U.S. DOT Bans Microsoft Upgrades

It looks like my company isn't the only one severely shying away from Microsoft's latest offerings of operating systems, web browsers, and office suites. According to memos seen by InformationWeek, the U.S. DOT has put the kibosh on tens of thousands of of their federal workers upgrading to Vista, Internet Explorer 7, and/or Office 2007. DOT CIO, 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." He must have been talking to our CIO.

Link: Forum Discussion
News source: InformationWeek

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36 Comments

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This is the exact samething they said when Windows XP came out. Let SP1 roll around and we'll see then...

Cheers to them for banning that IE7 crap!
Perhaps they may start using a decent web browser now.

I can also see why they wouldn't want Vista... besides lacking driver support and poor compatibility with several apps, there are still some annoying flaws in it.

There's no good reason for avoiding Office2007 though, it loads and saves the Office97-03 format just fine, so it can easily interoperate with earlier versions.
What's more, Office2007 is a significant improvement over the previous version - totally unlike Vista or IE7.

IMO, Fire****s is also crap.
Opera is THE web browser.

unlike Vista? are you kidding me?

What makes a great whole? A collection of great details.

Have you tried Vista for more than a day yet? If so, you'd see that it's as significant an improvement, if not even more so, than Office 2007

David3k said,
IMO, Fire****s is also crap.
Opera is THE web browser.

unlike Vista? are you kidding me?

What makes a great whole? A collection of great details.

Have you tried Vista for more than a day yet? If so, you'd see that it's as significant an improvement, if not even more so, than Office 2007

I have to agree on the Vista bit because i was against upgrading until i thought to my self i will try it out and if im not satisfied i will sell it on but i saw past the features and it is a vast improvement over XP even though XP is still good for now and im still referring people to it.

The Firefox and Opera thing yes Opera is good but Firefox still has the market share and the greater number of users Donno in XP but in vista this thing loads brilliantly and is very responsive and isnt a resource hog at all.

Um Does everyone remember when XP was released?

It took a good year for everyone to move over from 98 second edition because they were so content with it.

XP had some issues but everyone swears by it and no one uses 98.


Its just a matter of time, many wont UPGRADE their systems but you can be assured it WILL BE their next OS.

I mean if I buy my next laptop, it will be Vista no doubt. For the office, I wouldnt dare roll out new OS images unless there were a killer app need that showed a cost benefit. I mean IT jobs would be on the line if they did. So businesses, as usual, will hold back.

The new OFFICE is outstanding I agree, but there is always a learning curve, just much shorter with Office 2007.
However, because of differences, alot of pre purchased MACROS packages for entire firms will not work with it, thus again, there will have to be a shown need to upgrade.

Again on my next computer, Vista And office 2007 without a doubt.

I mean it is always the users choice... I dont see what the big complaint is?!!

This makes perfect sense from a business perspective. All of the products mentioned in the article are still relatively new and need to be fully proven before money is poured into developing updates for the new platform. Between development and testing, a move to a new technology can cost millions for a large company.

I'm happy that the US DOT is smart, any business using windows vista will suffer! I just got a load of HP system's per-installed was windows vista, that was formatted very quickly with slack ware linux their is no use for microshop's software on any of my system's, and once they need One Gigabyte of Ram! just to have some normal performance you know, you have a problem after all my system's have two Gigabytes of DD2 Ram, running linux I don't even use 30% of that, vista on the other hand, over half of it, is gone after loading the stupid thing and running five applications.

TimLX07 said,
I'm happy that the US DOT is smart, any business using windows vista will suffer! I just got a load of HP system's per-installed was windows vista, that was formatted very quickly with slack ware linux their is no use for microshop's software on any of my system's, and once they need One Gigabyte of Ram! just to have some normal performance you know, you have a problem after all my system's have two Gigabytes of DD2 Ram, running linux I don't even use 30% of that, vista on the other hand, over half of it, is gone after loading the stupid thing and running five applications.

You know that is all great... you should use what you care for, I am just not sure why you feel so compelled to tell everyone that you use what you care for - I thought we all did that?

I am happy that there are people like you though... the ones that have GBs of RAM in their machines and then they don't want it used. As evil M$ software would take advantage of what you have - wow that would really be a bad thing.

On the related note - can you take 1.3 GB of your RAM and send it to me? You don't seem to need it...

BigBoy said,
I am happy that there are people like you though... the ones that have GBs of RAM in their machines and then they don't want it used. As evil M$ software would take advantage of what you have - wow that would really be a bad thing.

The operating system is infrastructure. It's not supposed to be big and shiny and ornate. It's supposed to be cheap, efficient, and reliable.

The DOT would get it. The OS is the roads. The applications are the homes and businesses on the roads. As long as the roads work, you don't want to devote resources that could be devoted to the homes and businesses to them.

Oh geeze. I actually can't say I blame them.

