Microsoft lands $617 million contract with US Dept. of Defence

Microsoft has landed a multi-million dollar licensing agreement with the US Department of Defense (DoD), which will see the proliferation of the company’s new Windows 8 OS at the Pentagon, among a host of its other products.

The three-year deal, worth $617 million (£384 million), brings Microsoft’s solutions to the US Army, Air Force, and Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA). The organisations will therefore be able to capitalise on Redmond's latest technological developments in datacentre consolidation, cyber-security, mobility, cloud computing, and big data.

It is the most comprehensive licensing agreement Microsoft has ever established with the US DoD, and covers nearly 75 per cent of its personnel. The contract was awarded to Microsoft’s large account re-seller, Insight Enterprises.

“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,” said Tim Solms, general manager of Microsoft’s Department of Defense Business. “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.”

Microsoft says the DoD will benefit from new tools like Share Point 2013 Enterprise, which can “unlock new levels of cross-agency information sharing,” while its social communications features will advance “intelligence and reporting capabilities.”

The contract also provides a welcome boost to Windows 8, with uptake of the software in the consumer sphere being underwhelming so far. Recent data said it is even surpassing Windows Vista as the slowest OS rollout in the company’s recent history.