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Microsoft Vista, IE7 Banned By U.S. DOT

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the that-is-a-serious-buzz-harsher dept.

Microsoft 410

An anonymous reader writes "According to a memo being reported on by Information week, the US Department of Transportation has issued a moratorium on upgrading Microsoft products. Concerns over costs and compatability issues has lead the federal agency to prevent upgrades from XP to Vista, as well as to stop users from moving to IE 7 and Office 2007. As the article says, 'In a memo to his staff, DOT chief information officer Daniel Mintz says he has placed "an indefinite moratorium" on the upgrades as "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."'"

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Nothing really unusual about it (5, Informative)

2.7182 (819680) | more than 7 years ago | (#18210392)

This is an agency that is very conservative. I mean, it's illegal to have curved driver side mirrors in the US for pete's sake.

Re:Nothing really unusual about it (0, Offtopic)

n2art2 (945661) | more than 7 years ago | (#18210556)

If your right then I guess all these cars are illegal.

http://autoquarterly.com/media/ssr_lg.jpg [autoquarterly.com] Chevy SSR
http://www.ptcruizer.com/ptpix/2006-pt-cruiser.jpg [ptcruizer.com] PT Cruiser
And others.

Re:Nothing really unusual about it (1, Offtopic)

allscan (1030606) | more than 7 years ago | (#18210612)

The original poster is talking about the mirror(glass) itself, not the housing. Curved glass and mirrors change the shapes and point of view of objects when they reflect. So, things may look out of place when looking into the mirror.

Re:Nothing really unusual about it (0, Offtopic)

n2art2 (945661) | more than 7 years ago | (#18210770)

That makes more sense, because the glass itself also has curved edges. . . so what he/she ment to say is that convex mirrors are illegal as the main mirror (cause there are add-ons and such for trucks) on the driver's side.

Re:Nothing really unusual about it (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18210616)

The mirror itself, not the housing.
This is similar to the warning on the convex mirrors on the passenger side saying "Idiots in mirror are closer than they appear".

Re:Nothing really unusual about it (0, Troll)

Sciros (986030) | more than 7 years ago | (#18210708)

Well they should be, cause they're so friggin ugly.

Re:Nothing really unusual about it (4, Insightful)

skiingyac (262641) | more than 7 years ago | (#18210756)

I think his point is that drivers side mirrors have a blind spot, which causes who knows how many accidents, but its illegal for manufacturers to make the mirrors in a different way, which is why K-Mart sells those little $2 stick-on convex mirrors. Seems like a lot more engineering time is spent on things like heated/cooled beverage holders than would be needed to design a better side mirror, I don't know the law but I'd assume thats why manufacturers haven't improved them. Of course, if somebody (the manufacturers) lobbied hard enough for it, I'm sure the DOT would change their mind.

Re:Nothing really unusual about it (1)

geoffspear (692508) | more than 7 years ago | (#18210848)

...until idiot drivers who don't understand "objects in mirror are closer than they appear" start causing more accidents. Although I suppose the passenger side ones would be banned too if there was enough such stupidity to have a statistically significant impact on the number of accidents.

Re:Nothing really unusual about it (2, Insightful)

skiingyac (262641) | more than 7 years ago | (#18210972)

yes, certainly don't want to underestimate the idiots. However, I can't count how many times somebody has almost side-swiped me w/o checking their blind spot, or how many times I've had to hit my brakes a little harder b/c of something in front of me than if I did not glance to check my blind spot. Maybe they could just dedicate a 1-2" x 1-2" of your mirror (the bottom rightmost part that is usually just showing you a reflection of your door) to your blind spot, it would be small enough to keep people from using it to gauge anything other than that something other than the road is in their blind spot.

Re:Nothing really unusual about it (1)

DeadChobi (740395) | more than 7 years ago | (#18211056)

If you're able to see your door, your mirror is not adjusted correctly. You're supposed to adjust until you're just outside of the range where you would see your door.

Re:Nothing really unusual about it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18211064)

if any of your mirror is showing you a reflection of your door, your mirror is set wrong.

Re:Nothing really unusual about it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18210760)

In the parent try: %s/curved/convex/g

Rear View Mirror Warning (4, Funny)

Stanistani (808333) | more than 7 years ago | (#18210762)

*Warning*

Operating systems may appear more compatible then they are...

Re:Nothing really unusual about it (5, Insightful)

Divebus (860563) | more than 7 years ago | (#18210888)

"..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."

The DOT is just figuring this out now? Hell, most of us knew this years ago.

