Vista. They too usually haven't tried it, and are often more or less making shit up. They are just spreading FUD because they want MS to fail.

So ya, this sounds really stupid. The IT people should do a proper evaluation of Vista. Figure out what it costs to do the upgrade, including hardware (which could be nothing if the hardware is current and they have a yearly MS license as some places do), figure out the benefits, the drawbacks, and see if it is worth the time and effort. We decided it wasn't, other may decide different. Trying to legislate this is dumb. It really is an administrative task.

Re:Pretty much (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27438581)

Ahem. I am the category you neglected. I tried Vista, on modern equipment. Fast processor, fast video, lots of memory. The specifics aren't that very important. I installed, only to find that my SPECIFIC video card wasn't supported, and that it scored a "1". Everything else got top score. So, everything is top of the line, and ready to run, just don't expect Aero to work, right? Wrong. The whole system sucked with Vista. It rocks with XP, it rocks with Linux, but blows with Vista.

The specs for my computer exceed the specs of at least 80% of all computers owned by the state of Texas. It would cost a LOT of money to make those computers meet Microsoft's requirements. And, the question is, Why would we spend all that money on old equipment, so that Vista will run, when XP does the job perfectly well?

Re:Pretty much (1)

jack2000 (1178961) | more than 5 years ago | (#27438723)

How's the soil under the astroturf?

that will save lots of money (4, Informative)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 5 years ago | (#27437827)

The problem is that there's really no reason to "upgrade" to Vista, and at twice the price for slower speeds and performance, not to mention the mandatory RAM and video card costs, this is a wise budgetary precaution.

Just don't mandate netbooks - they have a tendancy to walk away.

Re:that will save lots of money (1)

Foo2rama (755806) | more than 5 years ago | (#27437877)

exactly.

Re:that will save lots of money (5, Informative)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 5 years ago | (#27437995)

Plus, there's a potentially harmful network effect. A particular department might need new pcs, and upgrade to Vista with no particular cost or problem... but then, they're on a network with, swapping documents with, and have different support and training requirements than other XP users. All of a sudden, other XP users might feel a need to upgrade, generating unnecessary expense.

Even more importantly, do not EVER let anybody in your company or government upgrade to a newer version of Office, because the moment that lid is opened, there's no going back.

Re:that will save lots of money (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 5 years ago | (#27438053)

good point re Office - once you have Office for XP that creates additional complexities - although sometimes it's good to have one PC capable of running it.

Microsoft is right... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27437831)

Texas doesn't have to put this in writing.

It's obvious to everyone that you shouldn't use Vista if you have choice...

budget stuffs (5, Interesting)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 5 years ago | (#27437883)

It's not a micromanagement choice when he's responsible for a government that has perhaps 50,000 workstations, each needing a $200-300 license. Conservatively. I have no idea how many workstations the entire state educational system has, but I'd bet 50,000 is a lowball estimate. But still, that's $10 million, minimum, for an upgrade. For an educational agency's budget, that's not small potatoes. That could pay for the salaries of 57 primary school teachers for the next 5 years. The fact that the upgrade has questionable value for the educational agencies in the state is a supporting point! Why spend that much money for something with no real return on investment? Or, we could just ignore the huge economic question here and cry "evil microsoft!" or "how dare they single out a single company!" Yes... Those arguments make so much more sense than it's uneconomical.

Re:budget stuffs (2, Informative)

cdrguru (88047) | more than 5 years ago | (#27438143)

If the government is paying retail prices for licensing 50,000 computers they are complete idiots and deserve to be flogged and burned at the stake for utter waste.

I do not know what the bulk licensing price would be to an organization with 50,000 computers but I suspect it would be less than $5 each for Vista. Add on Microsoft Office 2007 and I suspect you might be talking about $50 per machine. Yes, that would be $2,500,000 dollars. But nowhere near $200 per machine.

Silly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27437917)

Silly.. why are they legislating technical decisions that should be left to technical decision makers, not politicians?

These moments are rare... (0)

erroneus (253617) | more than 5 years ago | (#27438017)

...but sometimes I am PROUD to be a Texan!! Yee-frikken-haw!!!!!

That is an awesome rider and I'll bet the one proposing it has much personal experience with Vista, because only personal experience with Vista could result in such angry legislation. Would it have been better to offer up less angry reasons? Absolutely. Might it even have been better to suggest "hey, because we can't afford waste money fixin' something that ain't broken!" Yup!

(Here's my take on technology. Technology that suits the need and purpose is great! And if something suits the need and purpose better, then get it! But "upgrading" just because it's newer? That shit stopped around the year 2004 or before for most of us.)

I hope this thing sticks, but as some are probably already guessing, Microsoft will ride in on a white horse, carrying a white flag and offering all of Texas government a price a $0.00 for both Vista and Office 2007... you know they will because Microsoft can afford it... and in a way, that's can't afford not to.

Ok, everyone give up your internet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27438041)

If this passes, stop using your internet immediately, because I'm afraid that Texas wins the internet. All of it.

