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US Army Signs $471,000,000 Deal for Microsoft Software

michael posted more than 11 years ago | from the we-want-YOU-to-run-windows dept.

Microsoft 1260

zero_offset writes "According to this article at Yahoo, Microsoft will provide software for 494,000 Army computers during the next six years. At roughly $950 per computer this clearly involves more than just the OS, although the article unfortunately doesn't provide details, and I was unable to find any references to this on the Microsoft website." The great things about this deal: the Army is going through a reseller, when clearly they have the purchasing power to buy direct; and most of the computers they purchase are normal consumer machines which will be purchased with Windows and Office already installed, so the Army will be paying twice for each machine.

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ME am BRAZIL!!!! (-1)

JismTroll (588456) | more than 11 years ago | (#6302008)

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Fuck all who FAIL IT (-1)

JismTroll (588456) | more than 11 years ago | (#6302097)

Fuck all AC's, this post brought to you by CLIT

FP? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6302011)

forrest poost

YOU FAIL IT! (-1)

YOU FAIL IT! (624257) | more than 11 years ago | (#6302026)

Mama always said, life is like a box o' FAILURES!

YOU FAIL IT!

frosty (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6302016)

piss

Yeah Buddy! (3, Funny)

notque (636838) | more than 11 years ago | (#6302019)

US Army Signs $471,000,000 Deal for Microsoft Software

And if the US was a country that didn't pander to corperate intrests, the headline would read,

"US Army Signs $0 Deal for Linux Software"

Re:Yeah Buddy! (5, Insightful)

heir2chaos (656103) | more than 11 years ago | (#6302057)

I agree with you that about the price of Linux, but there's obviously something more there than an operating system. They may have had a need, that their bureaucrats didn't see and open source solution for.

Re:Yeah Buddy! (4, Funny)

anthony_dipierro (543308) | more than 11 years ago | (#6302059)

C'mon, admit it. You posted that using IE on Windows.

Re:Yeah Buddy! (5, Funny)

notque (636838) | more than 11 years ago | (#6302166)

C'mon, admit it. You posted that using IE on Windows.

Yes, but I have a valid reason.

I.. uh... umm...

If I used lynx, I wouldn't see Slashdot's ads, and would be circumventing the system, Which would not only be a violation of the DCMA, but would also..

I give up. Revoke my Slashdot card.

Re:Yeah Buddy! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6302094)

And if the US was a country that didn't pander to corperate intrests, the headline would read,


No, it would read US Army signs $0 Deal for Linux software if we wanted our soldiers to "RTFM, j00 n00b l4m3r" instead of, say, killing people and breaking things.

Re:Yeah Buddy! (1)

hplasm (576983) | more than 11 years ago | (#6302179)

No, it would read US Army signs $0 Deal for Linux software if we wanted our soldiers to "RTFM, j00 n00b l4m3r" instead of, say, killing people and breaking things.

This lets the Army concentrate on the killing, without having to worry about the breaking things, at least as far as the computers are concerned, it's taken care of automatically, as part of the OS (oid).

Re:Yeah Buddy! (2, Funny)

notque (636838) | more than 11 years ago | (#6302199)

No, it would read US Army signs $0 Deal for Linux software if we wanted our soldiers to "RTFM, j00 n00b l4m3r" instead of, say, killing people and breaking things.

Haven't you seen the commercial? All army people do is sit around and beat 14 year olds at video games.

(This comment would have been much better had I remembered the name of the game in the commercial.)

uh oh (1, Funny)

randyest (589159) | more than 11 years ago | (#6302022)

So now, "being all that you can be" includes being frustrated and riddled with crashes? Oh, wait, that's the old slogan. Won't someone please think of our TROOPS???!?!

Re:uh oh <= big ass faggot (-1, Offtopic)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 11 years ago | (#6302112)

OMG OMG OMG

You are funny long time, 100%. You are the guy!

Re:uh oh (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6302172)

I have numerous work and personal machines (6 or so) all running XP Pro and I cannot think of the last time any one of them crashed (back through w2k).

Most of my friends' issues aren't from the major vendors like Dell but rather self-built PC's that utilize a mishmash of buggy motherboards and the like.