Yes it is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18210948)

For the last 6 years, there has been a massive push from above to move everything to Windows. Even at the NSA, they have had pressure from above to drop support for Unix and linux (both of which are more secure than Windows). This will get the CIO in trouble.

Re:Yes it is (4, Funny)

Divebus (860563) | more than 7 years ago | (#18211026)

1968: "nobody ever got fired for buying IBM"
1996: "nobody ever got fired for buying Microsoft"
2007: "you're both fired!"

Re:Nothing really unusual about it (4, Informative)

IDontAgreeWithYou (829067) | more than 7 years ago | (#18211088)

Where I work we just switched to XP from Windows 2000 less than 2 years ago. We won't switch to Vista anytime in the near future (my guess is three years at least). This isn't a story, it's standard practice. In order to upgrade, you need to do a lot of testing and updating software, especially in-house apps. If they were using Linux, they wouldn't update the kernel as soon as it was available either.

Hardy Har Har (0)

JohnnyDoh (1057238) | more than 7 years ago | (#18210398)

HAHA

(it had to be said)

As a webmaster (4, Insightful)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 7 years ago | (#18210400)

I wish they would at least move to IE7 if they are not going to move to Firefox/Mozilla. To stay with IE6 is just unfair.

Re:As a webmaster (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18210462)

To stay with IE6 is just unfair.

It's not unfair, it's just plain stupid.

Re:As a webmaster (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18210570)

IE7 is a complete heap of shit. Someone should have told Microsoft that not all .html files come from a remote host. Some of them are supposed to reside on the local hard drive.

Every time IE7 spews pointless ActiveX security warnings on .html files that contain no active content whatsoever, God kills a gnu.

Re:As a webmaster (1)

jcr (53032) | more than 7 years ago | (#18210990)

IE7 is a complete heap of shit.

Well, since they killed NetScape, why should they care?

-jcr

Re:As a webmaster (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18210566)

To say there is reason specifically to not upgrade from IE6 is basically saying that they've developed a bunch of IE6-only web applications (with a bunch of ActiveX controls that require lax security settings perhaps.. or maybe just by developers that have never visited w3.org and have used Microsoft's [wrong] implementation of Javascript/HTML/CSS). They've screwed themselves on this one.. eventually as IE6 security updates stop coming (if they haven't already?) they're going to have endless problems when their users continue to use it to browse the internet..

Re:As a webmaster (1, Troll)

Chris whatever (980992) | more than 7 years ago | (#18210940)

IE7 sucks like shit, other than it's a copy from Firefox, it has numerous issues with other product mainly Outlook 2003 and that's just the tip of the iceberg.

It is irrational to install IE7 without testing it with other software, adding too much securities can seriously impair web base application and if you deploy this on a large number of user that uses those web base application, better get ready to do overtime getting that first stupid setting setup page and all the pop-up and active x blocker done, the user wont do it.

What's that noise? (4, Funny)

HangingChad (677530) | more than 7 years ago | (#18210422)

It was like the sound of thousands of MSFT reps all calling their elected representatives at once.

Except the dead ones (4, Funny)

Mateo_LeFou (859634) | more than 7 years ago | (#18210800)

...they just write letters.

Re:What's that noise? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18210858)

"It was like the sound of thousands of MSFT reps all calling their elected representatives at once."

You misspelled "sending a campaign check to" and "sponsored."

Re:What's that noise? (1)

miskatonic alumnus (668722) | more than 7 years ago | (#18211070)

Nahh. They send e-mails filled with viruses, trojans, & worms. Shortly afterwards they send another e-mail saying "See, this is what happens when you don't upgrade!"

Fixed. (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18210440)

"there appears to be no compelling technical or business case for upgrading to any Microsoft software products."

Re:Fixed. (0, Troll)

jacekm (895699) | more than 7 years ago | (#18210806)

This is nonsens. Without Windows you are limited to small set of primitive applicaitons. JAM

Re:Fixedx2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18210810)

"there appears to be no compelling technical or business case for downgrading to any Microsoft software products."

Re:Fixed. (1)

RingDev (879105) | more than 7 years ago | (#18210928)

Someone has never used Windows ME.

-Rick

Re:Fixed. (1)

ckaminski (82854) | more than 7 years ago | (#18211134)

I used WinME in a small office setting, and aside from ONE old DOS-based app that required share.com to run to increase stack space and ME removing that little tool, I had ZERO issues with it. It served a purpose. It put people on notice that XP was coming, and changes were afoot: get with the program or get left behind, pure 100% DOS compatibility is gone. WIN32 or bust.

