I understand this, but the NHS should have selected a company that has better development cycle or have some kind of SLA with them. We wouldn't dream of selecting a company that had this kind of development cycle, these smart cards are a core part of the system.Alot of the software used, mainly the software to allow the smartcards to work which allows you access to medical records etc was only designed to work with Windows XP and IE6, we didn't get an update on it to allow it to work on IE7 till IE8 came out. This was the problem, the software was finally rewritten to work in Windows 7 32bit 18 months ago roughly. We were egar to roll with Windows 7 as the new machines running Windows XP ran worse than with Windows 7 on as we could not use them to their full performance.
Oh forgot to add on the Linux front our development team thought we could run on Linux and even create our own basic distro but those up top didn't like the idea as it was totally different to windows even thought it could have saved us a fortune. We had the bulk of things working and a linux option for apps we could not get working, again the only thing that held us back was smartcard stuff!!
There was a few of us up for it in a proof of concept but never got to see it through.
Thats a shame, When i worked for a bank we used to have a custom Linux distro. Unfortunately it wasn't used widely enough really.
It's not just the NHS itself either. Anecdotal evidence, but interesting still... One of my company's web-based healthcare SaaS products is accessed by various pharmacies. Some of those have IT systems that are either ran by private companies, or they're a chain and have their own IT. Our user stats regarding platforms are quite revealing:
Declining, but not quick enough. The usage of XP and IE6 isn't just a problem for official security and support as far as MS is concerned. It affects us in terms of feature development and maintenance, and our partner company who handles support for end users. Some of the IT systems use a form of remote desktop, likely on under-specced machines, and so doesn't perform as rapidly as a native browser or application would.
But having said that, it's almost a testament to how good XP has been in general, over the years.
XP is solid as a rock, look at NT that was around for sometime it had double the service packs XP has!
Interesting fact, Lotto terminals use Linux, had to reboot the terminal in our village shop the other day because it locked up. (I help them out a bit when the manager isn't there as used to work there years ago!)
My local GP had two machines/monitors on his desk. One XP and one Win 7. He tried to do something on the Win7 machine, grumbled and went back to the XP machine.
Good testing by IT there.
Was watching the BBC news tonight, noticed in the background a Windows XP login screen..
Was in my bank a few weeks ago and alarmingly every PC was running XP and these are the people meant to stop our money from being stolen, there clearly not spending their massive profits on securing their IT systems.
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