RedHat and the other major distributions seem to release major revisions far more frequently than does Microsoft. To get any meaningful support on those systems you would have to actually buy the distribution or hire someone to help if you aren't capable. Free isn't that easy.

In the end I would take Microsoft anyday... and if anything goes severely wrong, there is always someone to hold accountable. You and I might not have the leverage, but the US military backed by a half-billion dollar contract sure will. Where is that accountablility with free software?

Ha ha ha... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6302023)

first post!

fp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6302025)

could this be my big chance?

certainly hope so!

Yeah I don't blame them... (-1, Troll)

bytes256 (519140) | more than 11 years ago | (#6302027)

It's one of only two safe options, since SCO owns "everything outside of Redmond" and the only other company that has given SCO its lunch money is Sun.

Oh and BSD is dying of course.

Yet another 'Bitch about MS' (0, Insightful)

yatest5 (455123) | more than 11 years ago | (#6302029)

story. Does anyone think that there should be a greater reason to post stories here than as an opportunity for 300 comments dissing MS? Sigh, let the bitching begin...

Re:Yet another 'Bitch about MS' (0, Insightful)

Farnite (670426) | more than 11 years ago | (#6302080)

Does anyone think that there should be a greater reason to post stories here than as an opportunity for 300 comments dissing MS? Sigh, let the bitching begin...

No, I don't think there needs to be any greater reason than this current one, it is a big deal that the army spends a TON Of money like this on microsoft software, and I think it's a poor decision on their part.

Re:Yet another 'Bitch about MS' (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6302185)

Why don't we just bitch about Linux and its lack of unformity on standards and bad design and mess under the hood, lack of direction and so on. BUt no that may actually help get linux moving forward.

yawn (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6302031)

subject says it all

waste of $$$ (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6302034)

Waste of money, USE LINUX YOU LIMEY BASTARDS!

whut happens if a nukes coming and windows crashes??

Re:waste of $$$ (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6302107)

LOLRORLOLRORRLORLRLOOLOLOLOROXORZLOLOLOL

BSOD!!!

AHHH!!!

*BOOOOOM*

DAMN YOU Micro$uX!!!

Reason: Don't use so many caps. It's like YELLING.
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Cost analysis (1, Funny)

Jedi1USA (145452) | more than 11 years ago | (#6302036)

Insert $1000 toilet seat joke here-->

Re:Cost analysis (2, Funny)

Lord Puppet (300347) | more than 11 years ago | (#6302111)

Insert "Military Intelligence" joke here.

Good News (0, Flamebait)

dirtyhippie (259852) | more than 11 years ago | (#6302040)

Before you all start griping, just remember... This is almost 1/2 a trillion dollars that won't be spent on "smart" bombs. Although I am not for the us military in general, I am all about it wasting it's money. Each $ wasted could be a life saved.

Re:Good News (1)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 11 years ago | (#6302078)

Also recall that this money "wasted" on MSFT fuels jobs at microsoft which in turn feeds American families.

Biatch!

Microsoft hardly creates jobs (4, Informative)

73939133 (676561) | more than 11 years ago | (#6302176)

If you are concerned with job creation, Microsoft is the wrong company to give money to. First of all, Microsoft needs much fewer employees than other industries to generate each $1m in revenue. In addition, since these are probably sales of existing software, there will be almost no job creation from those sales at all. Furthermore, Microsoft has a lot of its jobs overseas, so much of Microsoft's already measly job creation doesn't even take place in the US.

Re:Good News (2, Insightful)

garcia (6573) | more than 11 years ago | (#6302081)

you're absolutely insane. If anything, these are to better help smart bombs attack people.

Remember who is currently in office and what his goals seem to be.

It's 1/2 a billion and that's not enough to curtail bombing.

Re:Good News (0)

Cleon (471197) | more than 11 years ago | (#6302171)

you're absolutely insane. If anything, these are to better help smart bombs attack people.

Dude, it's *Microsoft*. There's no way in *hell* this will help the "smart bombs" do anything except get waaay dumber.

Re:Good News (1)

KaizerWill (240074) | more than 11 years ago | (#6302083)

geez you are a dirty hippie...

always remember, bombs can save more lives than they take. (but they have no moral obligation to)

Re:Good News (1)

inaeldi (623679) | more than 11 years ago | (#6302104)

1/2 billion, not trillian. Half a billion is a small amount compared the how much the US gov't spends on military

Re:Good News (4, Interesting)

notque (636838) | more than 11 years ago | (#6302116)

Before you all start griping, just remember... This is almost 1/2 a trillion dollars that won't be spent on "smart" bombs. Although I am not for the us military in general, I am all about it wasting it's money. Each $ wasted could be a life saved.

