US Army will adopt Vista and Office 2007 by end of this year

Corporate bodies, such as businesses and the government, have traditionally been rather slow when it comes to adopting new software and technologies. This is generally for security purposes, and because they don't see the point in upgrading from something that works. This frame of mind is not going to change any time soon; Ars Technica is reporting that the US Army is going to finally be fully upgraded to Windows Vista and Office 2007 by the end of 2009, despite Windows 7 quickly approaching.

At the moment, Ars Technica believes that about half of the Army computers are running Office 2007, and 13% are powered by Vista. Marcus D. Good, who is the chief of the Army's Information Technology Systems Support Division, has stated, "The Army has been testing Vista since its release and has run it through the Army Golden Master program. The Army Golden Master program is responsible for the release of the Army standard baseline configurations for commonly used computing environments within the Army Enterprise Infrastructure, the team responsible for making sure applications that ran on XP will run on Vista."

It's unclear how long it will take the Army to make the move from Vista and Office 2007 to Windows 7 and Office 2010 when they are released, but since the changeover will only be fully complete this year, expect it to take a rather long time. It's not a bad thing, though; the Army is serious business, and they need to be 100% certain that their computers are secure and safe. Previews of Vista for members of the Army are available here and here, to help them get used to it, as well as more efficient.

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short answer :corruption.

Remember they usually spend billion of dollars at whim and the insecurity level is still increasing, i don't think the strategy to invade and destroy the national infrastructure is a good way to make new friends. :-?


@ nunjabusiness - I appreciate the thought, but as I said in my post, users cannot install software and software which is installed must be Army approved.

I'm in the Army and I have Vista and it was NOT a smart move. There is NO security gain from running Vista over XP since in the Army users cannot install software anyway! In addition, USB removable memory is banned at the machine level, machines are scanned DAILY for unauthorized software, machines are scanned DAILY for viruses, etc. In addition because of Vista my machine crashes on average every 3rd or 4th time I lock the machine to take a break or go to lunch because it cannot remember my certificates. Digital signature software which worked flawlessly under XP is broken under Vista. Oh, and don't get me started on the lost work hours the change to Office 2007 has caused! How a company can take a software package with users numbering in the millions and change the interface without allowing the end user the choice to stay with the old interface demonstrates unimaginable arrogance! And while were at it why don't we change the default fonts too! That way we force everyone to buy the new package so documents look the same to both the author and receiver. Let's make sure we use proprietary fonts too so those annoying Open Office folks cant use them either!

If they decided to skip Vista and start testing 7, by the time they had finished, Windows 8 would be out or close to it.
What should they do then? skip 7 and start testing 8. That way they will never update.

they should be moving to a government only operating system and not windows or os x or linux or solarix etc that is to say it should have built in features to track all computers that use the OS to see if anyone leaks it and to locate security interruptions and this sentence is way too long.

yes. building an OS isn't very complicated, however it does require a heafty team, it's not like the days of windows 1.0 where 2 college guys screwed around with DOS and created a goldmine. it's not like sitting around on some fluffy cloud all day long if you know what i mean.

Ludexiz said,
yes. building an OS isn't very complicated, however it does require a heafty team, it's not like the days of windows 1.0 where 2 college guys screwed around with DOS and created a goldmine. it's not like sitting around on some fluffy cloud all day long if you know what i mean.


This paragraph shows clearly you haven't the faintest hint of a clue about what is involved in programming. Writing a simple program is one thing - any idiot with VB can do it, just look at the downloads section here. Engineering an OS from the ground up is one of the most complicated things you can attempt.

For example, Windows 98 has about 13 million lines of code, XP has around 40 million, Vista about 50 million. And although the linux core has under 10 million, the debian distro is reported to have over 200 million lines.

So ... not very complicated huh? I want some of what you are smoking!

As the article stated, they've been testing Windows Vista since its release. They'd have to start from scratch with Windows 7. It's the smart thing to do since Windows Vista is more secure than Windows XP. And the [US] Army means serious business. After all, it's only now that they're fully adopting Windows Vista which has been available since 2006 (early 2007 at retail).

