Microsoft has signed a licensing agreement with the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) related to its latest operating system, Windows 8.
The three-year deal, which is worth $617 million, sees the U.S. Army, Air Force, and Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) all granted access to Microsoft products. The U.S. government will consequently have access to the software giant's technological developments in data center consolidation, cyber-security, mobility and cloud computing.
The deal is the largest licensing agreement Microsoft has signed with the U.S. DoD. It covers nearly 75 percent of its personnel, with the contract itself being awarded to Microsoft’s large account re-seller, Insight Enterprises.
"Microsoft has longstanding relationships with the U.S. Army, the U.S. Air Force and DISA, and we are honored to expand our support of ongoing technology modernization efforts across all three organizations," said Tim Solms, general manager of Microsoft’s Department of Defense Business. "This agreement enables us to provide the best technology tools to an incredibly broad range of servicemen and servicewomen across the DoD, and we are looking forward to implementing to support their mission goals."
Microsoft said the DoD will have access to new tools including Share Point 2013 Enterprise, which can "unlock new levels of cross-agency information sharing," with its social communications features able to advance "intelligence and reporting capabilities."