More info on Windows 8 use in the Army and Air Force revealed

A few days ago, we reported that the U.S. Department of Defense had announced a new three year $617 million deal with Microsoft that will give some branches of the U.S. military access to Windows 8, Office 2013 and more software products. Today, Microsoft confirmed that agreement and offered up some more information on the new deal with the DoD.

Microsoft's press release states that the actual contract was awarded to Insight Public Sector, a large reseller of Microsoft products, which in turn will provide the software to the U.S. Army, U.S. Air Force and the Defense Information Systems Agency. Microsoft said this deal will cover close to 75 percent of all DoD personnel and is the "most comprehensive licensing agreement" it has made with the U.S. military.

Microsoft also expanded on how Windows 8 will be used in the Army and Air Force. It stated:

The increasingly mobile DoD workforce will also use Windows 8 to empower productivity from any location, and any supported device, while taking advantage of enhanced security. The U.S. Army’s Network Enterprise Technology Command headquartered at Fort Huachuca, Ariz., and the Air Force Program Executive Office for Business and Enterprise Systems at Maxwell Air Force Base-Gunter Annex in Alabama, have been working closely with Microsoft on achieving Army Golden Master and Air Force Standard Desktop Configuration compliance for Windows 8.

The DoD has previously claimed this new Microsoft deal will also save them a lot of money in the long run, saying that the U.S. Army will save $70 million for each year of the three years contract.

Source: Microsoft | Image via Department of Defense

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Usage by the Department of Defense is not related to how well something will work in the business arena. Career politicians still need to be fully serviced.

It will be interesting to see what they do with Windows 8 in regard to the SDC, I remember upgrading people from XP to Vista in my year or so as a CSA and that was a pretty large step.

Tomorrow Steve Ballmer will say that Windows 8 is a super success because he sold sooo many licenses, none of them for the consumer, but still ok.

Now the US Army just lost multi tasking, multiple windows, and they have to develop full screen apps

john.smith_2084 said,
Now the US Army just lost multi tasking, multiple windows, and they have to develop full screen apps

They'd do that instead of simply clicking the little 'Desktop' tile and getting back all of the stuff you mentioned above, which is never 'lost' in Win8 by the way.

Yep.

john.smith_2084 said,

Now the US Army just lost multi tasking, multiple windows, and they have to develop full screen apps

John, the desktop is still there, and you can pin the most used apps on the taskbar, thus preventing you from leaving the desktop.

john.smith_2084 said,
Tomorrow Steve Ballmer will say that Windows 8 is a super success because he sold sooo many licenses

I'd love to know how they count "licences" in the enterprise.

Say 1 big bank with software assurance for its 10,000 Windows NT desktops, renews its "Software Assurance", does that mean Microsoft counts 10,000 Windows 8 sales, even if not a single one is ever deployed?

Dot Matrix said,
Well, so much for Windows 8 failing. Lol.

Did people think it was going to? Are people forgetting that even with all the bad mouthing Vista got, it still sold 300 million copies?

Dot Matrix said,
Well, so much for Windows 8 failing. Lol.

Compared to the ~1.5 billion Windows users, whether or not the US govt uses 8 probably isn't a good sample size for determining success or not. Just saying.

Astra.Xtreme said,

Compared to the ~1.5 billion Windows users, whether or not the US govt uses 8 probably isn't a good sample size for determining success or not. Just saying.

Still shows the validity of the OS. If it's good enough for our government to use, it's sure as hell is good enough for private business.

Dot Matrix said,

Still shows the validity of the OS. If it's good enough for our government to use, it's sure as hell is good enough for private business.

Well yeah it's a fine OS. Beneath the Modern UI, it's still the old Windows everybody knows. Slap on Start8 and you got yourself a Win7 clone (ish).

Money talks though. Especially in government.

Astra.Xtreme said,

Compared to the ~1.5 billion Windows users, whether or not the US govt uses 8 probably isn't a good sample size for determining success or not. Just saying.

yes, likely the DoD will spend $3b "certifying" it, and then the only use it will get will be a couple of hundred "Generals and Colonels" get Nokia phones with Windows 8 for their own personal use.

spy beef said,
Will their version have a start menu?

Just like the start menu was the rough equivalent to the program manager, the start screen is the rough equivalent to the start menu, and you are the rough equivalent to not clever.

spy beef said,
Will their version have a start menu?

They wanted mobility which is greatly increased by touch input. The startmenu was replaced by the startscreen to make Windows usable both with touch and mouse+keyboard input. The startscreen isn't perfect but for the most part is is an improvement over the startmenu.