The army has already switched to vista and office 2007 i should know, absolutely every laptop in my unit has vista and 2007, the issue is getting new laptops out to everyone with 2g+ ram for vista. been like that for at least 6 months

cloudcyclone said,
The army has already switched to vista and office 2007 i should know, absolutely every laptop in my unit has vista and 2007, the issue is getting new laptops out to everyone with 2g+ ram for vista. been like that for at least 6 months

ZOMG your unit suckzorz!!! Vista is so slow and crashes a lot and 7 is WAYYYYYYY better despite being mostly Vista at its core but I'm too stupid to figure that out!!11

There, I imitated half the people posting in here. Your unit made the right move.

Actually, the Air Force moved to Windows Vista and Office 2007 earlier this year. At least the Air Force personnel who are located at my workcenter have been migrated, along with folks at the two airbases within 10 miles of my workcenter. It has taken time simply because the DoD has to make sure that the security is sufficient for their requirements.

Tal Greywolf said,
Actually, the Air Force moved to Windows Vista and Office 2007 earlier this year. At least the Air Force personnel who are located at my workcenter have been migrated, along with folks at the two airbases within 10 miles of my workcenter. It has taken time simply because the DoD has to make sure that the security is sufficient for their requirements.


Nice, I never knew that. I was in the Navy in the mid-90's when we had DOS and 3.1

It does make sense.
As much as I'm loving 7 at the moment i still haven't deployed it to all machines in my company office (testing it on a couple of boxes and i can't wait to move the lot!).
Main reason is that i need to thoroughly test every aspect of a new OS before it goes into our production environment, I'm just a small web media company, now imagine your an organization as huge as the US military!

at the end of 2009 (hopefully) Windows 7 will only be mere months old.

To all the people making comments that seem to know everything about OS deployments for a large organization. Your comments are laughable at best.

You have to realize that most bigger companies spend a lot of time testing an operating system before deploying on a mass scale. Now, add in the fact that you are talking about a government network. I believe at a minimum the OS has to be certified at EAL4 before it can be used on a government network.

You can't just throw away your plans of deploying an OS because a newer one is coming out. That's a lot of time and money lost. Not to mention taxpayers money... Also, Vista is at SP2 now so it's a proven platform where Windows 7 is merely a release candidate. You can bet Windows 7 is being looked at, but won't be used for some time on the Army's network.

I have worked on a few government networks as a Systems Administrator so I am telling you this from personal experience.

When Windows XP came out. We didn't start talking about rolling XP out until it was SP1 and didn't actually start deployment until it was SP2. At the same time we were testing vista through the TAP program.

Last thing that has to be taken into account for a Vista/Windows 7 rollout. You have a lot of people with old hardware and I am talking like pentium 2/pentium 3. Hardware that has reached its end of life. (meaning no warranty support from the vendor) These systems are going to have to be replaced. No way around it.

EcPercy said,
To all the people making comments that seem to know everything about OS deployments for a large organization. Your comments are laughable at best.

You have to realize that most bigger companies spend a lot of time testing an operating system before deploying on a mass scale. Now, add in the fact that you are talking about a government network. I believe at a minimum the OS has to be certified at EAL4 before it can be used on a government network.

You can't just throw away your plans of deploying an OS because a newer one is coming out. That's a lot of time and money lost. Not to mention taxpayers money... Also, Vista is at SP2 now so it's a proven platform where Windows 7 is merely a release candidate. You can bet Windows 7 is being looked at, but won't be used for some time on the Army's network.

I have worked on a few government networks as a Systems Administrator so I am telling you this from personal experience.

When Windows XP came out. We didn't start talking about rolling XP out until it was SP1 and didn't actually start deployment until it was SP2. At the same time we were testing vista through the TAP program.

Last thing that has to be taken into account for a Vista/Windows 7 rollout. You have a lot of people with old hardware and I am talking like pentium 2/pentium 3. Hardware that has reached its end of life. (meaning no warranty support from the vendor) These systems are going to have to be replaced. No way around it.


