New Electronic Grants System Is Windows Only

The federal government has been trying to pull all grant applications into one system called grants.gov. The Washington Post reports that grants can only be submitted from Windows PCs and that while 90% of all PC run Windows that is not true in academia and the sciences where MAC are much more popular.

The problem: Although many U.S. scientists and others depend on graphics-friendly Macintosh computers, the software selected by the government is not Mac-compatible. And it is expected to remain so for at least a year.

I would add that in physics and computer science linux is very popular. In high energy physics which I know the most about, the intensive computing is always done on linux, and people who do that work frequently use linux on their desktop to simplify their access to the major computing resources. Grants.gov has been publishing information about how to do a workaround on MAcs, it has not done anything about linux.

I fear that the people making the decisions to set up grants.gov did not actually look at who would be using it. Now they are running around trying to develop workarounds. With the development of excellent cross platform tools like Mozilla Firefox and web services like gmail, many people and especially the most computer literate are becoming less and less tied to Windows. The goverment certainly should be forcing them back.

Update: I had to fix the link to the Washington Post article. It was missing the l on html.

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