Halifax, the UK bank, is implementing Microsoft Windows XP as a pilot project on 50 desktops and plans to roll the operating system out to 70,000 users over a two to three-year period.
David Walker, Windows 2000 project leader, Halifax, explains: “We are piloting Windows XP as part of our adoption of the .Net strategy. We have a platform which is future-proof - and with 2,000 laptop users, the encryption features are invaluable."
David Slight, financial services industry manager at Microsoft, says the company has worked closely with customers within the financial services industry to determine and match their specific needs. He says the platform will operate as well in the branch as on the trading floor, and opens up new opportunities for companies looking to Web-enable their businesses.
Microsoft has also introduced its first 64-bit client operating system, Windows XP 64-Bit Edition, to meet the demands of specialised workstation users who require large amounts of memory and floating point performance. Slight says the company has been working with partners Intel and Sungard to develop the potential of this technology for areas such as risk management.
The computer industry is relying on XP to boost flagging hardware and software sales. However, Microsoft is having to work harder than before to sell the new operating system to its larger customers. The demand for XP within the financial services industry has been noticeably cooler than for previous OS releases as many firms postpone upgrade programmes during the current economic downturn.