In that regard, 6 years later, I think it worked phenomenally well.

Seriously, so what? (5, Insightful)

throx (42621) | more than 7 years ago | (#18210464)

What this is really saying is that IT in the DOT wants all their systems to be running the same set of software. Wouldn't this just make sense from an efficiency point of view? I mean, they probably have bans on running MacOS 7.1, Gentoo and OS2 4.0 as well so I don't get the big news.

Did anyone seriously think large enterprise level customers would be jumping to Vista immediately, or even worse, letting their employees arbitrarily upgrade their own machines?

Re:Seriously, so what? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18210634)

Even the military has decided that there is no IE7 or Vista till at least August 07, and even then, it isn't a guaranteed that they'll decide to go ahead and allow it.

Re:Seriously, so what? (2, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 7 years ago | (#18211138)

I'm comforted by the military's decision not to upgrade to Vista, IE7 or Office 07 until later in the year or when service packs start coming out.

After a horrible experience with Vista on a brand new system, I've made the same decision. For the last few new MS 0Ss, I've been right on top of new versions, but this time they've really pulled a boner.

Re:Seriously, so what? (1)

Muad'Dave (255648) | more than 7 years ago | (#18210826)

MOV AX,4c00h
INT 21h
Terminate with response code, right?

Re:Seriously, so what? (4, Interesting)

div_2n (525075) | more than 7 years ago | (#18211090)

It is no small deal when a government agency specifically bans products internally for very specific reasons. Case in point is that we do a lot of business with the US Government. There are websites we MUST use for business purposes. IE7 specifically doesn't work with how they have been designed. This means that as IT Manager, I have instituted the same policy (IE7 ban) here.

The point is that there is a trickle down effect. Why do you think MS has fought the ODF issue in Mass. so hard?

A Nightmare on One Microsoft Way (5, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 7 years ago | (#18210480)

Ok, so the Department of Transportation can't make a business case for it. Big deal.

Allow me to strike some real fear into Microsoft. I work for a large Fortune 500 company with six digits of employees. While it's not our primary product, we write software as a lot of companies do.

When IE7 came out, I decided to use my work legal machine to install it to try it out. This resulted in a next day 7 am nastygram from my system administrator stating that I am authorized to install any software that isn't married to the kernel. Not only were we told not to use it, we were threatened not to install it OR ELSE I wouldn't be able to enter my time or access shared community sites internal to the company.

Because a lot of our company's tools don't work very nicely inside of it. So I'm still using IE6 and my company sure isn't going to upgrade my MS Office suite. Did I mention I write web applications and I can only test them in IE6 and Firefox?

So what would scare Microsoft more? The fact that a government department isn't using it or the fact that many companies like mine are still writing stuff for the old software hence forcing our customers to stick with IE6 or any version of Firefox?

Re:A Nightmare on One Microsoft Way (4, Insightful)

Billosaur (927319) | more than 7 years ago | (#18210776)

Because a lot of our company's tools don't work very nicely inside of it. So I'm still using IE6 and my company sure isn't going to upgrade my MS Office suite. Did I mention I write web applications and I can only test them in IE6 and Firefox?

And you can make a business case for that. Face it -- you develop for your company based (hopefully) on a set of standards for what the company will use as its backbone technology. I worked at a Fortune 500 once, and they held on to Netscape 4.7 for the longest time, because it was deployed everywhere (globally), and everything was designed to work for it. It wasn't the greatest browser, but it was still better than IE5 at some critical things.

Change comes slowly at big companies/organizations, because it's due to economies of scale. The more machines you have to upgrade, the more applications you have to re-write to support the upgrades, the more the bottom line takes a pounding. Even if you manage to pull off a major, world-wide upgrade, you're going to spend the next couple of years fending off bugs that will turn up every day. Eventually you will get it stable -- just in time for the "next big thing".

Companies cannot afford to go chasing every new technology or upgrade that comes along, without risking the stability that IT works so hard to create.

Re:A Nightmare on One Microsoft Way (1)

kosmosik (654958) | more than 7 years ago | (#18210894)

> Did I mention I write web applications and I can only
> test them in IE6 and Firefox?

1. You can use something like VMWare Server and running it to test under different OSes/browsers etc. In fact that is what most people do.

2. I belive you can run IE7 without installing it. I've seen guides what you need to do make it work without actually installing it (just extracting files to your choosen folder, applying some patches on these files and it is it).

