BTis to move its 100,000 employees directly from the Microsoft Windows XP operating system to Windows 7, skipping Vista.\nThe company has 75,000 desktop computers, as well as 25,000 laptops, currently running XP.\nBT beta tested Windows 7 on 200 machines, ahead of the system\u2019s release on 22 October, but would not detail the timescale or plans for the overall move. Instead it said saying that at the moment users could upgrade to Windows 7 as they wished.\nPeter Scott, BT\u2019s chief technology officerfor end-user systems, did not disclose why BT was not using Vista. But at the event Steve Ballmer, Microsoft chief executive, conceded that Vista had been met with \u201cvibration\u201d in the market, referring to complaints among some users.\nCost is a vital element of BT\u2019s move to Windows 7, according to Scott. BT is attempting to carve over \u00a31 billion from annual operational costs, after problematic IT services contracts with NHS and Reuters are reported to have wiped over \u00a31.6 billion from its books.\nThe system would \u201cextend the life\u201d of BT\u2019s hardware and improve power management, he said, as well as being easy for the user to upgrade to.\nUsing Windows 7\u2019s in-built security features would also remove some of BT\u2019s \u201ccomplexity\u201d, Scott said, by eliminating separate firewall and virtual private network security suppliers. \u201cWe have too many vendors, too many support contracts and licences,\u201d he said. \u201cNow we can use Microsoft\u2019s security features and just have one supplier to deal with.\u201d\nScott said Windows 7 would provide BT staff with a \u201cbetter user experience\u201d, including faster start-up, compatibility with BT\u2019s smartcard VPN access for mobile workers, and stronger search capabilities. It also offered \u201cuseful\u201d encryption through the in-build BitLocker tool.\nBT was concerned about application and hardware compatibility with Windows 7, Scott said, but he expects this to ease as the software is released and other suppliers tie in their products.\nBT also uses Microsoft\u2019s Office Communications Server, Exchange and Sharepoint technology, as well as a Citrix network access platform. The company runs 11,500 Blackberrys and 6,500 Windows Mobile based devices.