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US military vetoes NT, Exchange for battle system

Lotus gets to tender, but MS software ain't secure enough, says the brass

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The US Army, currently not deployed in Kosovo but who knows what may happen next (it's in Earls Court -- CIA maps again -- Ed), does not trust Windows NT or Exchange security. Microsoft hasn't been allowed to tender for the US Army Battle Command System (ABCS), which requires secure messaging. The winner is Lotus Notes, running on Sun Solaris. Microsoft was peeved, especially as it had persuaded the UK Information Technology Security Evaluation Criteria (ITSEC) certification board to give Windows NT 4.0 (with Service Pack 3) an E3/FC-2 rating, which Microsoft calls "the highest security evaluation possible for a general purpose operating system". MS also claims this is "roughly equivalent to a C2 evaluation under the US Trusted Computer Security Evaluation Criteria (TCSEC) regime, better known as the Orange Book". Mary Ellen O'Brien, director of DoD sales, Microsoft Federal, confirmed that MS is working with a third party, which she refused to name, to develop a Unix client for Exchange. This is part of the fight back, as Microsoft is concerned that Notes may increasingly replace Exchange in the military. Terry Edwards, director of technical integration for the US Army's Force XXI initiative at Fort Hood, Texas, said that "Lotus Notes is a far more technically superior product". At Fort Hood, Solaris x86 is being used, because "NT cannot support out security requirements". Colonel Robert Railford, director of the US Army's Defence Message System, noted that Notes on Solaris gave "the best solution for the ABCS tactical war fighter". Note, however, that the US military also believes Jeff Papows has a glittering combat record (see Lotus chief's 'combat' tales) -- go figure. Microsoft is not announcing any date when it will try again with its Unix-based Exchange client. ®

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