there be some sort of law about keeping IT out of MPs’ hands? What we to do about a group of people whose
every step into the IT word is greeted with laughter and contempt.
The announcement that MPs are rejecting Windows 7 in favour shows us two things; that MPs will routinely plumpfor the wrong one and second, that for all the fine talk about the use of Open Source software, any time that there’s a new contract to be negotiated for a government-run computer system, proprietary software wins out every time.
We have to be realistic here: it was never likely that MPs would opt for an open-source operating system for the House of Commons’ own machines - much as the idea of them searching round for an open-source package to keep track of their expenses has a certain appeal - the choice of Vista is frankly bizarre.
Here’s an operating system that even Microsoft admits was not all it should have been
In part,. Windows 7 was an attempt to address some of those concerns. And, what's more, Windows 7 has been a success, gathering many positive reviews, instead of the universal thumbs-down for Vista . The MPs’ excuse that there’s been time to prepare an assessment of Windows 7 is a load of old cobblers - the software was officially released four months ago (although a workable beta was available some months before that) - just how long do they want? After all, this is not a major transformational project but an upgrade of operating system
MPs are often accused of being out of touch - sometimes unfairly - but to opt for a operating system that was launched more than three years ago, when there’s a more recent (and better) alternative smacks not of a divorce from reality but sheer stupidity.
At least the episode has given us a glimmer of the type of thinking that has bedevilled virtually every major government thinking - perhaps, we should keep MPs away from computers in the same way that we keep children from matches. The consequences of letting either group have their way are too fearful.
Find your next job with techworld jobs