Windows Nashville said,
I agree that the lack of a start menu makes it less usable. Good call, Dot.

The Start Screen is the Start Menu. Nothing has changed there. Seesh.

Ezekiel Carsella said,
$70 million wont do much for the $16 trillion deficit

I don't think you understand government finances.

I'd try to come up with an analogy you could relate to, except I *hate* it when people compare personal budgets to government budgets, since the two aren't even remotely analogous.

The best way I have of explaining it is this: With a personal budget, no matter how much you spend, you still make the same amount of money. Thus if you want to pay off your debts, you just spend less money.

With the government, the amount they make is directly related to the amount they spend. Thus, when they decrease expenses, this comes around and reduces things like productivity, GDP, and tax revenue.

So the best analogy I can think of is if you decide to put money in your savings, your boss docks your pay.

ModernMech said,

With the government, the amount they make is directly related to the amount they spend. Thus, when they decrease expenses, this comes around and reduces things like productivity, GDP, and tax revenue.

You got it upside down. When you decrease expenses, things like jobs, productivity, GDP and tax revenue go up.

When you increase expenses, the deficit grows up and everything else get real sluggish. Like what we had the last 4 years.

Captain555 said,

You got it upside down. When you decrease expenses, things like jobs, productivity, GDP and tax revenue go up.

When you increase expenses, the deficit grows up and everything else get real sluggish. Like what we had the last 4 years.


[Citation needed]

It depends on where you decrease expenses. When it involves purchasing from the private sector you want to spend more, when it comes to internal bureaucracy you want to spend less. So really you can't definitively say increasing or decreasing will make the economy sluggish or not. Typically any spending decrease means someone somewhere is losing a job.

Captain555 said,

You got it upside down. When you decrease expenses, things like jobs, productivity, GDP and tax revenue go up.

When you increase expenses, the deficit grows up and everything else get real sluggish. Like what we had the last 4 years.

I think you're both wrong... and right...

Some expenses are investments and investments can pay off but they can also backfire and only make a bad situation worse. There is no absolute truth here.

But I do believe that (in most cases) when an economy is in a bad place you need to reevaluate and make educated investments. Inaction usually leads to distrust from financial markets.

Ronnet said,

I think you're both wrong... and right...

Some expenses are investments and investments can pay off but they can also backfire and only make a bad situation worse. There is no absolute truth here.

But I do believe that (in most cases) when an economy is in a bad place you need to reevaluate and make educated investments. Inaction usually leads to distrust from financial markets.


This is part of why it's dishonest to talk about the government budget in 'lay' terms. The average individual citizen simply cannot relate to how these finances work, and it's never a simple matter of black/red. It's insanely complex, and unfortunately that complexity lets politicians pick and choose whatever numbers spin best to suit their message, and people eat it up.

Left or right, if any 'opinion' on government finances doesn't come with a three page explanatory disclaimer, it's manipulating you.

Misleading headline, yet again, this article doesn't say anything about the did "USING" Windows 8 at all. They are doing some certification/compliance of it for security reasons, that's it.

ModernMech said,
The best way I have of explaining it is this: With a personal budget, no matter how much you spend, you still make the same amount of money. Thus if you want to pay off your debts, you just spend less money.

With the government, the amount they make is directly related to the amount they spend. Thus, when they decrease expenses, this comes around and reduces things like productivity, GDP, and tax revenue.

So the best analogy I can think of is if you decide to put money in your savings, your boss docks your pay.

Personal budgets and government budgets are more similar than complainers make them out to be.

In a personal budget, making money takes money, too, so if you have a business idea you have to invest in start up costs, what are in economics referred to as "sunk costs". If you're poor you get someone you know give you a loan with interest -- often a family member. Some people giving you loans might be more lenient than others and allow you to stretch the agreement.

And just like in a personal budget, for governments, some investments aren't worth the cost. Japan got stuck in a "lost decade" by trying to spend itself out of a recession. Deficits cause inflation in the long run, and a decline in the value of your currency, damaging the economy. Some deficit spending has more benefits than drawbacks, some has more drawbacks than benefits. Similar to tax cuts, which can also act as stimulus, if they have more benefits than drawbacks.

You have to think a bit, and abstract a bit, but it is similar, and economists (Krugman) who argue they're not are usually obfuscating things and trying to pretend there are no negative consequences to what they're suggesting.

But worrying about a $70 million investment in one year when you're expecting to lose trillions every year from a bad business arrangement (entitlements, as they're currently structured) is silly, yes.