By Frederic Lardinois
For the most part, the news about Windows 8 hasn't been very positive for Microsoft (MSFT), but the company today announced a major win. The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) just signed a new three-year
licensing agreement with Microsoft reseller Insight Public Sector to bring Windows 8, Office 2013, and SharePoint 2013 Enterprise to 75% of all DoD personnel. The DoD, Microsoft says, will "use Windows 8 to empower productivity from any location, and any supported device, while taking advantage of enhanced security." It's worth noting, of course, that the DoD was already a Microsoft customer.
Today's announcement, said Microsoft, means the U.S. Army, U.S. Air Force, and Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) will now have access to "the latest Microsoft technologies in support of top IT priorities around datacenter consolidation, collaboration, cybersecurity, mobility, cloud computing, and big data." Microsoft also says that this is "the most comprehensive" agreement it has ever established with the DoD. The total worth of the deal is about $617 million, and the Army expects to save more than $70 million per year because of it.
"There’s a move afoot throughout the department to bring about efficiencies in the [information technology] world," David L. DeVries, DOD deputy chief information officer, told American Forces Press Service. "We took a long, hard look at it … realizing that the Department of Defense relies upon the network and upon information technology to do its business."
Microsoft will work closely with the U.S. Army's Network Enterprise Technology Command and the Air Force Program Executive Office for Business and Enterprise Systems to achieve "Army Golden Master and Air Force Standard Desktop Configuration compliance for Windows 8."