Was this a positive post for our government wasting money?

What are you thinking man? Don't end your post here, elaborate.

Why on earth can you concieve of this being a good thing? Because there will be fewer smart bombs purchased?

This just in, If we want bombs, we buy bombs.

We are in a republican controlled government. All that changes is the size of the debt.

Re:Good News (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6302117)

No, the money will still be spent; it will just be pulled from some other source, like education or a tax increase on the poor.

Re:Good News (1)

dirtyhippie (259852) | more than 11 years ago | (#6302118)

Err, make that a half billion... :-)

Re:Good News (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6302125)

Yes, but just think how many more Middle Eastern countries they'll have to "Liberate" before they have enough oil to pay for all of this?

I mean, Iraq is already going to have its oil wells pumped for nearly a decade in order to pay for its reconstruction, this will be another two decades at least, even if Syria is "liberated" too!

Re:Good News (5, Insightful)

anthony_dipierro (543308) | more than 11 years ago | (#6302142)

This is almost 1/2 a trillion dollars that won't be spent on "smart" bombs.

1/2 a billion dollars, right?

Anyway, wouldn't you rather the military use expensive "smart" bombs than cheap "dumb" ones? It's not like a lack of funding is going to stop them from entering into conflicts in the first place.

Re:Good News (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6302177)

This is almost 1/2 a trillion dollars that won't be spent on "smart" bombs.
It probably is being spent with the intention to create more 'smart bombs'. I think someone in the army got confused when seeing a reference to Microsoft's Blue Screen of Death (tm).

Re:Good News (1)

Lokist (596852) | more than 11 years ago | (#6302188)

Very good point... I think when it comes to the US military they need to have there cash depleted a little bit...

Re:Good News (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6302190)

Does Steve Balmer really need to buy another 0.5 trillion dollars worth of donuts? The guy looks like he's had enough already.

Keeps the money local, I suppose. (-1, Flamebait)

caluml (551744) | more than 11 years ago | (#6302042)

I suppose the US Government has to support its largest cash cow - and what better way to do it than this?

Re:Keeps the money local, I suppose. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6302133)

no no no no no no. A cash cow is a mature product that you "milk", selling it for a nice flow of profits while spending a minimum amount on R&D to improve it. Windows, Office, and Microsoft's other monopoly products are cash cows. So the government is supporting Microsoft's cash cows, not it's own. And the Bush administration is supporting one of it's campaign contributors.

What are the government's cash cows.? We taxpayers. Mooooo! Like it?

Well, at least... (1)

tijsvd (548670) | more than 11 years ago | (#6302043)

the world will be in safe. Didn't Microsoft commit itself to security?

Blue screen of "death" (0, Flamebait)

56ksucks (516942) | more than 11 years ago | (#6302045)

Does this price include working out the bugs and making everything work correctly? The last thing we need is the blue screen of death in the battle field. (fp)

Re:Blue screen of "death" (-1, Troll)

yatest5 (455123) | more than 11 years ago | (#6302072)

Does this price include working out the bugs and making everything work correctly? The last thing we need is the blue screen of death in the battle field.

Jesus you guys are full of shit. I haven't seen a blue screen crash since Windows 98, and that's (count it) FIVE YEARS AGO. CHANGE THE FUCKING RECORD.

Re:Blue screen of "death" (1)

56ksucks (516942) | more than 11 years ago | (#6302085)

I had one yesterday with Windows 2000, which I have to use at work.

Re:Blue screen of "death" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6302165)

This could bring a whole new meaning to the word FUBAR.

Does that mean... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6302046)

We can finally upgrade from Windows 2000 to XP?

Gross Misuse of Tax Payer Funds (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6302051)

Just goes to show how powerful lobbyists are. Well at least this levels the playing field a bit on the world military scale ... stop an M1 Abrams with KLEZ

wasted tax dollars (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6302052)

I can't believe they would waste tax dollars like that. But, I guess if your budget is that big, and you will lose that money if you don't spend it, why not just buy lots of computers that will be obsolete in a couple years, instead of figuring out a better plan to upgrade the machines later with better parts.