Re:A Nightmare on One Microsoft Way (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 7 years ago | (#18210920)

So what would scare Microsoft more? The fact that a government department isn't using it or the fact that many companies like mine are still writing stuff for the old software hence forcing our customers to stick with IE6 or any version of Firefox?
Or maybe all the DOT contractors who now won't be using Vista and IE7? It's not just a government department, it's all the companies that provide services to that department. Never mind the role government plays as an example for many businesses to follow wrt implementation.

E.g., if the not-so-adept[1] US government knows better than to install Vista and IE7, wtf would my company do so? What is the compelling case for implementing?

Did I mention I write web applications and I can only test them in IE6 and Firefox?

Sounds like your company doesn't know it's ass from a hole in the ground. Have you considered finding an employer who isn't shooting themselves in the foot?

[1] on an institutional level. Plenty of individuals are quite adept, but the LCD factor is pretty high in the US Gov.

Re:A Nightmare on One Microsoft Way (1)

ckaminski (82854) | more than 7 years ago | (#18211180)

the LCD factor is common everywhere dude.

Another Fortune 500 Company (1)

smellsofbikes (890263) | more than 7 years ago | (#18210922)

and our IT guy says "Vista adoption by the company is a minimum of two years out."

Re:A Nightmare on One Microsoft Way (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 7 years ago | (#18211014)

"Ok, so the Department of Transportation can't make a business case for it. Big deal. "
Oh yes it is.
The US government is Microsoft's biggest single customer.

Yea your company means a lot more than some the local hardware store to Microsoft but the US Government + it's contractors are far more important.
First the DOT next.... The DOD maybe?

Re:A Nightmare on One Microsoft Way (4, Interesting)

RetroGeek (206522) | more than 7 years ago | (#18211132)

Did I mention I write web applications and I can only test them in IE6 and Firefox?

Well I set up a machine specifically for IE7 testing. This is on an Intranet that is isolated from everything.

After IE7 started it wanted to connect to the MSN site. I waited until it timed out, then set the start page to "about:blank".

The next time IE7 started, it again wanted to connect to MSN. In fact it ALWAYS wants to connect to MSN, regardless of the blank page setting.

Annoying as hell, and what is it reporting to Microsoft that is so important (to Microsoft)?

Why not IE7? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18210482)

Vista and Office 2007 I can understand, but why not IE7? It's free. Apart from a slight learning curve for the new interface I don't see what the disadvantage is.

Re:Why not IE7? (2, Insightful)

diskis (221264) | more than 7 years ago | (#18210900)

Greetings from technical support.

Customer: "I cannot access internet/my bank/whatever"
Me: "Did you install IE7 recently?"
"Yup"
"Okay, use system restore. Here's a complimentary link to firefox."

They do not call again.

Re:Why not IE7? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18211044)

"...but why not IE7? It's free."

Is it? You're suppose to have purchased a OS license from Microsoft to get your "free" product. And like any good car salesman, you roll the cost of the accessories into the initial purchase price. And libre IE is not.

As a U.S. taxpayer ... (1)

LaughingCoder (914424) | more than 7 years ago | (#18210502)

I say "thank you" to the DOT. It's not often we catch a break.

does not compute! (4, Funny)

Denial93 (773403) | more than 7 years ago | (#18210504)

MS is bad!
But the government never does anything right!
But MS is bad!
But the government never does anything right!
But MS is bad!
But the government never does anything right!
*head explodes*

Re:does not compute! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18210632)

But the government never does anything right!

If the government did it right, they'd be using firefox.

Your head is still safe... for now.

Re:does not compute! (1)

FriendComputer (787127) | more than 7 years ago | (#18210852)

Perhaps if Vista came with a free Frogurt, they'd be more inclined to adopt?

Re:does not compute! (1)

spun (1352) | more than 7 years ago | (#18211020)

I have Ultraviolet clearance, and have been tasked by The Computer with tracking down cursed frogurt. Do you have form 114C-B79 verifying the uncursed status of that frogurt, citizen?

Microsoft software is rarely an upgrade (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18210514)

IE7 definitely is unless it breaks their intranet. As for Vista, it's already being widely acknowledged as a marketplace failure.

Re:Microsoft software is rarely an upgrade (1)

aldousd666 (640240) | more than 7 years ago | (#18210606)

Well it's an slow starter out of the gate. I haven't seen anyone say that it's a failure other than die hard linux folks. BUT most of what I do read is that you should not run out and buy it and DON'T upgrade an XP installation, but wait till you get it pre-installed on your next computer, because dealing with the hardware necessary, and lack of drivers etc, is more than your joe user wants to handle. I have one machine with vista on it, and it is clearly marked as working with vista, and sometimes the 'working' part isn't so clear... So, like I said, in 2 years we won't be talking about the failure of vista, but we might be talking about how it's finally getting to be the starndard. Remember XPSP2? everyone was saying for months that they were 'never going to sp2 because it broke too many things! and it made the sky start to fall if you sneezed or unplugged your computer during installation.' Ok, so I made that last bit up.

