The London Borough of Newham is adopting the Microsoft Vista operating system, but many governmental CIOs refuse to consider the application. Richard Steel, currently president of government technology professionals group the Society of Information Technology Management (Socitm), is surprised Vista is being ignored.

From June Newham will begin the adoption of the Vista operating system in a phased plan. Steel, who was CIO of Newham and is currently taking time out to be president of Socitm, said they were switching from Windows XP to Vista as part of Newham’s move to a new building and infrastructure refresh.

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Steel, who was criticised by open source proponents for selecting Microsoft over open source, said there is still an anti-Microsoft feeling amongst local authority CIOs. As Socitm president he said he saw little adoption of the new operating system. Recently analysts have come out in support of Vista, claiming organisations could miss out on important business benefits if they delay adoption. “One of the things that I am finding more and more is that the anti-Microsoft camp is growing,” he said. “I am perplexed by it. Why are there not the same issues about the dominance of Google?”

Newham is moving into a new central building and the infrastructure refresh is part of the move. Steel said the operating system will make the authority greener, as it uses less power, and improve its flexible working abilities.

Newham has just completed application compatibility testing of Vista. Of its 120 core applications, 70 per cent will migrate directly to Vista, and 13 per cent will require some development work for the switch over. “Newham is now in a position to begin a limited rollout of Windows Vista and we are working towards a full rollout of the new operating systems next year,” said Geoff Connell, currently working as CIO at Newham. “The testing reports also provided the technical information required to fix those applications that will not work, enabling us to schedule and time this work.”

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