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US military nails 'best ever' Microsoft deal, brags size does matter

'No one comes close to our scale'

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US Department of Defense personnel will get their hands on Microsoft’s latest software in a deal officials claim is their best yet from Redmond.

The government department has signed a three-year enterprise licence agreement with Microsoft worth $617m, giving its two-million-plus civilian and military staff access to Windows 8, Office 2013 and SharePoint 2013. The DoD reckoned the deal will save tens of millions of dollars on the cost of licensing the gear through the Microsoft’s Software Assurance upgrade programme.

Announcing the agreement, the department - the world’s largest employer - made much of its size after seizing the bumper discount, claiming the deal "demonstrates the best pricing DoD has received to date for Microsoft desktop and server software licenses".

David DeVries, the department's deputy chief information officer, said in a statement: “No one comes close to our scale, so when we talk about something that produces a standardized way of buying, installing and maintaining [enterprise software], that’s a huge deal.”

The deal was led by US Army Contracting Command with the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA), the Army and the Air Force.

Army deputy CIO Michael Krieger added the service will save more than $70m annually during the three-year-lifespan of the agreement while the Navy’s Rear Admiral David Simpson, DISA vice-director and senior procurement executive, claimed savings of 10 per cent.

Windows 8 was launched in October. Office 2013 is available to MSDN subscribers and business customers, and is expected to go on general sale this quarter. ®

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