back to article Ambulance Service not patient enough for Vista

Londoners can sleep safe in their beds tonight after the London Ambulance Service confirmed that it has no plans whatsoever to migrate to Windows Vista anytime soon. A spokeswoman at the LAS was forced to rebuff claims this morning that the 999 service had in fact already adopted the unloved OS, after an app migration and …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    They aren't changing OS because some of their LIFE CRITICAL apps don't work on it. I can't see a problem with this, and hardly think it's a circumstance unique to Vista. If some linux kernel distro upgrade broke their softare, I imagine they'd avoid doing that as well. What with the dying and all.

  2. Michael


    Readers may also be interested that I am not planning to upgrade to Vista either.

  3. Simon Robinson

    Thankfully not...

    I recall one of my unviersity lectures on systems implementation was about the LAS going from a manual system to computerisation - a complete disaster. I think going to Vista would be a similar step. Why bother upgrading the system if it can cope now?

  4. Vincent
    Paris Hilton

    Makes sense...

    It makes sense. Why bother upgrading to Vista if XP does what you want it to do? Espeially if Vista causes compatibility issues.

    Paris beause she doesn't have compatibility issues.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    Thats odd

    Our figure stands at about 40% of our apps incompatible too.

    Thats not the only reason we're not rolling it out, but its a bloody big one.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    That PR blunder is no surprise...

    Considering the source of it...

  7. Geoff Mackenzie

    Anyone else just a little concerned ...

    ... at the suggestion that they're currently using XP for life-critical apps? I'd suggest that they're probably not. If they are, they should maybe take a look at some of Microsoft's statements about XP:

    "The Microsoft software was designed for systems that do not require fail-safe performance. You may not use the Microsoft software in any device or system in which a malfunction of the software would result in foreseeable risk of injury or death to any person."

  8. ElFatbob


    Can you buy shares in the LAS, cos i'm sure they'dve shot up with that news...

  9. Peter Kay


    I love the implied criticism that the incompatibility is the fault of Vista, when the reality is that most apps are badly coded : thinking they have administrator privilege, can write to the application directory, can do whatever they want in the registry, that the screen is at a certain dot pitch - etc, etc, etc.

    Vista perhaps offers little extra for the average user, but it's not the complete disaster that is commonly believed.

  10. MarkP

    @Anyone else just a little concerned ...

    I would assume that individual user's desktops are running XP but the machines are little more than terminals to a nice large server sitting somewhere. So, no, I'm not worried.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Office 2007 logo

    Isn't the icon next to the story the office 2007 logo, rather than the vista logo...?

    The URL even identifies it as ms_office.png:

  12. Anonymous Coward

    When the do upgrade...

    ...I hope they can move to *nix terminals. They may even be able to retain the old kit and get a performance boost.

    Vista - a disc of fail coming to a PC near you!

  13. Tails

    Why bother?

    [quote]It makes sense. Why bother upgrading to Vista if XP does what you want it to do? Espeially if Vista causes compatibility issues.[/quote]

    I believe I said something to this effect when XP came around and I was (and still am on all machines) running Windows 98 SE.

  14. Kenny Swan

    Don't get it

    I don't know why people hate Vista so much. I've used many OS's over my time and I recently picked up a laptop with Vista on it. I had planned to downgrade to XP because of all the negativity around it. I spent the day messing with it and thought it wasn't bad. I held off for a few days because it seemed fine to me. Months later, it's still on here because I haven't had one single issue with it.

  15. Roger Lancefield

    Rubber chicken: check, fez: check....

    "Londoners can sleep safe in their beds tonight after the London Ambulance Service confirmed that it has no plans whatsoever to migrate to Windows Vista anytime soon."

    Presumably because they can't get their existing drivers to work with the operating system?

  16. J

    Boot time

    In the time I've seen it takes for Vista to boot, your brain is dead out of oxygen. So don't forget to keep breathing, and tell your heart not to stop.