Re:Microsoft software is rarely an upgrade (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18210906)

There's no compelling reason for businesses to upgrade to Vista and many (ours included) will be upgrading from Win2k to Linux. That's a marketplace failure in my book.

Re:Microsoft software is rarely an upgrade (1)

bobcat7677 (561727) | more than 7 years ago | (#18211108)

Vista is a FAILURE! There, you have at least one person telling you its a failure that isn't a die hard Linux person. I cut my teeth on microsoft stuff and work for a Microsoft partner shop. I don't even run a Linux box anymore (though I did try it for a while). The few people I have heard from that said Vista is great were almost certainly paid by Microsoft to "voice their opinion" on the subject.

Submitter forgot the (0)

pair-a-noyd (594371) | more than 7 years ago | (#18210524)

haha tag

Why it's news (4, Insightful)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 7 years ago | (#18210528)

I'm sure some are wondering why this is news. The US government is Microsoft's biggest customer, by far. If many agencies cut back on Microsoft purchases it will hurt Microsoft a lot. I would imagine one department's decision may set a precedent for others. And even if not, many investors watch for government spending news when deciding Microsoft's stock value. So any change in government policy can have huge implications for Microsoft.

Other Policies (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18210544)

I think you'll also find a policy that says you can't install Linux on your desktop either.

Re:Other Policies (1)

plantman-the-womb-st (776722) | more than 7 years ago | (#18211164)

Actually no, you won't. I visited the local chamber of commerce recently to renew my license tabs and happened to notice something odd about the screen on the desk behind the counter. It was running the Gnome desktop, default Ubuntu themed. I asked them about it and they said their office switched in early 2006 to all Ubuntu desktops. They are a branch office of the WDOT by the way. Apparently the database that Washington state uses is PostgreSQL too.

Who'd a thunk?

Watch out! (1)

Ryan274 (1067758) | more than 7 years ago | (#18210572)

Here come the lobbyists. Who knows, maybe in Canada they can even manage to implement a Vista Tax on computer equipment, you know - to make up for all the lost revinue because of people using vista without paying for it (equivilant to the 15cent tax on all blank cd's that RIAA's lobbyists had imposed a few years ago)

Good policy (2, Insightful)

bugnuts (94678) | more than 7 years ago | (#18210578)

If you allow people to randomly upgrade their departments without considering the interactivity implications, you could inadvertently cause a major problem in a large government organization.

IMHO, it's a sound decision, and isn't a slap to microsoft at all. Everyone has to evaluate their own situation and upgrade if they feel it benefits them. Hell, having a win98 box (non-networked) and running a robot safely for the past 8 years is certainly safer than upgrading it. TFA was clearly biased, and made some idiotic remarks like "ZOMG, if the government doesn't buy vista, MS will go broke!" as if the millions of XP licenses are suddenly free.

So, hold all the "haha" tags, because a thorough evaluation of major upgrades on critical infrastructure makes some sense.

Re:Good policy (1)

toyotabedzrock (1070696) | more than 7 years ago | (#18211066)

I don't think it is sounds to not upgrade to IE7. I wanna know that at the very least they are using a browser more secure than IE6. And yes i know IE7 is no firefox or Opera but its better than nothing. It's not as if they have to pay for IE7. It also occurs to me this decision was made not by an IT person but someone who just happens to be in charge and most likely to old to accept change.

Re:Good policy (1)

Chosen Reject (842143) | more than 7 years ago | (#18211182)

I think the real issue people need to be looking at is not whether something is compatible, but why it isn't. Here's an idea, never tie your data to an application where it's at all possible. And if it is tied, but doesn't have to be, then change it right away. Also, if you're writing web apps, write according to standards, and if the browsers don't handle it, tell the browser makers to work on it. MS can get away with doing what they do because people will bow to them. If web developers stopped making hacks for IE and made it clear to their users on their web pages that the website doesn't work on IE because MS doesn't know what they're doing, then have a link to download a browser that works then MS would change their browser fast. But no, developers just bow down and take it, making their life ever harder. This isn't just aimed at MS, it's also for Mozilla and Opera and whoever else makes browsers.

