Windows 8 Will Soon Be Powering PCs At The Defense Department

IT Management

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There's some talk that Windows 8 may not be doing so well in the consumer market. Heck, there's even talk that it's not doing so well in the Enterprise market. Even so, Microsoft just snagged a potentially lucrative contract with the Department of Defense that ensures its employees get acquainted with Windows 8.

Three organizations within the Department of Defense - the U.S. Army, Air Force and Defense Information Systems Agency - have entered into a "transformative three-year Joint Licensing Agreement for enterprise licenses and software assurance" with Microsoft. In other words, the folks whose job it is to fight foreign combatants will soon be using 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,” said Tim Solms, general manager, Microsoft 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.”

The deal isn't some small agreement either, as Microsoft reports that nearly 75 percent of all DoD personnel will be switched over to Windows 8. Employees will also have access to Microsoft Office 2013 and Share Point 2013 Enterprise. The latter 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."

So, how much is this deal worth to Microsoft? The DoD says that the three year agreement is worth $617 million. Even then, the DoD says this is the best deal it has ever received for Microsoft desktop software licenses. The Army in particular will save $70 million each year over the next three years thanks to the agreement.

Windows 8 might not be catching on at the consumer level, but it seems that the company is still king of the enterprise/government market. It may want to keep a watchful eye on Google though as the company's Apps for Business service is picking up steam.