The US Department of Homeland Security has signed a deal for Microsoft software worth something in the region of $100 million, covering servers and over 140,000 desktops. This does not however mean that Microsoft and its hench-OEM Dell are poised to hoover up all of the Department's lovely IT budget, nor indeed that this is all new money for them; largely, it seems to be more a case of Microsoft holding onto business it's already got.
The Department has purchased a Microsoft enterprise licence via Dell, which will be managing and supporting the deployment, including dealing with patches and updates. The foot in the door may be handy for Dell, but the deal doesn't cover hardware sales.
The deal is one of the first visible effects of the DHS' decision earlier this year to negotiate umbrella enterprise agreements with IT vendors, consolidating the purchasing of its individual component organisations into single contracts and thus achieving substantial discounts. So the upshot as far as Microsoft is concerned could perfectly easily be that it will now get substantially less revenue from the Department's office productivity systems than it was expecting.
Oracle is also one of the three dozen or so vendors on the target list for consolidated enterprise licences, and according to Government Computer News, the expectation is that the Department could save up to 40 per cent over current contracts. So this side of the DHS IT process isn't exactly a goldrush, and considering the Microsoft-Dell deal runs for six years, it doesn't represent a huge amount of revenue either.
Still, at least that's six years where they won't be deploying Linux. For office productivity systems, anyway. ®