People are locked into MS because they were stupid and shortsighted. Application Developers who write their software for an operating system can learn a lesson too. The data your app uses should be independent of the OS. That way if people want your software on Linux or Mac or *BSD or Solaris or Minix or whatever else they want, they can pay you to do that. Then people can have a choice for what they want to have as their OS. In fact, then the OS itself becomes what the OS should have always been, simply a layer between apps and the hardware and some other basic APIs.

avoid early adoption in production systems (5, Insightful)

davidwr (791652) | more than 7 years ago | (#18210590)

In general, businesses shouldn't be "early adopters" of any technology unless there's a compelling business reason. Any "early adoption" should be in testbed or non-critical environments.

I wish I could say "never upgrade without a compelling reason" but time marches on and lack of new software and the approaching end of vendor support can be very good reasons to stop using a product.

With that in mind, don't even consider using a Windows-based system unless it's been around 6 months UNLESS there is a very good reason, and strongly consider moving away from it at least 6 months before end-of-life.

Machines which are in special-purpose environments, such as machines which are not connected to any network, or which are adequately firewalled and whose connections with non-firewalled machines are heavily restricted, can continue to be used after end-of-life, but even these should be migrated to a vendor-supported environment or at least one where you have source code so you can fix problems yourself.

Re:avoid early adoption in production systems (2, Informative)

allscan (1030606) | more than 7 years ago | (#18210676)

Speaking of which, one of the main web applications I work on, for the US Gov't might I add, is still using Coldfusion 5. Talk about behind the times. We are only now upgrading to MX7.

LOL (1)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 7 years ago | (#18210596)

This'll last about 9 months.

Every time MS come out with a new version of Office or Windows, the CIOs throw wobblies sending out warnings that no-one is to upgrade and they're going to stick with the existing version. They really should know better, all it takes is one person, usually somewhere near the top to install the new version, particularly of Office and the whole organisation then has to upgrade. Way to engineer that network effect.

 

Re:LOL (2, Insightful)

Alchemar (720449) | more than 7 years ago | (#18210952)

You forgot a few steps...

Anyone's system breaks beyond economical repair. Must buy a new system. New system comes with Vista installed. Boss gets new system, subordinate gets bosses old system, because IT guy works for boss. Now boss sends out letter or email that has M$ new "enhanced" format of HTML or doc, and everyone has to upgrade.

I feel sorry for the guy who made this decision. (5, Insightful)

sehlat (180760) | more than 7 years ago | (#18210614)

Since he's clearly bent on saving taxpayer dollars by not climbing on the MSFT "rising license costs" escalator, the words he's going to be hearing soon are:

"Have you ever thought about what you'll do after government service?"

Re:I feel sorry for the guy who made this decision (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18211166)

Retire with a fat pension?

non-story (4, Insightful)

aapold (753705) | more than 7 years ago | (#18210642)

This is a non-story. It is perfectly normal for any organization to not adopt a new OS for a significant amount of time after it is released, years, even. There are enough things to harp on Vista without making things up and pretending they have significance...

Re:non-story (1)

Penguinshit (591885) | more than 7 years ago | (#18210736)

pssst: "Among the options the Transportation Department is weighing as a possible alternative or complement to Windows Vista are Novell's Suse Linux and, for a limited group of users, Apple's Macintosh hardware and software, he says."

This is not unusual (4, Insightful)

StewedSquirrel (574170) | more than 7 years ago | (#18210644)

It is very ordinary for a company (or government agency) to adopt a "wait and see" attitude toward new software. Most companies I've worked for will not install a new OS, new software, new firmware, new drivers or whatever until they've gone through at least one revision.

Recently because of Microsofts crappy handling of IE7 upgrades (flagging them as "critical updates"), we had a number of remote users on IE7 and our SSL VPN appliances simply would not work. I had to call a moritorium on upgrading to IE7 and deployed the Microsoft "prevent IE7 update" patch in order to stop these critical updates.

Then, I had to use early-release code for our Juniper VPN concentrator, which broke about half a dozen other things.... Finally, after a few weeks, new a firmware revision for the Juniper VPN came out which enabled me to get the box back to a stable state AND allow IE7 to be used.

But if we had simply called a "ban" on IE7 upgrades in the first place, it would have saved me a lot of headache and our company a lot of productivity.

This is not a "Microsoft sux" decision, but merely a business-case against early-release software that they would likely take whether it was Microsoft or Juniper or Cisco or Oracle or whatever...

Now, Microsoft's handling of the IE7 "critical update" bullcrap.... that falls clearly in the arena of "Microsoft sux".

