Feds get insider's view of Windows Vista

Some agencies hope to avoid logistical and managerial headaches by working with Microsoft early in the process of adopting the Windows Vista operating system.

Officials from the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Army discussed their participation in Microsoft’s Technology Adoption Program (TAP) today at an industry event sponsored by the Potomac Forum. Agencies that participate get insider information about the beta software and features they might use in the work environment. They also give feedback to the Windows Vista development team.

The agency officials said that staying on top of Vista developments allows them better insight into how the operating system works and how best to adopt it agencywide.

“The only way to stay ahead of the curve is [if] you have an insider understanding of what this product might do to benefit you or where the problems might lie,” said Richard Gordon, chief technology officer at the SEC. Business editions of Windows Vista will be available in November, so agencies in the adoption program will have a head start in converting to the new operating system.

Gordon said training is one of the major difficulties he has had in introducing new technologies. “When new products are brought to the market, there’s frequently an emotional response by the organization, [saying] 'This is bad, we can’t entertain this,’” he said. “It's the IT team you have to drag to the finish line. You’ve got to train them.”

Other said policy changes can be difficult to implement for new technologies. But having prior insight into the features, benefits and weaknesses of a product can help shape the policy. "It takes the army forever to change policy," said Lt. Col. C.J. Wallington, Army director of advanced technologies. "Why don’t we craft the policy now so that policy is delivered hand-in-hand when the new product comes out on the street?"

Featured

  • Congress
    Rep. Jim Langevin (D-R.I.) at the Hack the Capitol conference Sept. 20, 2018

    Jim Langevin's view from the Hill

    As chairman of of the Intelligence and Emerging Threats and Capabilities subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committe and a member of the House Homeland Security Committee, Rhode Island Democrat Jim Langevin is one of the most influential voices on cybersecurity in Congress.

  • Comment
    Pilot Class. The author and Barbie Flowers are first row third and second from right, respectively.

    How VA is disrupting tech delivery

    A former Digital Service specialist at the Department of Veterans Affairs explains efforts to transition government from a legacy "project" approach to a more user-centered "product" method.

  • Cloud
    cloud migration

    DHS cloud push comes with complications

    A pressing data center closure schedule and an ensuing scramble to move applications means that some Homeland Security components might need more than one hop to get to the cloud.

Stay Connected

FCW INSIDER

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.