Qld snubs Vista, Linux in 100,000 PC refresh

Legacy Windows XP SP2 mandated for desktops and portables over next three years

Furthermore, all offers submitted in response to the ICT invitation must be lodged via the Queensland Government Marketplace e-Tender Web site and "must be readable in the following software package: Microsoft Office version 2003, running on Windows XP SP 2".

"Failure to comply with this requirement may result in a non-conforming offer," according to the tender.

With the release of Ubuntu Linux 7.04 "Feisty Fawn" this month, IT departments have another desktop operating system option for standard PCs, but, like Vista, it is not on Queensland's procurement radar.

"Linux and open source is not part of this process. Machines can run it but the current government environment is based on Windows XP," the spokesperson said.

On the servers there is more competition with hardware suppliers encouraged to certify machines to run Microsoft Windows Server, Linux, Unix, and Novell NetWare.

With virtually no desktop software competition, ironically the state is looking for "a small panel of [hardware] suppliers, which drives competition and limits the switching cost from one to another".

"We're looking for better footprint management across government [and] dealing with one [hardware supplier] is not something we've considered," the spokesperson said, adding agencies buy products off all of the major hardware vendors, with about 8 to 10 in all.

It is the vendor's decision to submit an Intel or AMD, or both, computers in their offer.

In addition to conducting a routine hardware refresh, the Queensland government is developing a whole-of-government SAP supplier relationship management and shopping cart, to enable departments to conduct procurement online.

The implementation of this system is scheduled to commence within the period of the proposed ICT arrangement and tenderers are required to indicate their "ability and willingness" to integrate their Web-based ordering systems with the whole-of-government SAP system.

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Rodney Gedda

Computerworld
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