Microsoft scores nearly $1bn non-compete contract with US military

Redmond delivers source code and personal services to Green Machine

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Updated Satya Nadella’s team will be smiling today after the US Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) – the IT wing of the Department of Defense (DoD) – awarded his firm a five-year $927m support contract.

The deal will give the US military “access rights to Microsoft’s proprietary (closed-source) code” when it is “required to support the Department of Defense’s mission.” The bulk of the work will be done in the US, but multiple overseas locales will also be handled by Microsofties.

For its money the US is getting Blue Badge Cardholder support, meaning it gets first dibs on Microsoft code libraries, and technical support from actual Redmond employees instead of having to go through third-party suppliers – who typically wear orange badges when visiting the temple of St Bill.

Microsoft Enterprise Technical Support Services won the contract in a “non-competitive” bidding process, according to DISA. The award is paid up front and then it’s up to Microsoft to service all of its customers’ needs.

And the DoD has plenty of needs. In May, the Government Accounting Office reported the protectors of America were keeping the ICBM targeting codes on eight-inch floppies. Meanwhile the IRS is calculating your tax returns on a 56-year-old IBM mainframe.

The deal comes after an initial three-year contract from DISA awarded in 2013, but the DoD is a big Microsoft customer. In February, the company won a contract to upgrade four million DoD computers to Windows 10, and presumably deal with the fallout from the Anniversary Edition.

A Microsoft spokesperson told The Reg Redmond has no comment on the matter. ®

Updated to add

"The Department of Defense does not, and will not, have access to Microsoft's proprietary source codes," the DoD said in a statement. "The METSS-II contract is a sole-source follow-on contract to continue and leverage Microsoft support services."

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