+1

Fortunately I do work for a large organisation, so I am qualified to make such comments ;)
Mind you, typically I would normally hold off, but Win7 has been so good (so far), it makes sense to accelerate its deployment.

That's cool, but I think what you fail to realize is that we are talking about almost 3/4 of a million machines (744,000) so a switch to Windows 7 mid-deployment of vista is not going to happen.

We know what we are doing. I currently work as a contractor on the Army's network (as a Systems Administrator) so I am somewhat familiar with the deployment plans for Vista. No talks of Windows 7 even though I have it running on my personal laptop and within my ESX test environment.

http://hothardware.com/News/US-Army-upgrad...-Windows-Vista/
(Source for number of army computers)

I know the navy network I worked on had somewhere around 400,000 machines. They are probably nowhere close to being completely rolled out with Vista either with no plans to roll Windows 7 anytime soon.

I know a friend of mine works on the Coast Guard network. They have been deploying Vista since sometime near the end of 2008. No plans for Windows 7 anytime soon.

It's easy to say just go with Windows 7, but the OS is not final yet no matter how good it seems to work. I can imagine that there are quite a number of software incompatibilities with Windows 7 and the custom applications that are in use on the network.

As an employee to a company that provides hardware for the military branches (and I'm not speaking computing hardware, either) I talk with the IT person who is responsible for the Air Force detatchment at my worksite. Vista and Office 2007 was just rolled out along with new hardware for those folks, and this is roughly a year after the decision was made to move the entire user base to Vista/Office 2007.

A lot of sites work on a scheduled deployment/replacement cycle, where after a certain number of years the computing hardware for the end user is upgraded. Both to maximize the amount of usage for computers along with getting the best value for the systems. The decision to go to Vista is probably based on the fact that the majority of Air Force systems are due to be upgraded/replaced, and probably halfway through the migration cycle. The Army is just starting theirs, and will take around three years to complete (based on previous experiences.)

The additional aspect is that the military branches have already put a lot of time and effort into securing the OS to meet their requirements, and to suddenly move to Windows 7 would mean replicating a lot of that work. (You cannot take the position that if a security setting in Vista designed to protect data will be the same in Windows 7, you need to test and re-test to verify that setting. And that will take time.)

You people know that this upgrade to Vista is only on the computers used at offices and by secretaries, not for something like missile guidance and logistics.

To quote from the "Programming Perl" manual:

"Of course, if you're writing the code to control a cruise missile, you may not actually need an explicit loop exit. The loop will be terminated automatically at the appropriate moment."

Raa said,
You'd hope so anyway! I'd hate them to get a BSOD during the guidance :P

More likely to happen with Windows eXPired.

While I agree 7 is better then Vista, that comment is still stupid. Only an idiot would seriously consider running something like the Army on an unfinished OS. You wait for it to go RTM and then extensively test it...not just deploy a RC because every nerd with a computer says it's better then Vista.

Yeah, because only nerds are using Win7 too :rolleyes:
Seriously, they should look at a Win7 deployment very quickly.

Raa said,
Yeah, because only nerds are using Win7 too :rolleyes:
Seriously, they should look at a Win7 deployment very quickly.


No, but only idiots think the US army should adopt Windows 7 at RTM over Vista which has become established with 2 service packs. (snipped) Why aren't you spouting that the military should keep your favorite thing of all time in Windows XP?

Why? Win7 will be out before then, FAIL. Just before people flame me for being Vista basher. I'm not, I'm a Vista supporter, run it on all my computers and very happy with it, however, with Win7 being only months away from RTM and being proved to be more secure, faster and more stable then Vista, why would the Army still pick the inferior product? if Win7 was a year or so away, then yeah go Vista but it's not and makes no sense to wait (the SP argument is somewhat void with 7, as there really isn't anything wrong with it like there was with Vista (and XP for that matter) in the beginning).

Big companies and the government never run the latest OS. Its actually pretty sensible if you think about it. No matter how stable 7 is when it launches, it will have bugs. Its always good to let the OS get patched and hardened a bit before deploying it.

