Updates to this story
Representatives of the House of Lords have been treated to over a quarter of a million quid’s worth of new computer equipment.
In a written answer from Labour Lord Moonie to Lord Brabazon of Tara it was revealed that the Lords are currently upgrading their systems to Windows 7 at a cost of £288,000, though this is a forecast due to the ongoing nature of the work.
This will undoubtedly come as great news to the Lords as they will now have another toy to play with once they get bored of the iPad’s they may be given on expenses. For security, though - this is a positive.
According to Lord Brabazon equipment will be upgraded where possible at a forecast cost of around £25,000, while the cost of actually implementing the new equipment will come in at around £80,000.
One of the aims of the upgrade is ensure that both the House of Commons and the House of Lords are using similar software and hardware.
Furthermore Lord Brabazon claims the upgrade will mean the Lords are no longer using equipment that is no longer supported or is about to become obsolete in the near future.
One example is the current use of dial-up and virtual private network remote access services.
Apparently the complete package, Windows 7, Office 2007 and related software, had been deployed in the second half of 2010 to more than 3,000 devices with the Lords being given one on one tutorials by IT staff to learn to use the technology.
Windows 7, the Lords hope, will offer greater reliability as well as features such as Office Communicator Suite, meaning that in between perusing new legislation the Lords can ping instant messages to their chums in the House of Commons, or as Lord Brabazon puts it “allow improved support to be offered through the greater focus and depth of expertise that will be possible."