Oh great, we're are SO gonna win... (1)

Marx_Mrvelous (532372) | more than 11 years ago | (#6302053)

The upcoming Cyberwarfare! At $950/machine, do you think each will come with IIS installed? Talk about ecurity!

Paying twice? (5, Informative)

CrayzyJ (222675) | more than 11 years ago | (#6302056)

"so the Army will be paying twice for each machine"

I RTFA and I saw NO reference to anyone paying twice. The article does not state this deal is for the OS and office, so you, Michael, should not assume anyone is paying twice.

I know, I know. NO, I am not new here. Yes, I know /. is slanted. It still irritates me though.

Idiots (0, Flamebait)

dh003i (203189) | more than 11 years ago | (#6302058)

Thank you, whoever made that decision. Now, $450million of OUR taxpayer dollars are going to pay for a crappy defective OS with inherent security flaws, and we're going to be forced to upgrade on MS' schedule.

MY tax dollars should not be spent on proprietary software.

Re:Idiots (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6302141)

With quality software from Redmond and outstanding support, who needs terrorists?

Re:Idiots (1)

pilybaby (638883) | more than 11 years ago | (#6302187)

That is true but when your millitary has a budget of $400bn it's not a lot, and besides it's proprietry software that runs in pretty much all your planes bombs and what not.

A better way would be to half the millitary budget and install some kind of NHS system so that everyone could benifit from decent care when needed.

HO ha (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6302196)

I'm sooooo glad I don't live in america. You guys must get pissed off with your government and big companies shitting on you constantly. And they're in cahoots, to join up and spend how much?!?!

It's amusing to see that much money being spent on anything. That much money could buy a house for every homeless person in europe. Still, it's got to have a massively expensive army when you're fighting against a 3rd world country with pre-WWI ordinance, or just plain civilians.

Watch out for terrorists by the way, I think I just saw a darkie near your family!

As usual, Slashdot never fails (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6302063)

you can't really claim to know that they are paying twice for each machine. With a deal that large they are not going to be so naive with what they are buying. Government spending may be out of control but you cannot tell us that the military is doing something so stupid that you or I or any /. reader could figure out.

In fact the military offers many tech positions and training opportunities and uses highly advanced technology on a day to day basis. The military in the US is one of the few large government institutions that embraces technology and its benefits.

This is just clearly posted so that people can rip on MS and the large sum of money going to them. Typical /. *sigh*

-Anonymoose

Army (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6302064)

Commander: We need to go into battle now!
Officer: We first need to access our plans, but Word froze up with "reactivate your software now"
Commander: Oh great. What can we do?
Officer: Nothing. Congress passed a bill allowing copyright holders to seek injunctions against the army for violating the DMCA. We have to reactivate.
Commander: But the enemy is jamming our cell phone signals!
Officer: I guess we have to surrender.

What software? (4, Informative)

Surak (18578) | more than 11 years ago | (#6302065)

From the article:

Charles Di Bona, software analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein, said in a research report that the contract would most likely add $16.6 million per quarter of "high-margin (in the range of 89 percent) revenues and add $0.001 per quarter to EPS."

What products make M$ *that* much profit? Windows and Office of course.

Let's see...if the Army is paying full retail (which I wouldn't doubt):


Microsoft Windows XP Professional: $299
Microsoft Office XP Professional: $449
Microsoft Visio Standard: $199

Total: $947


There's most likely your answer.

(Also, I happen to know that Visio Standard comes on the Army's standard build (a friend of mine worked for TACOM), so that's why picked it :)

Re:What software? (1)

NotClever (635709) | more than 11 years ago | (#6302144)

You can bet that this is like an Enterprise license agreement. Not only does it include Office and Windows XP Pro, but it will include CAL's to SQL Server, Systems Management Server, NT Server, and more, for the next 3 years.

While you can argue about Microsoft vs. a 'free' solution, you won't get any traction with the government paying retail or more for this stuff.

Be all You can be (1)

conteXXt (249905) | more than 11 years ago | (#6302068)

has new meaning. one word stupid

Validation by a questionable source. (1)

beaverfever (584714) | more than 11 years ago | (#6302069)

Keith Hodson, a Microsoft spokesman, said the contract could help the Army reduce its costs and "validates the Army's belief in our security model."