Stew

What are the Reasons for not Upgrading to IE7? (4, Interesting)

jeevesbond (1066726) | more than 7 years ago | (#18210666)

I can think of one very big reason to upgrade to IE7 (unless Opera/Firefox is an option) and that's better web standards support. The web development community is going to drop support for IE6 very quickly (I give it approx. 6 months) because the standards support is so bad.

IE7 has a long way to go with this, but it's a massive improvement [msdn.com] over 6. It's not as if it costs any money, aside from bandwidth, to download it.

Obviously I would advise them to just use Opera or Firefox and switch to Linux while they're at it. But if that isn't an option they should at least take the free IE upgrade. The decision to not upgrade Office is a sound one though.

Re:What are the Reasons for not Upgrading to IE7? (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 7 years ago | (#18210790)

too new, too risky.
No large agency should be running ie7 for at least 18 months.

At that point evaluate it again.

Why not change the site to Slash-Microsoft? (1, Insightful)

LibertineR (591918) | more than 7 years ago | (#18210692)

What is happening to this forum? Keywords = "ha ha"?

WTF?

Thousands of companies have banned upgrades when new products come out that might break internal apps or include the need (and expense) of training users.

Why is this news?

When I see the headline: "NSA embrases Active X as a security standard, THEN it might have some news value. All these Bash-Microsoft threads only serve to remove cred from this forum, unless they contain some REAL NEWS or INFORMATION.

Bitches!

Re:Why not change the site to Slash-Microsoft? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18210986)

I second this, and the parent should not be modded troll. Unfortunately, I have to post anonymously because a lot of the moderators will mod down people who's opinions they do not agree with, and I like my karma.

Routine.. (4, Interesting)

joshetc (955226) | more than 7 years ago | (#18210730)

I work for DHS and we just migrated to XP / Office 2003. It is routine for government agencies (just about all major computer systems really) to wait a LONG time before upgrading.. Everyone already knew people wouldn't mass-migrate to Vista until at least SP1 was out...

am i the only one who initially thought... (1)

brunascle (994197) | more than 7 years ago | (#18210738)

why does the department of transportation have the authority to tell me what software i can and cant run?

Re:am i the only one who initially thought... (1)

PhilipMckrack (311145) | more than 7 years ago | (#18211034)

It's part of the Patriot Act, didn't you read it all?

One word... and punctuation... (1)

NIN1385 (760712) | more than 7 years ago | (#18210742)

GOOD!

It's not about the features sometimes (5, Insightful)

connorbd (151811) | more than 7 years ago | (#18210766)

I've heard of people saying "But I don't want version 5! I want you guys to make version 3 work the way it's supposed to!"

I really think a lot of nontechnical users couldn't care less about new features or redesigned interfaces -- what they've got works, and they don't want it messed with. So every time a software company adds a bunch of features or redesigns the interface, there's a good number of the user base that is going to be seriously ticked off because they have to retrain on all the new stuff.

Microsoft is one company that doesn't even come close to getting that. I've seen some of their smart house ideas for example -- their designs solve problems that people don't have to begin with. (Is anyone really in such a state that having the fridge track the RFID chips in your food packaging will improve things? Well, handicapped people and shut-ins, maybe, but for the vast majority of people it's overkill at best.)

I dunno. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18211114)

Is anyone really in such a state that having the fridge track the RFID chips in your food packaging will improve things? Well, handicapped people and shut-ins, maybe, but for the vast majority of people it's overkill at best.

You should see my fridge some time. I'm sure there's a cure for penicillin in there somewhere. And the RFID chip could help me track it down before it manages to crawl away.

Re:It's not about the features sometimes (1)

PhilipMckrack (311145) | more than 7 years ago | (#18211128)

(Is anyone really in such a state that having the fridge track the RFID chips in your food packaging will improve things? Well, handicapped people and shut-ins, maybe, but for the vast majority of people it's overkill at best.)


Right now? Absolutely not, but your kid's kids will probably press a 'restock' button on their fridge and have an order sent to them and not have to waste an hour or two of their lives every week in a grocery store buying the same milk, eggs, and bread they bought last week. This is one step closer to that. Lots of tech out there now are just baby steps to a greater goal.

Reason 1 ... we don't support this product now (1)

guysmilee (720583) | more than 7 years ago | (#18210778)

Reason 1 ... we don't support this product now

Re:Reason 1 ... we don't support this product now (1)

JustNiz (692889) | more than 7 years ago | (#18210864)

so?
If it already does what you need it to do, why worry about support?

shiFt (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18210798)

Every time someone posts a 'Vista sucks' story... (1)

DarkAudit (975261) | more than 7 years ago | (#18210820)

God kills a kitten. Please, think of the kittens.

