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Microsoft, Dell win $500m US Air Force contract

One Air Force, One Network

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Microsoft has won a $500m contract to supply software and maintenance to the US Air Force. The six-year contract covers 525,000 Microsoft desktop Windows and Office software licenses which will be supplied through Dell. Microsoft will provide licenses and support for Windows Server, Exchange Server, SQL Server and SharePoint Portal Server.

This is not exactly new business: the contract replaces 38 separate software agreements previously in place. Microsoft support staff will work from nine regional command centres. The USAF hopes to save money and improve security by standardising desktop configurations across the organisation.

The project to update the force's technology is called "One Air Force, One Network". The two will "jointly work to solve security concerns across the Air Force's global enterprise". They will seek to improve upgrades and product testing and share best practise.

Air Force personnel can also get a much cheaper copy of Microsoft office for use on their home machine through the Software Assurance program.

Details of the hardware agreement with Dell have not yet been released, but the firm is acting as "large account reseller", according to Techweb. Troy West, vice president of Dell Federal, said: "This agreement builds on Dell's long-standing relationship with the Air Force. As an organization with facilities worldwide, it is important for the Air Force to efficiently and affordably procure technology when and where it needs it. This agreement enables it to accomplish that goal." ®

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