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Microsoft Windows at the Olympics

  1. The Olympics run on Windows (XP)

    VANCOUVER, British Columbia--The good news for Microsoft is that all the PCs powering the Olympics are running Windows. The bad news: it's the older Windows XP operating system.

    Windows 7, it seems, was a bit too new to be used, while Windows Vista was, well, Windows Vista. So, instead, all the PCs are running an operating system that was first released before the 2002 Games in Salt Lake City.

    Representatives for Acer confirmed that the more than 6,000 notebooks and desktops that they delivered to Olympic organizers were all running Windows XP.

    "It was the operating system requested by VANOC (the Olympic organizing committee) and Atos Origin" (the technology integrator managing the Olympics tech operations), said Todd Olson, who manages Acer's tech work in Vancouver.

    To be fair, the Olympics tends to be conservative, even in the IT profession. Its mandate to suppliers was to "deliver a flawless Games" not try out the latest in new technology.

    And as an Atos Origin executive said last week, so far the games have been, if anything, boring from a technology perspective--which has been the goal.

    "My goal is to make sure that nothing happens that has to be reported on," Olson said. "We're here to be behind the scenes."

    Out of the 6,200 computers, Olson said there were just a couple of trouble tickets as of Tuesday. Perhaps the most interesting incident came when an Olympics worker got excited during one Olympic event and stood up to cheer, spilling soup all over the laptop. She quickly shut it down and it ended up continuing to work.

    Acer offered to get the worker a replacement machine, but she decided that if that machine was hearty enough to survive soup, she didn't want to part with it.

    "That's been about the most exciting thing," Olson said. "So, as you can tell, it's been pretty smooth."

    Acer and organizers also opted to go with a lot of desktops, but those are small desktops, which Olson said meant less shipping costs and environmental impact.

    "We're helping out to decrease their logistics by giving them smaller equipment," he said.

    But Acer's goals for the games extend beyond just keeping its technology out of the headlines. After spending a considerable amount to become a global partner of the Olympics, Acer is also looking to make the most of the marketing opportunity. The company has released some limited-edition laptops and monitors with the Olympic logo and also has set up an "Acer Showcase" at one of the main gathering places in central Vancouver. That pavilion, Acer says, is getting about 5,000 visitors per day.

    Meanwhile, the Acer brand can be seen all over the games, from the sides of buses to the Internet cafes the company has set up in the athletes' villages and main press center.

    That should help the Taiwanese company, which has grown into a leading global and U.S. computer maker, but lacks the name recognition of a Dell or Hewlett-Packard.

    "We are very unknown at this point," said Anton Mitsyuk, who manages Acer's sponsorship on the marketing side.

  2. Can't say I blame them. We still have ~8,000 PCs running it with no real plans to upgrade until MS forces us to.


  3. Yup -- I believe Microsoft has extended support through 2015, which is several lifetimes for computing hardware...

  4. I have a question after finding out Microsoft Windows is running the Winter Olympics...

    Does this explain all the crashes? :headscratch:
  5. I am not IT Pro or Marketing Expert, but when you have a winning product world wide that users are very familiar with- you dont go and change it on them.

    I love XP, its all I know and I can do stuff with it. I dont want W7 at all. Microsoft still blew it in my eyes.

  6. BSOD.






  7. XP is now in extended support, which means security updates only. Still more than enough time to wait and deploy Win 7 SP2 (which would really be Vista SP4?)
  8. FWIW:

    I primarily use XP. I also use Vista Premium 64 bit for heavy photo/video editing (to make use of 6 GB of RAM).

    I also have Vista 32 bit on a laptop, and have experience with Windows 7 64 bit on a similar laptop.

    Windows 7 boots up and shuts down much quicker than Vista, and is more responsive than the Vista machine.

    I'll stick to XP for as long as I can, but am not dreading the eventual push/leap to Windows 7 64 bit like I was dreading the move to Vista.

  9. Do you have a source for that date? I can only find it extended out to April of 2014.

  10. Nah -- sorry, I pulled that date off the top of my head as the one that stuck. I'll be happy to revert to your find instead... :)

    Four years is still several computer lifetimes...
  11. I agree...I was just checking because 2014 was all I could find.

  12. I'm just happy we have 4 more years. :cool:

  13. Yup -- the four PC's in our house will just keep chomping on that old code till MS sends someone out to shoot them... :supergrin:


  14. You bet -- sorry if I caused you any undue research... :)

  15. Oh yes, very nice!
  16. They will take my WindowsXP from my cold dead hard drive.

  17. It's only 3 yrs 10 months, 2 days...

  18. I thought that was what Windows was best at? :dunno: