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Microsoft Responds to DOT Ban on Vista, Office, IE

samzenpus posted more than 7 years ago | from the words-words-words dept.

Microsoft 218

roscoetoon writes "From the blog of Mary Jo Foley: What's Microsoft's response to the DOT's charges? A corporate spokeswoman sent this statement, via e-mail: (caution: microbrain double-speak ahead) ... "We respect the customer's decision. As with any of our other Federal customers, it's our job to help DOT maximize the value of its Enterprise Agreement through the adoption of our technology. We are engaged with large, strategic customers across government at every level, and are working closely with them on these products through their participation in our Technical Adoption Programs.""

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218 comments

Dramatic improvements? (4, Insightful)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 7 years ago | (#18272584)

"Windows Vista, Office 2007, and IE7 are widely recognized by independent analysts to offer dramatic improvements in security, management features, new collaboration capabilities and productivity enhancements.
That's UAC, Ribbons & (still) broken CSS respectively ;-)

Re:Dramatic improvements? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18272692)

After the incident on Mars, I will never trust the UAC again.

Allow or Deny... (1, Funny)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 7 years ago | (#18272780)

"independent analysts to offer dramatic improvements in security"
Allow or Deny?

That, I guess is the new 'Abort, Retry or Fail?'.

Re:Allow or Deny... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18272882)

In the old days I saw some edited command.com files.

'Abortion, Retch, or Vomit?'

'AAAAAAAAAUUUUUUUGGGGGHHH!!'

Re:Dramatic improvements? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18272824)

Speaking as one of the CIO's in attendance at that event, I was not impressed. Seeing windows try to look like a mac is a wonderful step forward as they embrace the user instead of the function but the UAC is just ridiculous. I can bet less than 20% of our employees will even look at those popups before clicking on anything that makes it go away.

Watch out (5, Funny)

Simple-Simmian (710342) | more than 7 years ago | (#18272652)

That's pr speak for we are going to Congress and MAKE you buy it little man!

Re:Watch out (4, Funny)

CityZen (464761) | more than 7 years ago | (#18272764)

Alternate versions:

-We're going to make them an offer they can't refuse.

-Once you join the family, you can never leave.

Re:Watch out (4, Insightful)

theshowmecanuck (703852) | more than 7 years ago | (#18273520)

I'm not sure if anyone should have marked this funny. It seems so close to what is likely to happen that it should be marked insightful (but only because there is no category titled "scary as hell").

Re:Watch out (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18273550)

I didn't, but was in the minority

Really? (5, Insightful)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 7 years ago | (#18272670)

FTFA: "Windows Vista, Office 2007, and IE7 are widely recognized by independent analysts to offer dramatic improvements in security, management features, new collaboration capabilities and productivity enhancements. Ultimately we think we can help DOT understand how these products can help its enterprise organization.

Q: When did MS start using truly independent analysts? Would that part of the statement be necessary if they had no reputation for using paid shills?

FTFA: "As DOT goes through the natural process of exploring the new capabilities of these products we expect they will continue to embrace Windows and Office as the departmental standard of DOT.

Q: Doesn't she mean that "they will eventually be forced to once again drink the koolaid?"

FTFA: "Overall our government customers are excited about the technology as well as our product pipeline.

Q: Does anyone else remember that old Chinese curse? "May your life be exciting!"

FTFA: Just last week more than 500 Public Sector CIOs from across the country joined us for our annual US Public Sector CIO Summit.

- 500 guests for free food and drink and hopefully cheaper software != 500 new customers.

FTFA: The Summit offered these CIOs to see firsthand how Microsoft is working to be a strategic partner to government and educational institutions of every size."

- They obviously didn't spend much time on all the govt. agencies, schools, even countries that are not interested in using MS products anymore. A sales pitch is a sales pitch. I hope they got some good swag!

Re:Really? (1)

glittalogik (837604) | more than 7 years ago | (#18272812)

Did Microsoft actually SAY anything? It looks like they just used some words in public.

As an offtopic aside, the most commonly accepted form I've heard of the 'curse' is: "May you live in interesting times, and attract the attention of important people." It doesn't appear to actually be of Chinese origin, and the earliest known reference was in a 1950's sci fi magazine.

Re:Really? (5, Interesting)

JohnnyGTO (102952) | more than 7 years ago | (#18273228)

I think thats "May you live in interesting times."

In a speech in Cape Town, South Africa, on June 7, 1966, Robert F. Kennedy said, "There is a Chinese curse which says, "May he live in interesting times." Like it or not, we live in interesting times..." Journalists picked up the phrase and it has become a commonplace.

However, the popularity of this "Chinese curse" puzzles Chinese scholars, who have only heard it from Americans. If it is of Chinese origin, it has somehow escaped the literature, although it may be a paraphrase of a liberal translation from a Chinese source, and therefore unrecognizable when translated back to Chinese. It might be related to the Chinese proverb, "It's better to be a dog in a peaceful time than be a man in a chaotic period."

Stephen DeLong, who has been researching this quotation for several years and details his quest on his own website, has traced the quotation back to a 1950 science fiction story: "U-Turn" by Duncan H. Munro, a pseudonym for Eric Frank Russell.

Re:Really? (1)

bane2571 (1024309) | more than 7 years ago | (#18273492)

Q: When did MS start using truly independent analysts? Would that part of the statement be necessary if they had no reputation for using paid shills?