Windows Vista - What we are seeing here is growing pains. MS allegedly had to recode and rework a substantial amount of the Windows code base in order to make future versions of the OS easier on their coders and more secure. They slapped a new interface on Windows Vista to give the customer something to look at and added search capabilities. Right now there are a number of software and hardware compatibility problems. I can say that it also feels more sluggish then Windows XP did no matter what "visual style" you use. Hopefully a service pack will come out soon that addresses these issues. However, I don't think there are any compelling reasons for anyone to really upgrade especially in productivity environments.

Internet Explorer 7 - MS is seeing the aftermath of everything they did wrong with IE6. In order to address the security problems in IE they had to break a lot of applications that depended on IE6 and prior. They promoted businesses to build their applications around IE and this is the result. Specific groups cannot upgrade to a more secure web browser :(. Those specific groups should have known better, but MS did know better and went their direction anyway.

Office 2007 - So far I think this is in the best position out of the 3. I'm not sure why anyone would be against upgrading to it. Maybe I haven't been using it long enough but so far from what I can tell it is much improved over Office 2003 :/.

I have to agree with you completely. I don't see how this is biased in any way. Well done.

And that's coming from someone who's a new Mac user. It makes perfect sense: Microsoft has boosted security and in the process had to make sacrifices. It's going to happen and I don't see how it's possible to avoid it.

PS - Office 2007 does kick major butt, though the UI takes a bit getting used. Ever since Windows 95 it's been the same look to programs and now they swap it up, just like with Vista.

Considering that many of the state/federal IT staff use and actually are certified as MS professionals. I am sure this is just a wise decision to see the affects of the new OS/browser on other companies. Remember that not too long ago the state of security for agencies was a catch-up game. Learning from their past they are going to adopt it when its necessary. The cost if many folds, not only retraining existing employees, buying new hardware (with requires basically a powerhouse of a PC) but bugs/unknowns. I think the head the agency did the right thing. You guys need to see it from the other side, this is a 'business' like any other, they don't want to be a huge test bed for Microsoft. Also, since they have thousands of employees, I bet they will use that as a leverage to force the hardware suppliers, vendors and Microsoft to the table to cut them a better deal. Maybe the software will be free or 1/5th of the MSRP. Training/re-training will be free? Who knows, but I support this guys decision from a technical and business stand point.

A moratorium like this serves no real purpose.
The best tools for any particular job should be used. If that means sticking with what you've got - perfect. If that means upgrading to the latest version -fine. If that means switching to another platform - fine.
Limiting those choices is a terrible decision.

I heard a rumor the Navy/Marine Corps were switching to Vista soon, but I REALLY hope not, some of the programs they use don't even work in XP, and you need a Win2K machine to run them.

They're just not upgrading because some in-house apps they've made don't work with the newer versions. And it'd cost too much to upgrade, well ok, if they wanna save money that's fine, but if they get hit with some sorta problem later, they'll be forced to upgrade at some point.

If you're willing to make your own apps/tools, you'll have to be willing to upgrade those also.

The rate it's going, MS will be hoping that Vista manages to become as popular as Windows ME. Remember, the wow starts now....

The lesson for MS -- the days of adding just a pretty front-end is no longer enough!

SniperX said,
The rate it's going, MS will be hoping that Vista manages to become as popular as Windows ME. Remember, the wow starts now....

The lesson for MS -- the days of adding just a pretty front-end is no longer enough!

And it's people like you that should't be allowed to breed. If you think these upgrades are no more than a "pretty front-end", you sir, are a moron. I can understand saying that about Office, but to say that about Vista and IE7 really makes you an idiot.

Lots of **** makes thing "break compatibility" as wel. NES games didn't work in Super NES consoles, a lot of DOS games and older ISA equipment don't work in 2000 and XP, certainly not Vista.

Moral of the story is, people need to bitch less and learn to accept change more. I can guarantee in a year, 99% of you bitching today will be using Vista.

Hahahh, well, if all it was, was a pretty front-end, then it wouldn't break any compatibility would it?

I mean, all you need is a bit of logic to work and you can figure at least that out.

Primetime2006 said,
Moral of the story is, people need to bitch less and learn to accept change more. I can guarantee in a year, 99% of you bitching today will be using Vista.


And in the year 1989, we'll be flying around with jetpacks on... oh wait...

I can see not upgrading to Vista & Office but IE7 is another story entirely. IE7 isn't going to break any compatibility.

IE7 isn't going to break any compatibility.

You are wrong. My Dad works for the Pennsylvania DOT and when they tried IE7, it broke one of their key internal applications. They don't want to recode part of the application when due to the waste of money.

IE7 breaks compatability with hundreds/thousands of ActiveX applications used by many businesses and organisations. It also requires network administrators to update their security policy, especially in institutions like education and in government. IE7 may be a positive step forward but it most certainly does break compatability.

I can hardly blame them. There are still too many annoyances with these products to seriously consider upgrading on a large scale before the first service packs come out.