Chrono951 said,
Big companies and the government never run the latest OS. Its actually pretty sensible if you think about it. No matter how stable 7 is when it launches, it will have bugs. Its always good to let the OS get patched and hardened a bit before deploying it.

Yeah, I get where your coming from and your right of cause

I dunno, Win7 is shaping up to be rock solid from launch (so far). It might make more sense to deploy it now and save costs in the future. (Win7 appears to run better on older hardware, Vista does not)

Raa said,
I dunno, Win7 is shaping up to be rock solid from launch (so far). It might make more sense to deploy it now and save costs in the future. (Win7 appears to run better on older hardware, Vista does not)


Still, it's not "best business practice." You have to take into account compatibility, downtime to upgrade, project plans. It isn't as easy as "let's upgrade now." Testing needs to be extensive.

I was a systems operator/analyst in the Army and I'm not surprised that they waited this long to deploy Vista across the board. When I went through AIT (training taken after basic to learn your job skill), we were learning Windows networking on NT 3.1 when NT 3.51 had been on the market for a couple years and NT 4 was just around the corner.

With all the custom software used by the DoD, the biggest concern is reliability and most off the shelf software is tested rigourously before being widely used. I supported military intelligence systems and reliability was the upmost concern. Minutes of downtime could prove to be catastrophic. Things have probably changed quite a bit since I've been in but I'm sure they take great care in ensuring an upgrade is sucessful.

bluewind_89 said,
What the hell. The United States Army should be at the forefront of technology.


Psh, you should see the 16bit DOS apps the Navy uses for missile guidance
All I can say without getting into trouble

z0phi3l said,
Psh, you should see the 16bit DOS apps the Navy uses for missile guidance
All I can say without getting into trouble

You should have seen some of the stuff I had to deal with in the Marines.

bluewind_89 said,
What the hell. The United States Army should be at the forefront of technology.

Sorry if we don't have the matrix looking desktops running on Apple computers as all the movies make it seem.

z0phi3l said,
Psh, you should see the 16bit DOS apps the Navy uses for missile guidance
All I can say without getting into trouble

But most of the 16 bit dos apps were more rock solid than a lot of the 32 bit windows apps of today. When I was using DOS I don't think I ever had an app crash.

dead.cell said,
Sorry if we don't have the matrix looking desktops running on Apple computers as all the movies make it seem.


I want those sooooo bad.

bluewind_89 said,
What the hell. The United States Army should be at the forefront of technology.

With something as important as critical military systems you get what works. Nothing more fancy.

You do not risk complex programming crashing where a very simple program will do. Safety and low risk is important.

wtf....why would they not just wait...im sure someone in the army has to read reviews and keep up on MS OS info. That is ridiculous.

ok... but why would you do this when windows 7 is coming soon? discount on vista? lol
but seriously, vista is great, it just has a lot of negative stereotypes for some reason

darkpuma said,
ok... but why would you do this when windows 7 is coming soon? discount on vista? lol
but seriously, vista is great, it just has a lot of negative stereotypes for some reason


that how many corporations work, Vista is established at its second service pack. Fixed corrected. They will adopt Win7 when Sp1 or Sp2 gets released.

nekrosoft13 said,
that how many corporations work, Vista is established at its second service pack. Fixed corrected. They will adopt Win7 when Sp1 or Sp2 gets released.

EXACTLY! Too many people in this thread can't seem to grasp this simple fact.

They SHOULD be going to Win7, heck even if they had to delay 6 months, that would be the smarter choice by far.

There is more to deploying an OS in the DoD than "Oh hey, a new OS is coming out, let's deploy it!"

They didn't switch from Windows 2000 to Windows XP until 2004 and I think the mandate for XP was in 2005.

Raa said,
They SHOULD be going to Win7, heck even if they had to delay 6 months, that would be the smarter choice by far.

Give it up. Your anti-Vista semantics have gotten old. Vista SP2 is perfectly fine. Lord knows how you have a job in the computer industry given you don't know **** all.