    "when the reality is that most apps are badly coded"

    True, sure makes sense. BUT whose fault is it that for some 20 years the "dominant system" allowed that type of "shortcut"? That got them to attract all developers, regardless of quality, I suppose -- easy to use; easy to code for; and crap. Whose decision was that, again? The app coders'? Not really...

  17. Adam Foxton
    Thumb Up

    @When the do upgrade AC

    Yeah, because any *NIX OS runs a higher proportion of XP-compatible apps than Vista. Totally.

    Moving to a *NIX would be great, though. As is keeping their existing (presumably working) system working.

    @Roger Lancefield

    Damnit, you beat me to an awful Ambulance Drivers pun!

  18. Shakje

    Re: Boot Time

    You're right, the blame has to be shared, however MS realised what was wrong pretty early on in XP's life and hence issued many, many guidelines as to what should be done in their coding guidelines. The fact that a large number of app developers ignored that is purely their fault, as obsolescence is a natural part of language progression, and coding systems that MS have advised against are finally regulated by the OS, so yes, it's the app developers' fault, MS may share some of the blame for leaving XP open to bad development practices, but when they suggest you don't do it, and when common sense prescribes that it's a bad idea for very good reasons (e.g. writing config files to the program files directory....) I don't think it's fair to suggest it's fully their fault.

    Vista boots on my machine in 10-20 seconds, if you're booting it on a silly system then of course you'll get slow boots (in fact I'd be prepared to say that badly written drivers are part of the problem on slow booting systems). I had an XP box that took about 10 minutes to fully boot after 3 years or so of loading crap on it.

    IIRC XP is only used for staff terminals, it's obviously not used for the important life or death systems as they'll all have hard coded interfaces..

    As to "When the do upgrade... ", you're an idiot, they'll have exactly the same problem doing that as to upgrading to Vista, plus the extra training to get users using *nix boxes and for support staff (most of who have no idea how to do anything on a *nix box) will more than swallow up the cost of new hardware.

    Of course, all of this is a non-issue, as the last time I saw an NHS system, the staff terminals were all on pretty high up the line thin client terminals, so the hardware didn't really matter as much.

  19. eugene

    tsk tsk

    I'm another one of those happy Vista users. I run it on three computers and it works just fine under heavy load. People seem to like bashing it because it's 'the cool thing to do', regardless of whether or not they've even tried it themselves! I have friends who say vista is bad even though they haven't used it - quite amusing.

    The LAS not seeing a need to upgrade can be seen as praising XP. Perhaps XP works perfectly fine for their needs, so they see no reason to upgrade. If it ain't broken, don't fix it! Of course, Vista-bashers will immediately see it as "they must have thought vista was crap, which is why they didn't upgrade". Ahh, what simplistic minds. :)

    Where's my coat?

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I'm surprised they've even using a Microsoft Windows operating system at all given their known lack of reliability.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    The problem with upgrading to a newer operating system is the software was developed, tested on an earlier version of O/S. If you upgrade, then you need to do a thorough set of testing to ensure you're not going to have any issues. There's always a risk that something will break.

    Eugene, Vista may work for you, at home, with the limited things you do, but this no gaurantee that it will work with whatever hardward cards, whatever software apps the LAS want to use, and note a failure rate of 1 in 1000 hours for you at home using your computer for 3 hours a day is probably acceptable, but for LAS using their systems 24 hours a day? A much lower failure rate needed and given the criticality of the service they provide to people, even lower still!

    In safety critical apps(or investment banking!) , I wouldn't touch Microsoft with a barge pole, unless extensive thorough testing had been carried out and it had been proven to be acceptable.

    I know of government organisations that hae moved away from Micrsoft operating systems a) to save money, b) to get something that's more reliable, so I'm surprised that the LAS is running Microsnot.

    Running Microsnot for such a long term application as the LAS will use, must be a support nightmare, develop the app, install it, 5 years later the OS is no longer supported by Microsoft, what do you do then? rip it all out, re-develop and start all over again?

