SO-03-010 Workstation Operating System (OS)

Issue Date:  1/10/2003

Revision Effective Date:  2/28/2003


Speed, memory, and a stable operating platform become increasingly important with the applications in use today. Standardizing on a 32-bit operating system will support faster processing, access to more memory, and better memory management. Support of desktop operating systems constitutes a large portion of State of Georgia’s technology infrastructure support costs. The more desktop operating systems supported, the higher the state’s costs for technology infrastructure support.

The purpose of establishing this standard is to migrate the State IT enterprise to a common workstation operating system, thereby greatly simplifying technical support requirements; providing opportunities for interoperability and compatibility between state agency programs and systems; and lowering overall support expenses.


All Agencies as that term is defined in O.C.G.A. Section 50-25-1 who purchase or lease new “wintel” platform compatible workstations for standard office productivity; and/or agencies upgrading existing workstations.  Non-wintel platform workstations or specialized workstations are not within the scope of this Standard.


32-bit operating system with graphical user interface for Intel compatible platforms. 

Products: Latest service pack release of the following:

Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional

Note: GTA is continuously reviewing products for inclusion under the standard. Note: Agencies should not install Windows 95, 98 or NT on new workstations and should eliminate their use on existing computers, where practical and feasible.


6 month full review with continuous monitoring.



While Windows operating systems are all proprietary operating systems, they dominate the desktop computer operating system market and have become de facto standards. Other competing operating systems command much smaller shares of the desktop operating systems market and are not expected to gain mass acceptance in the near term.

Technical and Implementation Considerations:

For the desktop workstation OS, Windows 2000 workstation is the stated long-term architectural direction as the enterprise standard for state agencies. For large enterprises purchasing new desktop or notebook computers, Microsoft recommends deploying Windows 2000 Professional operating system. This version of Windows operating system can effectively be used on both desktops and laptops. The agencies should test the applications they need to run before migrating to Windows 2000 to insure that all software can be used on the platform. Agencies should begin migration planning now to move existing desktops to Windows 2000. Linux OS is not an approved OS for the desktop and laptop computer categories.

Emerging Trends and Architectural Directions:

Windows XP was released October 25, 2001 and Windows XP Professional Edition is under review for inclusion under this standard. Use of the Microsoft Enterprise Agreement (EA) is suggested


Agencies that can not migrate to Windows 2000 Operating System because of mission critical applications that will not run on Windows 2000 Operating Systems may request exception from the State of Georgia CIO. Supporting business case must be included with exception request.


Wintel -A term describing any computer platform consisting of some version of Microsoft Windows running on an Intel 80x86 processor or compatible.

Workstation -A wintel platform desktop or laptop general-purpose computer deployed to state knowledge (i.e. business or office) workers. Computers used by developers and other high end or specialized users may differ from this definition and therefore are not required to adhere to this standard.

For the State’s purpose, PC and Workstation are used more or less interchangeably. A state definition is a desktop or laptop general-purpose computer deployed to a single state knowledge (i.e. business or office) workers typically running a Windows operating system on an Intel x86 or equivalent architecture. Traditional RISC/Unix based workstations are considered a very small subset of the total population of workstations and are referred to as not a Wintel workstations or specialized workstations.