We could have put it better, ourselves. Microsoft's Federal Systems unit has apparently "joined" Lockheed Martin's Integrated Warfare Systems Team. So far the alliance hasn't said anything about its plans for landscaping Washington DC, but there is an aircraft carrier involved.
And at this point, it all becomes wonderfully weird, and shot-through with synergy. Lockheed Martin is working on the design of the new US CVN 77 aircraft carrier, and Microsoft Federal Systems is to co-operate in the ship's information technology architecture. This will, we kid you not, be based on Windows 2000. Microsoft Consulting Services will meanwhile chip in with tech support during the ship's software design, development and deployment.
Lockheed Martin's Warfare Systems Team is apparently a part of the company's Naval Electronics & Surveillance Unit, so we fear Larry Ellison had better watch out - Microsoft has some spooky-sounding new friends, and they have the firepower to take out a lot more than the trash.
But there's a funny coincidence too. The CVN 77 is being built by Newport News Shipbuilding Inc., and that name may be familiar to you. Yes, that's right, a little while back Bill Gates invested in... Newport News Shipbuilding Inc. He holds an eight per cent stake. Newport News Shipbuilding is one of only two companies in the US which are capable of building nuclear submarines, and has built ten of the last 12 aircraft carriers commissioned by the US navy. It'll launch the USS Ronald Reagan (again, no kidding) next year, and it seems horribly possible the thing will run Win2k (with SP2?). ®