Vista, wireless kept off main Olympic IT chores roster

The new OS will be in athletes' lounges only

Microsoft Vista has been relegated to waterboy status at the 2008 Olympic Games, while wireless networking won’t even play a supporting role in Beijing.

Windows XP was chosen to run on all PCs handling chores vital to the Olympic Games, and has been installed on most of the PCs delivered by Lenovo. Vista will only be used on PCs in internet lounges set up for athletes to use during the games.

The Olympic Games require mature, stable technologies, said Yang Yuanqing, chairman of Lenovo, during a briefing in Beijing. The Olympic Games isn’t a place to try new technologies due to the size and importance of the event, he said. Everything must work smoothly.

“If it’s not stable, it could have some problems,” he said.

That’s why all the Olympic Games’ vital PC-related tasks, including games management systems, the results systems, commentator information systems, and the staff and scheduling systems, are all running on XP.

Wireless networking has also been deemed too risky for the 2008 Olympics. There will be no wireless used among the core systems of the Olympic Games, says Leon Xie, director of Olympic technology and sponsorship at Lenovo. All networking will take place over wirelines, including the backup system.

“At the Olympics, we need the most reliable and stable system,” he says.

The 2008 Olympic Games, which officially opens on August 8 next year, is a massive event. It will require four times as much IT hardware as the 2006 Olympic Winter Games in Torino, Italy, says Xie.

Lenovo, the official computing sponsor of the games, has already delivered 12,000 desktop PCs and 2,000 printers to the organisers in Beijing, in addition to 800 laptops and 700 servers. Another 5,000 PCs were sent over for the athletes’ lounges and other hospitality and marketing purposes.

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Tags managementbejingwireless2008Olympicsvista

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