Uncle Sam Mulls The Move To Windows 7 - InformationWeek
Government // Enterprise Architecture
11:23 AM
Connect Directly
Ransomware: Latest Developments & How to Defend Against Them
Nov 01, 2017
Ransomware is one of the fastest growing types of malware, and new breeds that escalate quickly ar ...Read More>>

Uncle Sam Mulls The Move To Windows 7

Many government agencies participated in the Windows 7 beta program, but the public sector is expected to trail businesses in adopting Microsoft's new operating system.

Now that Microsoft has released Windows 7, government agencies face a decision. Do they deploy Microsoft's new operating system? And, if so, when?

Windows 7 screen shot
(Click for larger image and for full photo gallery)

Troy West, general manager and VP of Dell's federal government business, writes in a blog post that federal IT managers will deploy Windows 7 "more broadly and more quickly" than they have Windows Vista. However, that prediction, based on a survey of federal IT managers, isn't surprising because government adoption of Vista has been low. A majority of government offices still use Windows XP.

Of federal IT managers with plans to move to Windows 7, 60% plan to make the move in six months or more. That's almost certainly slower than will be the case among consumers and businesses. "Budget cycles and approvals will likely force the public sector to lag a bit," writes West.

Among the factors influencing Windows 7 adoption by federal agencies are the time required for management approvals and any related IT upgrades. According to Dell, 60% of federal agencies with Windows 7 migration plans will make the move as part of their normal PC and laptop refresh cycle.

A few government agencies are early adopters of Windows 7, or are poised to be. The U.S. Army has been testing Windows 7, and the Air Force is working on a Windows 7 upgrade plan, even as it completes its migration to Vista.

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory plans to be "very aggressive" in its move to Windows 7, according to lab CIO Jerry Johnson. Windows 7's security features and its more reasonable hardware requirements (compared to Vista) are driving that decision, says Johnson.

Teresa Carlson, VP of Microsoft's federal business, writes in a blog post that many government customers participated in the Windows 7 beta program, and points to the city of Miami, the state of Illinois, and the University of New Mexico as early adopters. She doesn't mention any federal agencies in that post.

Carlson touts new and improved security features in Windows 7, including User Account Control, Direct Access, and BitLocker To Go, that should appeal to government users. She also addresses some misconceptions about the cost of Windows 7 and the time required to install it. With volume pricing and discounts, she says, federal agencies can deploy Windows 7 enterprise edition for under $100 per user, less than half its $220 sticker price. And "typical users" can migrate to Windows 7 in under an hour, though the process can take much longer for power users, she admits.

Microsoft is ramping up its Windows 7 push in the public sector. It's offering 15% discounts on Windows 7 professional edition for small government customers, will host a Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 virtual event on Nov. 10, and is preparing a Windows 7 e-book for government customers.

Read InformationWeek’s first-ever analysis of top CIOs in federal, state, and local government, and how they’re embracing new expectations. Download the report here (registration required).

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
To learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
2017 State of IT Report
In today's technology-driven world, "innovation" has become a basic expectation. IT leaders are tasked with making technical magic, improving customer experience, and boosting the bottom line -- yet often without any increase to the IT budget. How are organizations striking the balance between new initiatives and cost control? Download our report to learn about the biggest challenges and how savvy IT executives are overcoming them.
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll