I read this morning on Politico (sorry, I misplaced the link) that the Obama staffers have been informed that they are no longer allowed to use IM. Obama himself won his fight of Treasury Department vs. Blackberry (although they are making him move to one of the Blackberries approved by the NSA and armored for in theater combat which, as a security nerd, I find totally cool but everyone else finds abhorrent) but now they cannot use IM. For reasons that absolutely are beyond me, they apparently don’t have Microsoft Communicator IM server hooked up internally to their Outlook server, likely because no one knew they could do that.
But it’s worse than that. Apparently, leaking out of the White House through disgusted Obama staffers, is that the machines themselves have not been upgraded since Bill Clinton left office. The machines are largely running Windows 2000 and pre-2000 OSes that Microsoft no longer supports.
This actually explains an awful lot about the Bush Administration. At their core, they were anti-science, anti-engineering, anti-technology, anti-21st century. A complete Faith-based Administration. They hated smart people, and smart people use computers, so they hated computers, too. Thus the entire system is running on a creaky edifice.
I am looking forward to reports over the next month of the Obama people vs. the White House tech staffers and the new mandates for upgrades. I can understand why, perhaps, they don’t let people get on external AIM but really, this is a new world and for god’s sake, let these people have their internal IM. And yes I know there are issues with the Presidential Records Act but that is why the White House has lawyers. It collects logs! Automatically! Sheesh.
Frankly, when I read this factoid this morning I laughed and laughed. I look forward to battles over hardware acquisition and upgrades to *gasp* Windows XP. The next few months are going to be delightful from a pure technology perspective.