FAA Considering Alternatives to Vista

The Federal Aviation Administrationis CIO is examining the possibility of replacing his agencyis 45,000 Windows systems with Linux systems, a new browser, and Googleis online business applications. The story was posted by InformationWeek on Wednesday.

The FAAis David Bowen is taking a close look at the Premier Edition of Googleis apps as a possible replacement for the current Windows XP systems.

According to the story, Bowen said heis in talks with Dell Computer, to determine if it could deliver Linux-based computers capable of accessing Google Apps through a non-Microsoft browser once the FAAis XP-based computers pass their shelf life. "We have discussions going on with Dell," Bowen said. "Weire trying to figure out what our roadmap will be after weire no longer able to acquire Windows XP."

This story comes only a few days after the DOT announced that it would place a moratorium on the upgrade to Vista. But that was to insure that their mission critical applications were tested on Vista before it could be rolled out. Many organizations are in that mode right now.

But while Mr. Bowen is examining the possibility of an outright replacement of Windows XP with Linux, no final decision has been made. "Weire considering the cost to deploy [Windows Vista] in our organization. But when you consider the incompatibilities, and the fact that we havenit seen much in the way of documented business value, we felt that we needed to do a lot more study," said Bowen.

The replacement of 45,000 aging PCs with new Intel computers, a more modern OS, less expense, Google tools, and open source software appears to be an opportunity for many of Microsoftis competitors.

Including Apple.