I'm sure you've been hearing that sales of Windows 8 have been slow and/or disappointing since its release in late October. Some blame it on the hardware, while others are saying that sales was actually meeting, admittedly lowered, expectations. After scoring gigantic win on Friday, though, I'm pretty sure Microsoft will have put any of those fears to rest.
The Defense Department has awarded a three-year, $617 million joint enterprise license agreement for Microsoft products, it was announced Friday.
The net new contract was awarded to Insight Public Sector, a division of Insight Enterprises, one of the largest global Microsoft Large Account Resellers, Microsoft wrote on its blog, and the deal will cover nearly 75% of all Department of Defense personnel. Microsoft called it "the most comprehensive licensing agreement" it has ever established with the DoD.
As part of the deal, the U.S. Army, U.S. Air Force and Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) will be given access to the most recent versions of Microsoft products, including Microsoft Office 2013, SharePoint 2013 Enterprise and Windows 8.
The new SharePoint 2013 Enterprise, Microsoft says, "will unlock new levels of cross-agency information sharing through improved enterprise search and social communications features while powering advanced business intelligence and reporting capabilities," while the Department of Defense will use Windows 8 "to empower productivity from any location, and any supported device, while taking advantage of enhanced security."
Microsoft says that it has been working 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.
“Microsoft has longstanding relationships with the U.S. Army, the U.S. Air Force and DISA, and we are honored to expand our support of ongoing technology modernization efforts across all three organizations,” Tim Solms, general manager, Microsoft Department of Defense Business, said in statement.
“This agreement enables us to provide the best technology tools to an incredibly broad range of servicemen and servicewomen across the DoD, and we are looking forward to implementing to support their mission goals.”
The Army expects the deal to save it around $70 million for each of the three years covered by the contract.
“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 had previously signed a three-year deal, with around $700 million, with the Navy in July 2012.
(Image source: http://www.ni.com)