Austrade upgrades to XP on Vista's doorstep

Microsoft's Windows Vista may have already been released to manufacturing but the Australian Trade Commission (Austrade) is still languishing five years behind the technology curve by completing the migration of some 1450 clients to Windows XP and 70 servers to Server 2003 across Australia and 60 other countries.

Austrade's globally distributed IT infrastructure has caused problems when deploying applications and updates but the use of an automation tool cut the operating system upgrade down to just six weeks, according to the department.

This comes five years after Windows XP desktop was released in October 2001.

Austrade used Altiris' Client Management Suite (Altiris CMS), including Deployment Solution and PC Transplant, to reduce its global roll out of application updates from "months to days" and cut its local office manager IT administration "by over 75 percent".

Windows Vista desktop is expected to be available to the enterprise market this month, with the consumer versions due by the end of January, 2007. Microsoft's next-generation server platform, codenamed Longhorn, is not due for release until the second half of 2007.

Computerworld has learned long-standing Austrade CIO Greg Field resigned only two months ago to take a managing partner position with professional services firm Ernst & Young. Field could not comment on Austrade's Windows upgrade project.