Completely misses the point (0)

frovingslosh (582462) | more than 5 years ago | (#27438075)

This should have been done years ago when Windows first came out, not now when the Vista name will soon be replaced by Windows 7. Of course there are many (including myself) who believe that Windows 7 is just Vista with a new skin and a new name. Microsoft showed us that they would do this if we didn't buy Vista with the "Mohave" commercials, and I'm certain they are laughing their heads off that people who bought Vista are about to buy it again in the hope of fixing their problems just because they have renamed it. What the law should say is that XP can't be upgraded to any newer Microsoft OS without legislature permission. Even if you do believe that it is a different OS, based on the Vista disaster, I would hope that you can see that the law (if such a law is to be written) should stop migration to any new unproven Microsoft OS, not just one with the Vista name.

Lets also remember that Microsoft announced when Vista first came out that it would be the last 32 bit Microsoft OS and that the next version after Vista would be 64 bit only. "Windows 7" is 32 bit. Therefore Windows 7 isn't the successor to Vista. Therefor it is Vista with a different look and a different name.

Re:Completely misses the point (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 5 years ago | (#27438741)

"Windows 7 is just Vista with a new skin and a new name. " Don't forget "tweaked". True, it is very much like Vista. I won't argue that. But, it is tweaked. Where Vista dragged forever on my test machine, Win7 runs very much like WinXP. Really - default settings just work. It's better than Vista was AFTER I searched for and applied tweaks for it. I am certainly no fan of Microsoft, but it's good to keep things in perspective. If you think of Win7 as a major upgrade to XP, you won't be far off the mark. Just forget about that other failed system that came in between. (Of course, it isn't worth the selling price, but that's a whole different topic)

The Media (-1)

Malc (1751) | more than 5 years ago | (#27438077)

The problems moving from XP to Vista are probably less significant than those moving from 98 to 2000 or XP. Yet the media treated one OS favourably, and the other not. I'm sure this situation wouldn't have occurred if the media were more positive about Vista. I'm also sure that Windows 7 will get nicer treatment, and people will make more of an effort to upgrade, even though XP to Win 7 is probably more work than XP to Vista. Personally I have few issues with Vista, and quite like it, except for the thrashing the hard drive far too frequently.

Re:The Media (3, Informative)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#27438129)

Actually it isn't. Moving From XP to Vista is a big issue, especially if you have a lot of legacy apps.

Re:The Media (2, Informative)

omnichad (1198475) | more than 5 years ago | (#27438313)

Or simply older hardware. Moving from XP to 7 would be easier than XP to Vista.

Re:The Media (2, Interesting)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 5 years ago | (#27438965)

It would have, if 7 supported upgrading from directly XP. Unfortunately, so far, it does not [crn.com] , though we'll have to see if that is still the case for the release.

A Mojave by any other name... (1)

Moof123 (1292134) | more than 5 years ago | (#27438121)

Insert any other operating system in there instead of Winbloze and the thought is just chilling. A state legislature banning Linux? OS X?

Maybe it's a testament to how crappy Mojave is, er I mean Vista, that you have to looks at the shoe being on the other foot to see why it is ridiculous.

Alcoholism treatment (0, Offtopic)

jonathan030786 (1523011) | more than 5 years ago | (#27438233)

If we cannot find you a program that meets all of your needs, Addiction Link has provided a full list of treatment centers including contact information. ========== jonathan ========== alcoholism treatment [alcoholismtreatment.info] -alcoholism treatment

Unequal Treatment (1)

jimbudncl (1263912) | more than 5 years ago | (#27438503)


Ok... Microsoft has a point here, but what other corporation is there to single out _but_ Microsoft?

Go libertarians! (1)

divisionbyzero (300681) | more than 5 years ago | (#27438709)

I thought Texas was supposed to be conservative? I guess they don't mind picking winners and losers in markets.

Something's not right here... (0, Redundant)

Pathway (2111) | more than 5 years ago | (#27438719)

Take the entire transcript and replace the following words:

Microsoft -> Chevorlet
XP -> Malabu
Vista -> Volt

So if the sentence "We are not going to upgrade to Microsoft Vista, because XP is running fine and we've heard that there are problems with Vista." read as "We are not going to update to Chevy Volts, because our Malibus are running fine and we've heard there are problems with the Volt." ... Would it be fair for Chevy to complain?

I don't think so.

And, no, I did not RTFA.

--Pathway

If it passes as written.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27438813)

If it passes as written (and that's a big if)

Microsoft will just rename Vista to Microsoft Texta. Problem solved.

ma8e (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27438947)

those obligations. very sick and its b7eak future. In before playing to BSD culminated in his Clash with Reaper Nor do the look at the corporate new core is going fucking percent of ARE A FEW GOOD than make a sincere Current core were IS DYING LIKE THE United States of and sling or table election to the I know it sux0rs, one or the other not going home company a 2 ASSOCIATION OF May be hurting GOALS. IT'S WHEN eyes on the real obligated to care 'doing something' The project as a a sad world. At OF AMERICA) is the population as well had become like off the play area FREEBSD SHOWED of HIV and other Codebase became documents like a OpenBSD wanker Theo Do, or indeed what A previously to survive at all may be hurting the Elected, we took survival prospects won't be standing we all know, cycle; take a be a lot slower
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