It's also commonly known that the US Army (the US Military in General) isn't well known for spending its money wisely.

Of course (1)

harm5way (616066) | more than 11 years ago | (#6302070)

This is the new version of $600 toliet seats..

not a big suprise (0, Redundant)

iceT (68610) | more than 11 years ago | (#6302071)

from the same organization that brought us $100 toilet seats and $500 hammers.

This doesn't strike me as unreasonable. (3, Insightful)

Meat Blaster (578650) | more than 11 years ago | (#6302073)

The Navy already uses Windows almost exclusively for its day-to-day computing, and it seems to be working out alright. Admittedly, it isn't cheaper out of the box, but I could see the total cost of ownership easily being lower given that they can procure much of what they need rather than depending on somebody in house to design it.

They aren't a business. They can't afford to code up every little thing when they need it and they need to know that they can depend on somebody else to fix any problems that might come up. It's a variant of the "Who do you sue" problem. Microsoft's stuff is easily usable and ultimately gets the job done, which lets them focus on what's important.

I'd hate to think that our fighting forces are futzing around for weeks on end trying to figure out how to get fonts to anti-alias, let alone getting the whole "enterprise" to work. Windows Server 2003 and Windows XP Professional streamline enterprise activities.

Re:This doesn't strike me as unreasonable. (5, Informative)

kk5wa (118020) | more than 11 years ago | (#6302184)

AFAIK, WinXP has not been approved for use on any DoD network. There are a few stand-alone systems out there, but XP on a network is a big no-no.

Re:This doesn't strike me as unreasonable. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6302194)

"They aren't a business. They can't afford to code up every little thing when they need it and they need to know that they can depend on somebody else to fix any problems that might come up."

The armed forces can afford to code up something? Can't afford? Are you joking?

Sounds.. (5, Interesting)

Lugor (628175) | more than 11 years ago | (#6302075)

like the Army is paying for Microsoft's fine...

Justice Department: Bad Microsoft.. you must pay $500 million and promise to never do it again.

Defense Deparment: Here Microsoft.. $471 million for you...

Right hand doesn't know what the left hand is doing? Or does it?

$471,000,000?!? (5, Funny)

rampant mac (561036) | more than 11 years ago | (#6302076)

$471,000,000 dollars? That's like SIXTEEN hammers!

Must control (1)

aliens (90441) | more than 11 years ago | (#6302082)

Fist of death!

$471 million (1)

nxg125 (30911) | more than 11 years ago | (#6302086)

How exactly does spending $471 million reduce costs? I'm not sure who's more delusional, the US Army or Microsoft.

Yikes! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6302087)

Is thit any surprise from an organization that's lost 2 trillion dollars over the past 10 years? What is this, some kind of super-mafia or something?

Army moto: (0, Redundant)

saden1 (581102) | more than 11 years ago | (#6302089)

"Spend as much as you can."

Point is, the Army is not out to save money. Buying direct is a no-no. This way, they can as for more money next year.

A friend of mine worked as an Army Core Engineer and he once told me they spend $2000 on a box of hammers.

Re:Army moto: (1)

Queuetue (156269) | more than 11 years ago | (#6302137)

How many hammers are in a box?

Is The OS Actually Included? (2, Insightful)

Flamesplash (469287) | more than 11 years ago | (#6302092)

Can we actually assume that the base OS is actually included in the $900+/comp. price? I think it's a little premature to assume so. Something not mentioned though is that this probably covers OS and software upgrades which can be expensive potentially

I wonder if this basically is some sort of site license for all MS products for the Army.

The Seattle PI has a little more (4, Informative)

Poilobo (535231) | more than 11 years ago | (#6302093)

The deal $970 per seat includes OS, Exchange, SQL, and Office so that's about right.

The article also says the US military seems to think Microsofts security problems were not significant enough to stop the deal.

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/business/128059_msft military25.html

An Army of Windows (1)

citadelgrad (612423) | more than 11 years ago | (#6302100)

Join the army and learn windows!!!

Microsoft can finally sell BOB(Bombs over Baghdad) to someone!

