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US Department of Defense signs big contract with Microsoft – adopts Windows 8

Chalk this up to a big win for Microsoft.

The United States Department of Defense has just awarded the software company with a three year $617 million joint enterprise licensing agreement.

Under the agreement, the Army, Air Force and DISA can begin using the newest versions of Microsoft products, including Microsoft Office 2013, SharePoint 2013 and Windows 8.

Apparently both Microsoft and the DOD have customized the combination of software and services to meet the (obviously) very specific needs of the US military.

Here’s a quote from the Press Release:

DOD Awards First Joint Licensing Agreement

By Amaani Lyle
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Dec. 28, 2012 – The Defense Department has leveraged the buying power of more than two million information technology users to award a three-year, $617 million joint enterprise license agreement for Microsoft products, defense officials announced.

The deal, led by the Army Contracting Command in collaboration with the Defense Information Systems Agency, the Army and the Air Force, demonstrates the best pricing DOD has received to date for Microsoft desktop and server software licenses, officials said.

“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.”

Under the agreement, the Army, Air Force and DISA can begin using the newest versions of Microsoft products, including Microsoft Office 2013, SharePoint 2013 and Windows 8, officials said, adding that Office 2013 provides enhanced security and content management tools.

The package has been customized to meet the specific security needs of the Defense Department.

“How do we bring about better effectiveness for the warfighter, better improved security on the networks … while reducing the cost of ownership?” DeVries asked. “We are the largest corporation out there, comprised of four military services. … No one comes close to our scale, so when we talk about something that produces a standardized way of buying, installing and maintaining [enterprise software], that’s a huge deal.”

Department officials estimate savings could run into tens of millions over the course of several years through lower license and software assurance costs, officials said.

While this is not exclusively a Windows 8 deal, large wins like this help slowly push this thing uphill.

Good job Redmond.

You can read more about this agreement here.

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