Why Windows Vista Was "Banned!" -- or Not, Really

Kachina Shaw

When a large part of your workday is devoted to sifting through tech headlines for the best, most valuable content, you sure do get tired of the misleading, inaccurate or just plain non-existent stories. But a good headline will get me every time.


Case in point:


Federal Agency Bans Microsoft Vista


Department of Transportation Bans Microsoft Vista from Computers, Citing Cost, Compatibility


Explaining a Vista Ban


The first one got me. Actually not all that inflammatory, but eye-catching and staid enough to imply a fact-filled, noteworthy piece. But there's really nothing there -- a few sketchy details on "at least two" federal agencies refusing to upgrade to Windows Vista for the foreseeable future, for a variety of reasons, one of them being that the staff would be busy with an office move, anyway.


Huh. Sure, it may be worth noting that the Feds are at least smart enough to act like a real business when evaluating a massive infrastructure project, like as OS update. But if there's a "ban," as this evocative headline implies, I should be able to easily find something juicier.


Fool me once, shame on you ...


So I did a bit more digging. I had to read the second one, just because Vista was banned "from computers." Hmmmm. As opposed to? Sadly, the article doesn't say.


Too bad I didn't happen to come across the third item, from News.com, before the others. There, I learned that the National Institute of Standards and Technology, along with several other federal agencies, has a Vista "moratorium" so that it can fully test the new OS for interoperability with existing legacy apps, set up security, find drivers and train staff. And all this is standard operating procedure for a major OS upgrade. I even learned that the NIST was "irked" by overstated coverage of its "ban" on Vista.


Well, I have to say, that makes sense. I understand now. Thank you, Joris Evers and the team at News.com, for researching and writing a solid article and a headline to go along with it.


A lot of misleads end up taking up much more time than this one did, and when there is really nothing worthwhile to be found at the end of the search, it can be deflating. I say "take up" time, though, instead of "waste time" deliberately. It's my job, and my team's job, to sort through this stuff.


Don't read the first two, read the last one.

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