Doh! (-1, Flamebait)

pnix (682520) | more than 11 years ago | (#6302101)

Someone please tell me - what will the high-tech laser guided missiles aimed at terrorist hideouts that we wanna blow up do, when the controller computer BSOD's? Think the missile will just circle around waiting for a reboot while thinking "Oh it'll boot up...soon enough...come on honey, you can do it...just give me a target..."

with that kind of money.... (1)

xirtam_work (560625) | more than 11 years ago | (#6302105)

I would have thought that they could have their own software and operating system developed for them.

After all some work has already been done by the NSA on SEC Linux, why not capitalise on the outrageous amount of quality free software and plough some tax payers money into employing skilled linux and unix professionals to bring everything up to your desired spec.

Then you can do whatever you want with it and don't have to pay any more licences.

Thanks to the ARMY for feeding my children. (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6302109)

Good decision. It's nice to see that bigger organisations getting normal again and use software that works, costs money and which is proven to be some sort of industry standards. The ARMY secures a lot of peoples employment by this decision. They can work on software, earn money, sell the software for a good price, knowing that they can feed their kids with the money they take home every month..

I am an open source developer and it sucks working the hell out on professional software without getting paid for the shit I am doing. Not that I don't get paid I also need to deal with a lot of complaining and ranting faggots all the time.

Open Source is killing legitimate work of professionals, software engineers and those who need to feed their kids with the money they earn each month. Open Source means that the company can't make any serious money and thus can't even pay their employees.

Welcome to the world of government contract$. (5, Informative)

Wakko Warner (324) | more than 11 years ago | (#6302110)

My friend did some contract work for the Army a few months back. They needed a pair of IBM RS/6000 P-series 660s, fully loaded, attached to a pair of FastT700 fibrechannel arrays. Close to $1M worth of hardware, by my rough estimates, having purchased similar hardware in the past.

This was for a workgroup of 30 people.

Government contracts are the best.

- A.P.

The old joke said: (0)

Noryungi (70322) | more than 11 years ago | (#6302120)

Army Intelligence.

A contradiction in terms.

'Nuff said.

There's more to this story, I guarantee it. (2, Troll)

taumeson (240940) | more than 11 years ago | (#6302124)

Keith Hodson, a Microsoft spokesman, said the contract could help the Army reduce its costs and "validates the Army's belief in our security model."

What...are you FUCKING kidding? This is basically worst-case scenario when it comes to security. Anybody remember M$ offering their source to China? Hello, McFly?

The U.S. government is investing aggressively in technology as part of its war on terror and focus on national security.

Of course they are....everything comes back to 9/11, right?!

The six-year deal, which also involved a software reseller called Softmart that will get a commission

Somebody...find out which congressman/senator's wife/retired general has a major stake in Softmart. There's got to be collusion SOMEWHERE. This move is too boneheaded and expensive for this not to be an insider deal.

although....

Anybody know if any of these costs include all the immense testing, or paperwork, or the percentage that gets siphoned off for black projects?

I'm not being snide about that last one...a percentage of all projects goes into black projects..that's how they fund the Skunkworks, after all.

Minority Preference? (2, Insightful)

Lester67 (218549) | more than 11 years ago | (#6302126)

Microsoft is not a minority owner company. I'm curious to know if the "reseller" is listed as one.

If it is, that's why the Army *HAD* to use a reseller.

I thought... (3, Funny)

medscaper (238068) | more than 11 years ago | (#6302131)

Saw that title, US Army Signs $471,000,000 Deal for Microsoft Software...

I was thinking, "Wow! Bill finally sold!"

And then, "Hmmm. They'll probably be enforcing those EULAs with an SKS muzzle in your mouth, now."

but but but ... (1)

CERDIP (648784) | more than 11 years ago | (#6302135)

the article says 471 Million bucks. Which is nuts, but reasonable. The base post by michael says 471 BILLION bucks ! That's nuts too, but unreasonable.

Re:but but but ... (1)

BenjyD (316700) | more than 11 years ago | (#6302195)

1 million = 1e6 = 1,000,000
471 million= 471e6=471,000,000

Common Criteria Compliancy (-1)

pkcs11 (529230) | more than 11 years ago | (#6302139)

Those 3 little words are why this happenend. The OS will be ready to roll on Common Access Cards and use it's native pki within CAC for authentication and encryption.

