Down on Vista Down Under

Dennis Faas's picture

So, we've read all about Windows Vista in North America. Despite selling some 40 million plus copies, it's generally considered a work in progress (with many consumers avoiding the new Microsoft product altogether).

But, what's the mood in other parts of the world?

In Australia, Queensland Purchasing, part of the Queensland Department of Public Works, procured bids to purchase desktop computers, portable computers and servers for 26 agencies. All the computers are required to be supplied with Windows XP SP2 licenses, Microsoft Office 2003 and media. (Source:

The department has estimated that 35,000 PCs, 6000 portable computers and 1000 servers will be purchased every year for the next three years. That amounts to over 100,000 computers.

"Value depends on price, and agencies negotiate within that arrangement for things they want or don't want. We don't have an enterprise arrangement with Microsoft for Vista, and we don't have an upgrade process to Vista at all," said a spokesperson. Asked about the possibility of new computers shipping with OEM copies of Vista, the spokesperson said some departments may have to buy Vista licenses and downgrade to XP.

Elsewhere, in other parts of the world, property asset management company Capital & Regional is evaluating Linux desktops and Apple Macs as ways to reduce dependency on Microsoft.

The company currently has approximately 700 PC users running Windows XP Pro and Office XP. Chief Information Officer (CIO) Richard Snooks lashed out at Microsoft's licensing policies.

"We are feeling the pinch of the aggressive revenue targets of Microsoft. We are asking ourselves if Microsoft is fit for our business" said Snooks. Snooks isn't convinced by the arguments for upgrading to Windows Vista and is actively looking for alternatives.

"I feel we are being railroaded and the market generally forced into a corner or even a cul-de-sac," Snooks said. "In a free market we have made Microsoft dominant and now we have the collective responsibility to reverse this situation to re-establish balance and competition. If I am being driven down the Vista route then an Apple Mac is smarter money and cheaper."

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