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NASA Puts Microsoft Office 2007 In Suspended Animation

The space agency is one of several federal bureaus that are holding off on Microsoft's latest desktop offerings.
Add Office 2007 to the list of new Microsoft products that a key NASA department won't be using anytime soon.

According to a statement posted on an internal purchasing Web site at the space agency's Jet Propulsion Lab, NASA's chief information officer has ruled out an upgrade to the latest version of Microsoft's productivity suite due to security and compatibility concerns.

InformationWeek previously reported that NASA as a whole has decided to pass on the Windows Vista operating system, at least for the time being.

"It is the position of the Office of the CIO to not deploy Windows Vista or Office 2007 until these products are tested for security and deemed compatible with the majority of JPL applications," the statement reads.

NASA is one of several federal agencies that are holding off on Microsoft's latest desktop offerings until they are satisfied that the software is secure and will work with their existing applications.

In February, the Federal Aviation Administration and the U.S. Department of Transportation both revealed temporary bans on Windows Vista, Office 2007 and Internet Explorer 7.

NASA has set January 2008 as a target date for beginning the transition from Windows XP to Vista, a spokesman for the agency has said previously. NASA maintains approximately 60,000 Windows PCs.

In an April meeting with IT professionals and user-group representatives on Microsoft's campus, CEO Steve Ballmer rejected a NASA computer scientist's claim that Vista has been banned by most sectors of the federal government.

"Vista has been anything but banned from most parts of the U.S. federal government," Ballmer said, adding that he anticipated near-term adoption in "a number" of government accounts.