No, I think they mean analysts that don't already hate MS for what they are, what they do or the software that everyone is basicly stuck with because of them.

You know, I'll bet they had a damn hard time find those analysts

Re:Really? (1, Troll)

Stephen Samuel (106962) | more than 7 years ago | (#18273546)

Q: When did MS start using truly independent analysts? Would that part of the statement be necessary if they had no reputation for using paid shills?
You obviously aren't using the MS definition of "independent". It's the industry standard, you know.

Q: Doesn't she mean that "they will eventually be forced to once again drink the koolaid?"
Just like most other Open Source Long Haired Smellies(tm).. there you go violating other people's trademarks again.

Q: Does anyone else remember that old Chinese curse? "May your life be exciting!"
Exciting and very, very pretty. Just sign here on the dotted line, and you'll have all the excitement you'll ever want.

- 500 guests for free food and drink and hopefully cheaper software != 500 new customers.
450 new customers, and 50 shills. (oops! did I say that out loud?)

- They obviously didn't spend much time on all the govt. agencies, schools, even countries that are not interested in using MS products anymore. A sales pitch is a sales pitch. I hope they got some good swag!
As much as it takes. We don't have billions of dollars for nothing, you know.

Re:Really? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18273548)

Q: Does anyone else remember that old Chinese curse? "May your life be exciting!"

There is no Chinese curse that goes that way. Nor one that says, "may you live in interesting times." Some think it actually comes from a sci-fi story written in the 1950s.

Translation... (5, Insightful)

doormat (63648) | more than 7 years ago | (#18272672)

We got their money because they're on a subscription. So we really dont care what they do. Random PR speak about how great our stuff is anyways.

Re:Translation... (4, Insightful)

cmacb (547347) | more than 7 years ago | (#18272972)

Alternate translation:

"it's our job to help DOT maximize the value of its Enterprise Agreement through the adoption of our technology. We are engaged with large, strategic customers across government at every level,"

really means:

It's our job to sabotage this in any way possible, but we haven't adopted a strategy just yet. If necessary we will go to your boss, or your boss's boss, including, if necessary our many opportunities to influence the law in our favor.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB117328195388829568 .html?mod=djemTECH [wsj.com]

Another alternative translation (1)

jd (1658) | more than 7 years ago | (#18273192)

"The Federal budget probably goes through our software. Hell, the DoT's bank probably uses our software, as do all of the archiving services that track DoT's backup tapes, the DoT's leased-line providers, the DoT's managers' home computers, the DoT's managers' children's school computers... If the DoT knows what's good for it, it will obey without question every instruction we give them on what to buy and when to buy it. Money is to be in used notes, have non-consecutive serial numbers and be deposited in the large skip marked "blackmail payments" parked on the front lawn."

Buzzword Bingo (3, Funny)

Ctrl+Alt+De1337 (837964) | more than 7 years ago | (#18272688)

...it's our job to help DOT maximize the value of its Enterprise Agreement through the adoption of our technology. We are engaged with large, strategic customers across government at every level, and are working closely with them on these products through their participation in our Technical Adoption Programs.

Um, Mrs. Foley? Bingo, ma'am.

with apologies to Scott Adams

Nauseated... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18272702)

Well, I'm sick now.

UAC (1)

heyyou_overhere (1070428) | more than 7 years ago | (#18272708)

is why we need daylight savings

Re:UAC (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 7 years ago | (#18272900)

When the company I worked for implemented the DST patch for Outlook without thoroughly testing the impact that users would experienced (the cure turned out to be worse), the IT department laid the blame where it truly belongs in a email sent out to everyone: "President Bush has recently changed the Daylight Savings Time..."

Enterprise Agreement means..... (0, Flamebait)

LibertineR (591918) | more than 7 years ago | (#18272746)

.....fuck you, bitches. We've already spent your money, and you WILL give us more of it, or one day, when your GPOs start acting up, we will give you the phone number to Geico, and wish you luck....

Well... (5, Interesting)

7of7 (956694) | more than 7 years ago | (#18272754)

Actually for anyone who's actually tried Vista and Office 2k7 it is clear that there are massive improvements in security, stability, and most importantly ease of use. I haven't shut down my Vista box since I installed it almost 2 months ago and it's still snappy even on a Pentium M with 1GB of RAM. What's more important is that the intuitive interface and time saving features such as searching and sorting significantly decrease the time spent mucking around with the OS and leave you to do your work. As such Vista would have a huge impact in increasing productivity not only through its stability but through the amount someone can get done with it relative to XP, its only real competition. Further, Office 2k7 has similar improvements which allow you to get more things done quicker. Instead of digging blindly through cascading menus the things you need most are there on the ribbon when you need them. The instant preview feature means less guesswork when applying formatting. There are scores of other usability improvements that in total allow me to save a significant amount of time. As a bonus it loads and runs much quicker than OO.o ever did on the same box in Ubuntu. Those are simple facts. Those people claiming Vista and Office 2k7 are somehow not ready for the big time are sadly mistaken and perhaps shouldn't be in charge of making decisions when their decisions will amount to their companies and governments missing the opportunity to dramatically increase their productivity.

Re:Well... (5, Funny)

heyyou_overhere (1070428) | more than 7 years ago | (#18272788)

I have also been running vista for two months straight without restarting it. Office 2007 runs great on my computer, and I am especially impressed by the ri- Oooh look! A shiny coin!

Re:Well... (2, Funny)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 7 years ago | (#18272796)

I haven't shut down my Vista box since I installed it almost 2 months ago and it's still snappy even on a Pentium M with 1GB of RAM.
Probably because it won't let you. Next time, try saying "Master, May I?"

Re:Well... (0, Flamebait)

Taelron (1046946) | more than 7 years ago | (#18272810)

Aww, look, Microsoft Marketting people do read Slashdot...

When Dual core Xeon 5130 machines with 3gb of ram cant get a higher than a 3.1 Vista rating, (at MS's own launch day event), I dont a Pentium M with 1gb is running any better.

And yes, I was at the Launch event for Vista and tested it out on 10 different machines provided and everyone one of them dragged.

Re:Well... (4, Interesting)

anomalous cohort (704239) | more than 7 years ago | (#18272814)

anyone who's actually tried Vista and Office 2k7 it is clear that there are massive improvements in security, stability, and most importantly ease of use

I, personally, believe that menus improve ease of use on a windowing application. Many menus appear to be either removed or cleverly hidden in Vista, IE7, and Office 2k7.

Re:Well... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18272842)

It has been discovered through independent focus groups that Microsoft(TM) Vista is superior to all existing or previous operating systems. We have performed experiments on captive test subjects in a head to head comparison of Win 3.1, Minix, OS/8 and other dominant, advanced, operating environments. Our expert Psychologists and pathologists performed pre amd post-mortem evaluation and have show that Vista causes 12% less brain damage than PCP abuse.

Soooo... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18272928)

...whatcha gonna do with your free laptop? Want a link to the latest Ubuntu .ISO?

Well...Predictable. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18272966)

I have a $100 that says someone is going to call you a shill before this story drops out of sight.

Re:Well... (4, Interesting)

_merlin (160982) | more than 7 years ago | (#18273016)

You're a troll, but I'll bite.

Actually for anyone who's actually tried Vista and Office 2k7 it is clear that there are massive improvements in security, stability, and most importantly ease of use.

Straight out ridiculous assertion. I use it because I have to for compatibility testing at work. It is anything but easier to use. MS had it right as close to right as they ever have with 2003 server. Now they've moved everything around for no good reason in Vista, so we have to re-learn everything. Some things are just silly now, including, but limited to:

  • Some menus drop down and some expand to the right, which is inconsistent. Also, the ones that expand to the right obscure the titles of other menus, making it harder to navigate.
  • Some menu bars are above toolbars and some are below. Irritating inconsistency.
  • Some explorer windows have no titles, so you can't tell what they are when they're minimised.
  • Control panels have been renamed for no good reason making them harder to find.
  • Many views have less empty space, making them look "busy" or "crowded" and harder to find things.
  • Supplied desktop pictures all cause eyestrain after extended use.

I haven't shut down my Vista box since I installed it almost 2 months ago and it's still snappy even on a Pentium M with 1GB of RAM.

People said the same things about XP. Anecdotes then are the same as anecdotes now. Just because it's been stable for you means nothing. You haven't said what you actually do with the machine.

What's more important is that the intuitive interface and time saving features such as searching and sorting significantly decrease the time spent mucking around with the OS and leave you to do your work.

Searching the start menu is only a huge time-saver in Vista because they've made it completely impractical to use with a mouse. Instead of thinking about improving the start menu, they crippled it and added a search box as compensation. See my previous comments about dubious UI "improvements".

As such Vista would have a huge impact in increasing productivity not only through its stability but through the amount someone can get done with it relative to XP, its only real competition.

See above for my comments on stability and usability. Also, Mac OS X, Linux, Solaris and to a lesser extent, AIX are all very real competition. At home I have no Windows PCs. All Mac and Sun, and I'm very happy with them. At work I have a Windows PC for compiling and testing. For everything else (including editing source code that's compiled on the PC), I have Macs.

Further, Office 2k7 has similar improvements which allow you to get more things done quicker. Instead of digging blindly through cascading menus the things you need most are there on the ribbon when you need them. The instant preview feature means less guesswork when applying formatting. There are scores of other usability improvements that in total allow me to save a significant amount of time.

I haven't used it enough to comment on this, but if it's anything like the "improvements" in Vista, it probably makes life harder.

As a bonus it loads and runs much quicker than OO.o ever did on the same box in Ubuntu. Those are simple facts.

You have a point there. OO.o is bloated and slow. Thing is, I never need most of office or OO.o - HTML and LaTeX/PDF are better for 90% of tasks. I do however use Visio a bit.

Those people claiming Vista and Office 2k7 are somehow not ready for the big time are sadly mistaken and perhaps shouldn't be in charge of making decisions when their decisions will amount to their companies and governments missing the opportunity to dramatically increase their productivity.

Another ridiculous assertion.

Think about this for a moment: Sun Microsystems banned word processors and presentation programs in many of their divisions in 2000. They told employees to use text editors and use HTML if they needed formatting. They saw a 30% rise in productivity. Office suites reduce productivity because the users are fooling around with presentation when they should be tinking about content.

Re:Well... (3, Funny)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 7 years ago | (#18273196)

Quite your complaining.

Did I mention Novell and GPLv3 recently?

That should keep you busy for a while.

Re:Well... (2, Insightful)

drsmithy (35869) | more than 7 years ago | (#18273216)

See above for my comments on stability and usability. Also, Mac OS X, Linux, Solaris and to a lesser extent, AIX are all very real competition.

Now you're just trolling. In what market of any consequence (or inconsequence for that matter) are Solaris and AIX (AIX, for fuck's sake) competitors for Windows Vista ?

Think about this for a moment: Sun Microsystems banned word processors and presentation programs in many of their divisions in 2000. They told employees to use text editors and use HTML if they needed formatting. They saw a 30% rise in productivity. Office suites reduce productivity because the users are fooling around with presentation when they should be tinking about content.

Link ?

Re:Well... (4, Informative)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 7 years ago | (#18273660)

http://www.acs.org.au/president/1996/atm/npc/im961 009.htm [acs.org.au]

National Press Club - IM Forum
Speaker: Mr Scott McNealy
President Sun Microsystems
Wednesday, 9 October 1996

"The second big investment is to upgrade your PC. I don't have any reason why we would want to do that, but, think about it - do we really need more spreadsheets? Do we really need more word processors? I just S we did a survey at Sun. We had 12.9 gigabytes of Powerpoint slides in storage on our disk drives. Ha ha ha. It freaks me out just to think about. Do you how many person sentries that is? Of clip-art manipulations? I banned Powerpoint from our company - I just edicted it."

Earlier in that article, he mentions how he's only ever used word processors with four features: "backspace, delete, cut and paste and print"

http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G1-19294279.html [encyclopedia.com]
Chief Executive Magazine
Date: 3/1/1997
Computing's second Punic war.
(interview with Sun Microsystems CEO Scott McNealy)

"Personally, I got so frustrated with clip art and presentation graphics that I banned Power Point from our company 10 months ago. Our earnings have skyrocketed and our stock price has nearly doubled since that time. I have seen absolutely nothing but productivity gained by banning word processors with more than four features and Power Point-like graphics, or presentations graphics programs."

Re:Well... (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 7 years ago | (#18274048)

"Earlier in that article, he mentions how he's only ever used word processors with four features: "backspace, delete, cut and paste and print"

...and then goes on to prove it...

"Do you how many person sentries that is?"

Re:Well... (1)

Stevecrox (962208) | more than 7 years ago | (#18274044)

The parent sounds alot like a shill (lots marketing speak) but for the most part I do agree with the parent my PC has not been 'shut down' for two weeks it just goes in and out of hibernation mode quite happily. Xp wouldn't let it hibernate, so this 'new' function is great for me. The desktop backgrounds cause eyestrain? Are you just grasping at straws? Apart from getting the light Auras and the black and white photos with vista most of the wallpapers are pretty similar to the older XP ones, perhaps you want a plain green background like 95?

Yes Ribbons are different, as are the placing of some files but if you ignore what XP has taught you and try to look objectivily at some of the changes, then you'll see they make sense. I haven't seen the menu issue your talking about or the explorer window name bug you discuss so I can't comment there. Things like the Start Bar, Ribbons and IE7 do take a little getting used to but, I've found after a week something clicked and I've found myself really liking all of those things and being quicker at what I'm doing and Ribbons have made me a more 'powerfull'* user.

I really am getting tired of poor M$ FUD, there are problems in vista like the network setup is more complicated, the UAC isn't inteligent enough and the fact that video/audio drivers have to support a DRM layer, oh and the MS Word 2007 Equation editor is a pain in the butt to use when compared to Word 2003's. Its like people aren't even trying anymore and just attacking MS for the first thing they see thats different "OMG theres this folder on the start menu with the word games on it! They stole that from [insert obscure OS of choice]"

*I loathe terms like 'power user' normally but ribbons have lead to me finding features in MS Office that have been there for years and actually improved the look of my university work differentiated it from the masses and taken less time to do!

Re:Well... (0, Redundant)

freedom_india (780002) | more than 7 years ago | (#18273020)

Steve, is that you? I recognized your "patient" explanation. NO, NO WAIT... don;t throw that teak chair....

Re:Well... (2, Informative)

trix7117 (835907) | more than 7 years ago | (#18273028)

While I'm still pushing anyone who asks my opinion towards OS X instead of Vista, I do agree that Vista/Office 2007 are improvements on XP/2003 (assuming you're system can handle the Vista system requirements). I received a copy of Office 2007 at a recent MS launch event and am happy with it. However, there is a definite learning curve for people who are used to using XP.

Today I watched a co-worker spend 15 minutes (no exaggeration) trying to figure out how to print a Word document (I finally showed him). Just for fun, we asked his office mate to try, and after 5 minutes of searching (again, no exaggeration) he eventually found the Print Preview function and used that to print. Neither one of them ever thought to click on the logo in the upper-left corner of the application. They both are so used to double-clicking that corner to close an application that it never occurred to them to look there for common functions like print.

Re:Well... (3, Interesting)

jeevesbond (1066726) | more than 7 years ago | (#18273084)

Was the labotomy painful?

Perhaps you'd care to read an article [it-enquirer.com] on how Vista is less intuitive than previous versions? Perhaps a simple Google search [google.com] would sway your opinion on Vista being slow? What about one of the countless articles on the net advising that Office 2007 has no added value [itwire.com.au], just a steep learning curve?