I think his comment was pretty fair, I'm thinking the same. It wasn't even an anti-vista comment. It's like this for everything, for example, a new iPhone will be out this summer, but some entreprises are thinking of buying the iPhone 3G in june. Why? Same price, and makes users less happy. Wait another month or two and buy the best. Same for Windows 7.

FrozenEclipse said,
Give it up. Your anti-Vista semantics have gotten old. Vista SP2 is perfectly fine. Lord knows how you have a job in the computer industry given you don't know **** all.


What was so anti-Vista about his comment? Seriously.

PsykX's comparison is valid.

Raa said,
They SHOULD be going to Win7, heck even if they had to delay 6 months, that would be the smarter choice by far.

yeah, I thought that would be obvious...If they have any issues with Vista, they'll end up spending another huge amount of money. Not to mention it is a huge improvement in terms of performance, hardware support and more.

Alex M said,
Have fun on vista.. Remember if the bombs don't work the first time round .. try ctrl+alt+del


What happens when your joke doesn't work the first time 'round?

TakeNothingBack said,
I thought it was valid, not hilarious but valid.

This isn't the iran army mind u, we dont run our million dollar hardware on pentium 4 processor with 1 gig of ram on it, lol?

artfuldodga said,
not valid here either :P vista might of had bad press but its not broken


What planet were you living on at the time?

Dale said,
i cant remember the last time i needed to use CTRL + ALT + Delete on vista.

No you just wack it instead right.. (If you can beat them, join them)

Alex M said,
Have fun on vista.. Remember if the bombs don't work the first time round .. try ctrl+alt+del


I have been in IT for 13 years now an I hear people spout this stuff all the time, just reminds me my profession is filled with people who just aren't that good at using and managing computers. Vista has been in pretty good shape since SP1 for me, drivers are solid and the OS as a whole is far more pleasant to use than XP.

Anyone still complaining at Vista stability for most uses (as in 95% or so, I know there are some very specific issues, but not in general) doesn't know what they are talking about.

Alex M said,
Wow one comment turns into a string.. kinda meant to be a tacky joke!

LOL, your joke was funny But it seems now that Neowin has been invaded by Microsoft employees, so don't worry about it

Well like i said on Twitter : Anyone else sense that 85% of the people on Neowin need to get laid... and quickly! The joys of boys and their toys! (via @AlexMaine)

Dale said,
i cant remember the last time i needed to use CTRL + ALT + Delete on vista.

I can, it was when i wanted to lock my computer which is on a domain

hxuanv said,
This isn't the iran army mind u, we dont run our million dollar hardware on pentium 4 processor with 1 gig of ram on it, lol?

no they are all amd k6II-350 with 64MB ram

bob_c_b said,
I have been in IT for 13 years now an I hear people spout this stuff all the time, just reminds me my profession is filled with people who just aren't that good at using and managing computers. Vista has been in pretty good shape since SP1 for me, drivers are solid and the OS as a whole is far more pleasant to use than XP.

Anyone still complaining at Vista stability for most uses (as in 95% or so, I know there are some very specific issues, but not in general) doesn't know what they are talking about.

If you are really an IT then you should know that most highly critical system don't run Windows. There's a reason why ...

I've yet to see a critical data warehouse (like dunno medical informations about millions of patients) running over Windows. Don't say it doesn't exist just i've never ran into one after over 10 years.

US army uses Windows for workstation but i would be surprised to see this system used to guide missiles

LaP said,


If you are really an IT then you should know that most highly critical system don't run Windows. There's a reason why ...

I've yet to see a critical data warehouse (like dunno medical informations about millions of patients) running over Windows. Don't say it doesn't exist just i've never ran into one after over 10 years.

US army uses Windows for workstation but i would be surprised to see this system used to guide missiles ;)


Dude, you beat me to the punch. I totally agree. Any mission critical apps DO NOT normally run on a Windows based system. Been in IT for well, let's just say I can remember when personal computers came into the workplace!

That being said, the Gov't organisation I work in has never used Windows for critical apps.

Been in IT for 13 years, hmm that's 1996. I got underwear older than that!