While most of us are gearing up for the upgrade to Windows 7, the U.S. Army is planning to upgrade all of its Windows-based machines to Vista by the end of this year.
Going along with this change is also the plan to upgrade all systems from Office 2003 to Office 2007.
About half of the U.S. Army’s 744,000 desktop computers are already running Office 2007, but only 13 percent have so far moved to Windows Vista.
The mandate to upgrade came from a Fragmentary Order published November 22, 2008 and was sent out Army-wide as FRAGO 2 to Department of the Army Executive Order 056-05.
The upgrade orders apply to systems across both the classified and unclassified networks. The only computers exempt from the upgrades are those on the standalone weapons systems.
According to the Army News Service’s report, “First-time Vista users will discover added support for data encryption, a new Windows Explorer, upgraded icons and navigation structure” as well as “graphical replications of clock, calendar, weather and Outlook mail functions.”
“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,” said Marcus D. Good, chief of the Information Technology Systems Support Division at DOIM. “We want to handle this migration in a way that makes sense to the organizations fielded.”
“During this process, we are offering several in-house training sessions, helpful quick-tip handouts and free Army online training,” said Sharon Reed, chief of IT at the Soldier Support Institute.