No? Didn't think so.

The reason, Mr Shill (and I hope you're getting paid for this), all these companies are refusing to upgrade is that all this won't actually give them any greater functionality, or improve their workflow (due to the learning curve). Especially when you take into consideration how much this software [amazon.com] costs [amazon.com]! Even considering the heavy discounts these organisations will doubtless get, Microsoft should not expect money for nothing.

OpenOffice might be bloated, but at least it uses a file format that's open and supported by many other office suites. Unlike that binary bilge Microsoft keep peddling and trying to force through standards agencies. My hope is that the DOT realise that before they get labotomised and start speaking like Microsoft drones: 'in order to leverage interoperable cross-markets, we're standardising on Microsoft Bullshit Ultimate Shill Server Lazy-Wanking-Bastards Edition'.

Re:Well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18273180)

*sigh* The word you're searching for is lobotimize [reference.com].

Re:Well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18273288)

*sigh* The word you're searching for is lobotimize.
*sigh* not when using British English, otherwise known as Standard or Queens English. Cunt.

Re:Well... (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 7 years ago | (#18273222)

You do remeber all those Total Cost of Ownership studies that microsoft flipped around a while back to show us that switching to linix is more expensive then staying with windows?

Well, The vista upgrade will equalize everything and possibly place linux in the value side now (hardware performance). Expect microsoft to do a lot more then this. (seen anything about novell and the GPLv3 lately? I wonder why)

Astroturf? (1)

BillGatesLoveChild (1046184) | more than 7 years ago | (#18273094)

> You forgot "Copywrite 2007, Microsoft Corporation Inc. All rights reserved"

I started to wonder about that, and checked 7of7's journal. All I found was this:

"Well, I've have the newest flight of Dapper for a while now. This time I'm making a concerted effort to try and use it for an extended period of time. They recommend that it not be used as a primary desktop and I can see why. There are some serious problems. ... All the variants of Linux seem very promising at first, but they just keep coming up with ways to disappoint. Someday I hope Linux will become a stable enough system to use on an everyday basis. Until then I'll be more than happy to use XP or Vista."
http://slashdot.org/~7of7/journal/ [slashdot.org]

In isolation could be a fair comment, but given the unequivocal praise for Vista, I smell the polymers of thick green Made-in-Seattle Astroturf.

Re:Astroturf? (-1, Flamebait)

drsmithy (35869) | more than 7 years ago | (#18273252)

in isolation could be a fair comment, but given the unequivocal praise for Vista, I smell the polymers of thick green Made-in-Seattle Astroturf.

Sadly, this sort of closed-mindedness is fairly typical of Slashdot posters.

Re:Astroturf? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18273484)

Nothing real world is perfect.

Anytime somebody on the net unequivocally praises something, or has only strawman objections, odds on its a lying marketing asshole.

Re:Well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18273188)

"Those people claiming Vista and Office 2k7 are somehow not ready for the big time are sadly mistaken and perhaps shouldn't be in charge of making decisions when their decisions will amount to their companies and governments missing the opportunity to dramatically increase their productivity."

Um, maybe these are not the primary reasons for dumping Microsoft. I guess you never had to spend money and effort to unlock your intellectual property from someone else's? Maybe you want to be free from a software vendor controlling your IT costs? Maybe you want to archive your data?

Dude, you don't need to sell Microsoft's products for them. They do fine on their own. Or do you feel that if everybody is not using what you're using somehow the world is not complete! Diversity, man, embrace it!
       

Re:Well... (2)

speculatrix (678524) | more than 7 years ago | (#18273278)

he intuitive interface and time saving features such as searching and sorting significantly decrease the time spent mucking around with the OS

didn't a recent study find that Vista was less productive than XP? And wasn't XP supposed to be more secure, better and easier to use than 2000?

I think Vista might be more *fun* to use than XP, which in turn had more visual toys than 2000. Even if it were a bit more productive than XP, most competent staff and managers are about as productive as they can ever be anyway in word processing, powerpointing and email, but it there would be a decrease in productivity of IT Support staff for quite a while commissioning new systems and getting users up to speed, let alone the costs of more powerful computers and the electricity to power them.

Re:Well... (4, Interesting)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 7 years ago | (#18273354)

Implementing new software (and let's be blunt, new hardware) for critical applications without adequately testing it would be nuts. What's more, governments have these things called budgets, and the hardware demands of Vista likely mean busting it, for little in perceived benefit. I mean really here. What does Vista or Office 2007 offer that's so wonderful that a manager is going to blow his budget and risk the stability of his existing systems?

Beyond that, this is not the wonderous positive message I'm getting from those who are heavily into MS. They're telling me there's no compelling reason to upgrade, and that the risks of incompatibilities with existing software is still very much real. As a general policy, most IT departments I know err on the side of caution, waiting at least until the first service pack before rolling out the upgrades. As well, where a substantial reinvestment in hardware (upgrades and replacement) is required, I can well imagine many managers are going to say no way. Let's not even talk about licensing costs.

Re:Well... (4, Interesting)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | more than 7 years ago | (#18273366)

As much as I dislike Microsoft- I dislike Slashdot's scummy moderating other times.

This guy has as much right to express his opinion as anyone and it's shitty and cowardly to mod him down just because he's pro-microsoft.

I personally am happy with OOO2.1 which finally loads my most complicated documents and I can see the day that I leave microsoft behind entirely approaching rapidly.

I mean -- come on-- $1300 for full office- maybe $200 for the "discount"- with vendor lock-in by microsoft and a stated preference that they want to go to software as service in the future.

Compared to ... $000 for the full OOO and $0 for the discounted version and it will continue to be free in the future. AND my bloody documents in OOO are about 1MB smaller on average than in Word 2003.

Re:Well... (1)

caluml (551744) | more than 7 years ago | (#18274014)

I dislike Slashdot's scummy moderating other times.

I don't think the fault lies with the moderating system. I think it lies with the moderators.
Do you get mod points every now and then? Trawl through the -1 nonsense to check that nothing of value has been dropped? I tried it. But it's like searching sewers full of - well, sewage - for a nice sandwich that you want to eat. It's just not worth it.
Too often though, people use moderating to indicate if they agree or not.

Re:Well... (2, Insightful)

haraldm (643017) | more than 7 years ago | (#18273732)

Further, Office 2k7 has similar improvements which allow you to get more things done quicker.


I have been waiting for this to happen since I used Word 5.5 on DOS. With every release, M$ have been promising "this time, we did it right", and Word 2003 just doesn't cut it. Most of the time when I open a .doc file, it sits and does obscure things before showing me the document, independent on how small the file is. I'm currently working on a 24-page document with 3 or 4 embedded PNG images, and scrolling through the document is plain annoying. This is on XP Pro SP2 on a Thinkpad T43 with a 1.6 GHz Pentium M with 1 GB of RAM. Hello?

So far, nothing to write home about.

Re:Well... (1)

Weirsbaski (585954) | more than 7 years ago | (#18274062)

Actually for anyone who's actually tried Vista and Office 2k7 it is clear that there are massive improvements in security, stability, and most importantly ease of use.

So you're saying the previous versions were massively worse than they needed to be in security, stability, and ease of use?

Who wants to buy something from a company with a history of shipping product that's massively worse than it needs to be?

DOT Ban? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18272774)

Is dotBan the alternative to dotNet?

my tax dollars hard at work... (-1, Troll)

Bananatree3 (872975) | more than 7 years ago | (#18272786)

personally, I'd rather not see excess money spent on Micro$$oft Vi$ta. (notice my emphasis on $$$?). The DOT doesn't need Office 2007 Plus Ultra Deluxe to print worksheets. Nor is there really any advantage buying new computers to run Vista Aero, just to be "up to date".

Cross pollination "policy" (1)

LinDVD (986467) | more than 7 years ago | (#18272840)

Many branches of the US Federal Government have former Microsoft employees in strategic places and vice versa, so it's one way that Microsoft keeps close watch on their bigger US Federal Government accounts (like the Navy).

That being said, there are some US Federal Government accounts that are tightly integrated with Microsoft products, and there are others who may not even use Microsoft products obviously. Workstations and servers are often upgraded in groups, but not all at once. For some US Federal Government accounts, they'll still upgrade to Windows Vista in a year or two (or maybe three) from now when all of their workstations meet the minimum requirements for Windows Vista, but many of them have group policy enabled to turn off the "Aeroglass" interface.

In other words... (4, Funny)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | more than 7 years ago | (#18272852)

...it's our job to help DOT maximize the value of its Enterprise Agreement through the adoption of our technology...

We are Microsoft. Lower your Firewalls and surrender your systems. We will add your cultural and technological distinctiveness to our own. Your IT departments will adapt to service us.

Resistance is futile.

Re:In other words... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18273086)

Ah, you beat me to that one. But I have another:

"I have maximized the value of our Enterprise Agreement. Pray I do not maximize it further."

Re:In other words... (2, Funny)

tehSpork (1000190) | more than 7 years ago | (#18273736)

"This deal just keeps getting worse all the time."

"Attention! This is Lando Calrissian, Microsoft has taken control of the city. I advise everyone to leave the city before more copies of Vista arrive."

In other worlds... (1)

Alwin Henseler (640539) | more than 7 years ago | (#18273422)

Carrier anomaly detected...

Don't think you are safe, know you are. There is no Micro$oft. There is only The One (tm) free operating system. Once you have learned enough, you won't have to dodge viruses and software bugs anymore. Inside the Wintel, they are everywhere, and you are nowhere.

Even Intel is waiting on Vista SP1 (5, Interesting)

Taelron (1046946) | more than 7 years ago | (#18272870)

Heck, even Intel, whom Microsoft laudes as a partner in embracing Vista has publicly stated that they, as a corporation, will not even install Vista on their computers until after SP1 is released... So now you have a technology partner publicly stating they wont be so quick to upgrade either... http://www.reghardware.co.uk/2007/03/07/intel_wati ng_to_go_vista/ [reghardware.co.uk]

Re:Even Intel is waiting on Vista SP1 (1)

Afecks (899057) | more than 7 years ago | (#18273266)

That's kind of ironic since adoption of Vista means more people needing newer processors which means more business for Intel. However, since this is coming from the Register, I'll have to assume that they were making the decision based on an IT stand point and not a marketing stand point. That just gives more credibility to the decision.

***WARNING PERSONAL OPINIONS AHEAD***

Speaking as a Vista owner, unless you're building a new PC from scratch with hardware that says "Vista capable" on the box, forget it. Upgrading from XP is like playing russian roulette. Unless you have a dual-core, at least 2GB ram, high end video card and a TV tuner there's not even a reason to upgrade. You're just getting a buggier version of XP. If however you do have a high-end system then it is very sweet. Every time I use Vista Media Center I'm impressed. Aero is just beautiful. It was hard to bite the bullet and give up my Windows standard theme. Now that I have though it makes OS X look like an afterthought. Just like we have the endless "is Linux ready for the desktop" articles we can now look forward to "is Vista ready for the workstation" articles. Wee!

Re:Even Intel is waiting on Vista SP1 (1)

Stephen Samuel (106962) | more than 7 years ago | (#18273466)

That's kind of ironic since adoption of Vista means more people needing newer processors which means more business for Intel.
It's one thing to eat your own dog food.

It's another thing, entirely, to eat someone else's dog food when it's gone bad.

Re:Even Intel is waiting on Vista SP1 (2, Interesting)

rbanffy (584143) | more than 7 years ago | (#18273506)

"It was hard to bite the bullet and give up my Windows standard theme. Now that I have though it makes OS X look like an afterthought."

Are sure you ever used a Mac before?

Well... I have. My main computer runs Linux and Gnome, but sitting next to it is an iMac running 10.4 and I can tell you every little bit of it transpires the attention Apple pays to detail. From the extreme elegance of Exposé and the graceful way it solves the ages-long problem of having too many windows - to the minimalism of the screen savers, everything is in the right place. It sure is not a computer for everyone, but for those who appreciate fine things, it's next to unbeatable.

On the other hand, everything in Vista screams "me too!". They are so desperate to look cool that it makes me feel uncomfortable. I tried Vista up to the final version and each and every time I felt less productive than I am under XP, so, the Windows box here will continue running XP.

Too bad X support under OSX is not stellar and there is no decent package manager that can take care of the whole system.

Re:Even Intel is waiting on Vista SP1 (1)

Afecks (899057) | more than 7 years ago | (#18273592)

Are sure you ever used a Mac before?

Yes I'm sure. I have one for testing purposes. I've seen transparency but what Aero does is almost like this glass effect [wikipedia.org]. It's the best eye candy on any desktop I've seen yet. For whatever that's worth.

Re:Even Intel is waiting on Vista SP1 (2, Insightful)

FractalZone (950570) | more than 7 years ago | (#18273292)

Heck, even Intel, whom Microsoft laudes as a partner in embracing Vista has publicly stated that they, as a corporation, will not even install Vista on their computers until after SP1 is released...

Intel has been around longer than Micro$loth. Intel has been truly technologically innovative at several times --- something Micro$loth has never really accomplished often. M$ is desperate to have its buggy bloatware bundled on all new x86/x64 platforms from major vendors, and has been trying hard to distance itself from specific hardware platforms via MSIL produced by its latest compilers such as VB and C#. All Intel/AMD need to due to put a major hurt on M$ is to release a new CPU spec that offers significant performance/feature improvements but does not cater to M$'s MSIL scheme. In other words, it is possible to design a CPU/GPU combo that works best when apps deal with it at the bare metal level as opposed to some crappy, contrived M$ level. I wonder if some flavor of Linux will get big enough to cause development of such a non-x86 chip set that is nonetheless capable of emulating x86 processors at reasonable speed.

If Intel/AMD could convince the Dells, HPs/Compaqs, Gateways of the world that they have a free OS & major app solution that does not involve Micro$loth, but produces as good or better real world business results using FOSS, M$ would be SOL. That would be a Good Thing(tm)!

It is easy to design good hardware that M$ buggy bloatware won't work with well, but that supports Linux/Unix extremely well -- just optimize the CPU/GPU in a way that .NET was never designed for. M$ would take another decade to catch/buy up the tech it needed to stay competitive.

Re:Even Intel is waiting on Vista SP1 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18273398)

Learn two fucking $pell.

Re:Even Intel is waiting on Vista SP1 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18273456)

Wow, you are really clueless.

lol captcha: abandon. As in, what should be done to ./ because of losers like you.

Translation (1)

Joebert (946227) | more than 7 years ago | (#18272920)

(caution: microbrain double-speak ahead) ... "We respect the customer's decision. As with any of our other Federal customers, it's our job to help DOT maximize the value of its Enterprise Agreement through the adoption of our technology. We are engaged with large, strategic customers across government at every level, and are working closely with them on these products through their participation in our Technical Adoption Programs.""

The DOT, being responsible for entities like the FAA & other departments that oversee venues for terrorist attack, realized that Microsoft was selling them the same thing they were selling everyone else, perhaps inadvertantly terrorists.

Microsoft's trying to make a living & Government contracts don't pay what they used to with all the "healthy competition" that's out there.

Nothing New Really (3, Informative)

jascat (602034) | more than 7 years ago | (#18272940)

Federal agencies are typically slow to pick up on new versions of Office and Windows. Currently, the US Air Force has a moratorium on IE7 and has since it came out citing security issues. Neither Vista nor Office 2k7 are approved for use on Air Force networks...yet. They have to be certified to be safe and secure to use on unclassified and classified networks. This is normal. Eventually, and unfortunately in my opinion, the moratorium will be lifted and approval will be given. It's more of a question of when, rather than if.