About $200,000,000 wasted (2, Interesting)

mao che minh (611166) | more than 11 years ago | (#6302140)

Imagine, the US government could have used $200,000,000 on new Linux systems, and used the other $200,000,000 in training (which creates jobs) and new Linux jobs. They would have access to the code, alleviated the threat of viruses and worms, and insured that they would save money on concurrent license fees (largely, but not completely).

Pretty sad that our military wastes extreme amounts of money on computer systems that they know they will have to upgrade shortly (more $$$, no jobs), will keep them open to the threat of widespread viruses (more $$$, no new jobs), and contains code that they can not see (no new jobs). This is fucking sad, man.

Stupid white man. (1)

fluch (126140) | more than 11 years ago | (#6302148)

Says it all, doesn't it?

Who's been whispering in their ear? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6302155)

Maybe some paid spokesman for industry telling them "If you use Open BSD you'll be helping the terrorists!"

The world is getting to be an ubsurd place. Be nice to move to the mountains or something away from the all these greedy, pawing sociopaths.

494000 computers (0, Flamebait)

Lord Kholdan (670731) | more than 11 years ago | (#6302161)

Exactly how many computers is that/soldier?

More then one I'd bet. Why?

Minister M.S. (2, Funny)

BenjyD (316700) | more than 11 years ago | (#6302167)

" Keith Hodson, a Microsoft spokesman, said the contract could help the Army reduce its costs and "validates the Army's belief in our security model.""

I guess the Iraqi information minister's initials being M.S. isn't a coincidence then - he appears to work for them

True cost... (2, Interesting)

BobRooney (602821) | more than 11 years ago | (#6302174)

While the cost of microsoft products, retail or OEM is substantially higher than Open Source alternatives, there is a consideration that is not addressed by that cost: Training.

Most of the kids going into the army have some experience with computers: computers running Windows. The more familiar new recruits are with Army technology the less training will be required and the less time/resources/money need to be invested in getting newly enlisted GIs up to speed. The military is like a business in many ways. They write memos, reports, letters, make spreadsheets and send email. The most efficient way of getting all personel on the same page technologically is to deploy the "lowest common denominator". That is to say, software that is good enough and easy enough to use.

Big Deal (1)

usurper (27610) | more than 11 years ago | (#6302175)

This may be impressive, but Linux has the City of Largo, FL. Eat it, MS!

taxpayers fueling the economy (1)

eurostar (608330) | more than 11 years ago | (#6302178)

the whole point is to subsidise US companies,(MS, BOING etc) and thus the US economy, through taxpayers money. This is the reason why US "defense" spending is so high. And then, when you have all these toys to play with, you have to give them a playing field...or two...

Conspiracy theory... (1)

mszeto (133525) | more than 11 years ago | (#6302182)

I bet this money only include the OS and M$ Office... the money will be laundered somehow and end up on a military project we don't know about...

Didn't they get caught paying 95$ for a screw a few years back?

Yea, details not provided (4, Insightful)

GMontag (42283) | more than 11 years ago | (#6302189)

although the article unfortunately doesn't provide details

My suspicion is that there are enough details left out that the author and editor could print an alarmist article.

Further suspicion is that there are MANY MORE aspects of this contract tha have been conveniently, or ignorantly, omitted.

Little things, like perhaps Smartsoft has the better GSA rate for MS software than MS itself does? Maybe Smartsoft underbid their supplier and is providing professional services in addition to the software? Who knows, since no link to the contract award is provided and no refrence to what sort of purchase this "story" is referring, or avoiding to refer.

You guys see this all the time with the $2B/aircraft stories, that conveniently leave out all of the special tools and other pricy items that come along with each Squadron delivered with only the "journalist" obscuring the real cost of the airplane since those costs are published buy the GAO with regularity. How is this any different or even news?

Disguised subsidy to Microsoft? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6302193)

Not that M$ needs subsidies with more than 50 Billion U$ in the bank, but this clearly seems to be another "disguised" subsidy to a potentially big campaign contributor to next year's presidential race. Together with Haliburton, Northop and others, it seems that the reason for this "double bill" from M$ is just for electoral purposes, not really a threat to Linux, especially not in the army! Since they _know_ what is secure and what can be trusted (remember NSA?).
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