Banned is too strong a word (1)

wsanders (114993) | more than 7 years ago | (#18210840)

"Banned" is too strong a term. It's an engineering decision.

Just say "Upgrading to Vista is about as appropriate as upgrading to a steam-powered ornithopter."

Dawinism... applied (2)

Seismologist (617169) | more than 7 years ago | (#18210904)

The Microsoft upgrade virus model explained:

1. Come out with new OS and release into the market environment.
2. Stop upgrading older OS versions and tell vendors they won't have drivers etc. approved.
3. Current OS gains foothold on market at a virulent rate, quashing older instances of the competition (the older OS version) and tout this slow but eventually exponential customer adoption a success.
4. Evolve OS into the next version and release into the same environment and repeat steps 2 & 3.
5. Market evolves sufficient antibodies to combat next version of the virulent OS and becomes more resistant to infection.
6. Current virus goes into lingering but still persists on weak hosts and certain vendor vectors.
7. Current virus reaches a marginal but stable equilibrium with its natural environment.

My, oh my... (1)

Eric Damron (553630) | more than 7 years ago | (#18210914)

"As the article says,'In a memo to his staff, DOT chief information officer Daniel Mintz says he has placed "an indefinite moratorium" on the upgrades as "there appears to be no compelling technical or business case for upgrading to these new Microsoft software products."

Daniel, Daniel, Daniel... You know your Boss's, Boss's, Boss is about to get "THE CALL" don't you?

Microsoft's standing on upgrading to Vista? (3, Interesting)

LoudMusic (199347) | more than 7 years ago | (#18210956)

Microsoft employs thousands of people as well - I wonder what their standing is on upgrading to Vista and associated products. Sure they get the software for free and the hardware for cheap, but it's still thousands of computers I bet they're replacing too.

And what's happening to all of these displaced PCs? Someone should build a cluster!

Ban? Hmmm.... (5, Insightful)

ksalter (1009029) | more than 7 years ago | (#18210982)

From the article:

Schmidt says the Transportation Department hasn't ruled out upgrading its computers to Windows Vista if all of its concerns about the new operating system -- the business version of which was launched late last year -- can be resolved. "We have more confidence in Microsoft than we would have 10 years ago," says Schmidt. "But it always makes sense to look at the security implications, the value back to the customer, and those kind of issues."
emphasis added

Funny how the positives from the articles aren't mentioned.

I also like the use of the word "ban", which doesn't appear anywhere in the memo. No negative implications with that word.

If you are going to bash someone, at least be a bit more subtle.

Nothing new here (1)

ADRA (37398) | more than 7 years ago | (#18210992)

Realistically, any decent sized organization will have the exact same policy written or not. The one thing that makes them special is that people found out about it. Give a few years, they'll have a migration strategy laid out and away they go.

Hopefully, that migration strategy won't be to Vista. One can dream...

Typo (1)

Aaren (995828) | more than 7 years ago | (#18211062)

Please remove the extra DOT from the title. That would really make my day.

That leaves DOT with other option. (1)

bakeman (564040) | more than 7 years ago | (#18211106)

Buy Windows XP and other Microsoft supported products. I don't see this as such a huge problem for Microsoft. At least DOT is investigating the possibility of using Vista in the enterprise. I'm guessing not so much for .
Give it 2 years and 2 service packs, and try again.

What's the big deal? (1)

My Iron Lung (834019) | more than 7 years ago | (#18211142)

I work for Environment Canada and our IT department is in no particular rush to let anyone use Vista yet either. Simply put, it's a brand new OS that may require training for employees, requires a whole lot of new policy to be created in Ottawa, requires a whole lot of software testing to make sure our government specific software doesn't break.. sure there's been a lot of time to test it, but the fact of the matter is, noone needs it just yet and it'd require a heck of a lot of hardware upgrading anyways. It took them a year just go rollout Service Pack 2 for XP to everyone. We've only just upgraded to Office 2003. And noone is allowed to have IE7 installed yet either.. or Firefox for that matter. That one I can't really justify. :)

No Office? (1)

L4m3rthanyou (1015323) | more than 7 years ago | (#18211158)

Vista I can understand, and IE7, I can understand... but Office? Why?

Granted it's a big expense, but Office 2007 is actually pretty nice... I can't ever remember having people tell me "Dude! the new Office is awesome!" for any previous version of MS Office. It's actually very much improved.

For all their faults, Microsoft can at least do three things right: Office, Visual Studio, and DirectX.
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