Remember DOT wants broken ie6 (3, Interesting)

oneeyedelf1 (793839) | more than 7 years ago | (#18272956)

Remember the reason the DOT doesn't want to upgrade is because it needs ie6 compatibility for its websites. So because ie7 is better towards standards they won't use it. And the reasons that Office and Vista are lumped in there is because they upgrade to ie7. Frankly I wish the websites were better so the DOT had the option of upgrading to a better version of windows, or even the possibility of changing to another operating system.

DOT may already be paying for Vista (5, Interesting)

Animats (122034) | more than 7 years ago | (#18273024)

..it's our job to help DOT maximize the value of its Enterprise Agreement through the adoption of our technology.

In other words, DOT is already paying for Vista, even if they're not using it. Remember how Microsoft enterprise-level "software assurance" works. You pay by the year, upgrade or not.

Re:DOT may already be paying for Vista (1)

drsmithy (35869) | more than 7 years ago | (#18273304)

In other words, DOT is already paying for Vista, even if they're not using it. Remember how Microsoft enterprise-level "software assurance" works. You pay by the year, upgrade or not.

IE: it's exactly the same as Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

Re:DOT may already be paying for Vista (2, Informative)

greenbird (859670) | more than 7 years ago | (#18273428)

IE: it's exactly the same as Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

No, it's not. With RedHat I just pay for a server. I can have 5000 clients accessing that server without paying a dime for each client accessing the server not to mention being able to use something cheap or even free on the clients. Oh, and I can switch to Suse or Ubuntu without have to completely rebuild all my information systems and apps from scratch.

Re:DOT may already be paying for Vista (1)

Lehk228 (705449) | more than 7 years ago | (#18273362)

pay by year is a good thing. it REMOVES incentive for the vendor to push bullshit upgrades that harm system usability. it also removes incentive for the customer to hold off on needed upgrades due to cost concerns.

Re:DOT may already be paying for Vista (1)

DavidD_CA (750156) | more than 7 years ago | (#18273860)

Microsoft and it's distributors do not force anyone to buy Software Assurance.

If this client bought SA, they did so because they expected to upgrade to Vista/2007 in the future.

Red Dawn for the DOT (2, Funny)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 7 years ago | (#18273068)

In Capitalist West it's your job to help MS maximize the value of its Enterprise Agreement.
In Soviet Russia Enterprise Agreement maximize the value of tap on you.


8:44 A.M. A full scale corporate invasion by foreign applications begins. Total surprise. Almost total success. A gang of PR suits become the last line of defense.

Reading Microsoft's reply... (4, Funny)

trudyscousin (258684) | more than 7 years ago | (#18273070)

...I had to be certain I was not reading the subject of the previous Slashdot story, "The Coevolution of Lice & Their Hosts."

Here's the plan... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18273154)

Just use WGA to break every government owned copy of XP. Then if they don't upgrade to Vista sue them for piracy, and maybe get some DOT officials shipped to Siberia.

Yeah yeah (1)

the100rabh (947158) | more than 7 years ago | (#18273232)

3.11 was better than 3.1, Win95 was better than Win3.1 and so on....But was Windoze anytime the best in security protection. I dont think so.

Embarassed? (4, Insightful)

ichbineinneuben (1065378) | more than 7 years ago | (#18273240)

How can they say things like this with a straight face? Saying they "respect the customer's decision" then following it up by saying it's their job to foist Windows on them regardless? Where's the respect in that? Whatever else this statement may mean, it disrespects the intelligence of any reader.

Nice England... (1)

oSand (880494) | more than 7 years ago | (#18273430)

"The Summit offered these CIOs to see firsthand how Microsoft is working to be a strategic partner to government and educational institutions of every size" "Offered these CIOs to see firsthand..."? I thought the great advantage of marketing droids was that they could communicate eloquently.

"Microbrain double-speak"? (2, Interesting)

Tim C (15259) | more than 7 years ago | (#18273482)

Are we actively trying to appear childish now?

The place for commentary is down here with us unwashed masses, in the comments, where it can be moderated and replied to properly. It's bad enough that the editors do it, can we at least avoid submitors doing it please?

Oooo... telling statement... (1)

advocate_one (662832) | more than 7 years ago | (#18273612)

Ultimately we think we can help DOT understand how these products can help its enterprise organization.

it means that they'll have their salesmen round taking the high mucky-mucks out on all expenses paid trips to Vista seminars in exotic places... and if that doesn't work, they'll send out the boys with the key to the slush-fund chest to make sure Linux doesn't "win"... they'd pay the DOT to prevent that...

The Webdesigner's Plea (1)

The Nipponese (875458) | more than 7 years ago | (#18273762)

Ok, I can understand Vista and Office, BUT FOR GOD'S SAKE PEOPLE, PLEASE UPGRADE TO IE7.

The day I can use an alpha png as a CSS background without fear of EPIC BREAKAGE is the day I can breath easy.

The first suspicion..... (1)

mormop (415983) | more than 7 years ago | (#18274034)

has to be that this is a Microsoft price reducing move but I'd just love to see MS have the balls for once to call their bluff so we can see what happens.

DoT: We're looking at Linux

MS: Go on then!

DoT: Huh?......

MS: Go on then, piss off if you think your up to it.

DoT: ?!?!?!
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