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Microsoft Businesses Government Networking Software The Military United States

US Military Signs Modernization Deal With Microsoft 228

Dupple writes with news that Microsoft has signed an agreement with the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Army, and the Defense Information Systems Agency to modernize the software those organizations use. According to Microsoft, the deal will cover 75% of all Department of Defense personnel, and bring to them the latest versions of SharePoint, Office, and Windows. The deal awards Microsoft $617 million, which is after discounts to the software totaling in the tens of millions. Interestingly, DISA's senior procurement executive said, "[The agreement] recognizes the shift to mobility. Microsoft is committed to making sure that the technology within the agreement has a mobile-first focus, and we expect to begin to take advantage of Microsoft’s mobile offerings as part of our enterprise mobility ecosystem."
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US Military Signs Modernization Deal With Microsoft

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  • FML (Score:4, Interesting)

    by oodaloop ( 1229816 ) on Friday January 04, 2013 @06:28PM (#42481347)
    I work for the dept of defense, and this just makes me cringe. Mobility? That sounds great, except the only electronic devices allowed in cleared spaces are old-skool one-way pagers. And the Army has been looking into getting Android devices for troops. So much for that apparently. The latest OS? They better fucking not load Windows 8 on my desktop. I'd say I would do something drastic, but more likely I'll just cry myself to sleep. And more Sharepoint? We use Sharepoint at work, and everyone hates it. We're currently looking at finding a suitable replacement. I'm going to go get a drink.
  • by girlinatrainingbra ( 2738457 ) on Friday January 04, 2013 @06:36PM (#42481505)
    Isn't the Navy under the "umbrella" of the Department o' Defense? Strangely, the linked article states that the Navy inked its own contract for $700 million (USA dollars) back in July of 2012 [].
    How is that encouraging any sort of good volume pricing or agreements if each division (Military Branch) is negotiating its own separate deal with Microsoft individually. If there's anyone that could screw with the military contracting officers, it's IBM and Microsoft.
    Then again, this kind of volume license contract could be what they had to do in order to be able to keep their downgrade capability to keep XP running on their older personal computers.
  • Discount? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by HeckRuler ( 1369601 ) on Friday January 04, 2013 @06:38PM (#42481523)

    The deal awards Microsoft $617 million, which is after discounts to the software totaling in the tens of millions.

    So... between $20 and $90 million out of a $617 million deal is 3.2%-14%. The most powerful military force in the world, and that's the best discount they could get? For sharepoint?

  • by RudyHartmann ( 1032120 ) on Friday January 04, 2013 @07:15PM (#42482121)

    I am in the semiconductor business. Of course we know how heavily dependent the military is on this technology. But yet, often times when a piece of military hardware is built, there is a requirement for a second source. This is in case the first source should falter in delivery. It's a security issue based on that. Why is this any different with software? If the military were to commit themselves to free open source software, they would be more soundly in control of their own security and destiny. This Microsoft deal doesn't make sense at all.

  • by mlts ( 1038732 ) * on Friday January 04, 2013 @07:39PM (#42482441)

    I'm going to be a bit of a devil's advocate:

    There is one good thing about Windows 8 -- Metro apps, or whatever MS calls them now (Microsoft Store Apps.)

    These store their files in a restricted subdirectory in the user's homedir, and run in an extremely limited security context.

    What I want to see is a real Web browser as a Metro app. This way, if the browser or an add-on running under it gets taken over, it can't get to a full user context, much less get control of the machine [1]. Same with an IMAP client. This is not to replace existing MUAs and Web browsers, but a restricted place to browse privately [2] with less exposure possible to malicious software.

    I'm not a fan of workflow with Metro apps, but I do like the security contexts that limit things. It doesn't solve everything, but it is a good tool in a toolbox.

    [1]: Nothing is impossible, but restricted contexts are a good start.

    [2]: Pr0n sites, most likely.

Can anyone remember when the times were not hard, and money not scarce?