Air NZ adds XP to Linux mix

Air New Zealand, which adopted Linux for its server infrastructure in a blaze of publicity last year, has selected Windows XPe-based thin clients for sales agents in remote offices.

Air New Zealand, which adopted Linux for its server infrastructure in a blaze of publicity last year, has selected Windows XPe-based thin clients for sales agents in remote offices.

Windows XPe, known as XP embedded, will be deployed on NeoWare thin client terminals to 110 desktops at Air NZ and 29 at subsidiary Freedom Air. The rollout should be complete before year’s end. Systems integrator Gen-i is handling the transition.

NeoWare terminals can run embedded Windows or Linux.

In contrast to his announcement of the Linux decision a year ago at LinuxWorld in San Francisco, deputy CIO Andrew Care was more elusive when Computerworld attempted to talk to him last week about the Windows purchase.

Care did not return repeated phone calls, despite being quoted in a Microsoft press release about the deal. In the release, he said Air NZ chose to use XPe after evaluating both Linux and XPe on the NeoWare devices. XPe was more cost-effective, manageable and flexible, Care said.

In August last year Care, then acting CIO, appeared on stage at Linuxworld to announce that Air NZ had chosen an IBM/Linux server solution to replace 150 Compaq servers running NT.

Air NZ had “been having issues with Microsoft’s licensing fees”, Care said at LinuxWorld.

He also said the airline would be investigating the use of Linux and Citrix thin clients, adding that Citrix was a less likely option because it still required Windows licensing.

Other Air NZ staff spoken to by Computerworld said questions about the XPe purchase should be referred to Care.

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