    Each time you redevelop it you risk the introduction of new bugs, and you've only probably just ironed out the last lot with the previous release.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "I don't know why people hate Vista so much. I"

    From the sound of it you have been lucky. Most people hate Vista because when it was first released people had no end of problems. Microsoft later had to acknowledge that publicly.

    Each time we're promised a new operating system that will fix the problems of the one before, that it will be the most secure operating system to date ( and technically perhaps it is) but it's still fundamentally insecure. We're priomised it's much better than the previous, and it's not.

    In my view, Microsoft Windows Operating system has never ever been able to multi-task properly, which is one of the fundamental concepts of the operating system.

    When I kick off a large file copy (which takes 30 minutes), or insert a DVD in to my drive, why, oh why can't I do anything else?

    It's a joke.

  23. Mike Lovell

    Must be done

    I am another happy Vista user, but couldn't resist the joke...

    [ERROR: The drivers for 'ambulance dispatcher' are not digitally signed]

    - "Guys, is that important?"

  24. James O'Brien

    @Why bother?

    "I believe I said something to this effect when XP came around and I was (and still am on all machines) running Windows 98 SE."

    Im sorry to hear that. Must be fun finding program support for it.

    On another note I will have to say I am another one of the happy Vista users. I was in the crowd of bashing it when it was new, mainly becuase AT THE TIME it did have its issues, which I seem to recall Win95, Win98, Win2k and WinXP ALL had at launch. Been using Ultimate64 for about 6 months now and if anything system is MORE (yes you heard right) MORE stable then it was on XP, over all uses less RAM, and generally responds a whole hell of alot faster then XP did doing the same exact tasks.

    Personally if you havent tried it (and by try I do mean run it on a system that isnt the bare minimum for running it) then before you continue to knock it you should. Cheerio

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    No surprise that the NHS uses Windows - Billy Gates and Tony Bliar did a deal way back: zero cost CALs. The surprising thing is that some NHS organisations use other OSs too.

  26. Phil Cooke

    @ James

    'Personally if you havent tried it (and by try I do mean run it on a system that isnt the bare minimum for running it) then before you continue to knock it you should.'

    Couldn't agree more with this - I just had to purchase a new laptop and managed to get an employee deal for a HP. They shipped this with Vista Home Premium 64 (as the Laptop has 4gb of ram) and thus far I have been impressed with how stable it is.I was expecting loads of compatibility issues with my games etc but so far everything has worked......

    However, I have older hardware that I wouldn't let Vista near with a barge pole as XP SP3 is stable and supports everything I need (mainly for internet broadcasting). It's a case of working out what is 'fit for purpose' for your INDIVIDUAL needs.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    For what reason...

    For what reason at all do they want to upgrade to Vista?

    I'm sure none of the programmes they use are actually microsoft right?

  28. John Imrie
    Gates Horns

    You are all missing the point

    Tthe question you should be asking is why Camwood's Press release adding another large instutituionto the growing ranks of Vister users so wrong. And how many 'provisional studies' have been spun into Vista success stories.

  29. Anonymous Coward


    fuck me with a rubber hose.....

    so what if they are not going to roll out vista....

    it is ridiculous, why should anyone have to justify the upgrade of an os to anyone else....

  30. FreeTard
    Thumb Down

    Waste of money

    Why bother upgrading systems that already work perfectly fine?

    Other than to stretch the over-stretched coffers?

    Credit crunch this mothafacka's!

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Peter Kay

    Ain't that the truth? And working as I do with NHS IT systems I can confirm a lot of them are very badly behaved when it comes to non-admin users, so they're utterly borked under Vista which just won't let you behave like that. My SMS server has dozens of scripts I've written which have lots of lines starting "cacls..." to cope with this.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why so negative?

    It would have been much more positive to say that they only had one compatibility issue.....

    vista was incompatible with their system.

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