US Department of Defense to fling $1.76bn at Microsoft

Enough to build a Wall.... of Windows consultants around Washington

The US Department of Defense (DoD) has announced a contract worth an estimated $1.76bn for Microsoft Enterprise Services.

The contract, which is set to run for five years until 10 Jan 2024, will see the Windows giant supplying the DoD, the US Coast Guard and intelligence community with a variety of services, such as support for tools, access to knowledgebases and the slightly ominous “custom changes to Microsoft source-code when applicable”.

Winning the contract doesn’t means Nadella and co can expect to see Redmond’s coffers immediately swell to the tune of nearly two billion dollars. Funds will instead be disbursed on individual task orders.

Just over a month ago, six Microsoft resellers were awarded a place on a DoD framework that will allow them to bid for projects as they arise over the next decade. This agreement, like the latest, was signed under the DoD’s Enterprise Software Initiative (ESI).

One hundred thousand lucky US military employees are also due to slap on Microsoft’s HoloLens augmented reality headset after the DoD coughed $480m for them in an agreement announced at the end of November.

US Government workers, currently wondering how they will pay their utility bills for all the daytime television they are watching at the moment as the Great Government Shutdown drags on into its 24th day, will note that the total cost of the DoD's work with Microsoft comes to $5.41bn or “almost a Wall” (or at least the amount President Donald Trump has asked for) in the current vernacular of Washington.

The win will do no harm to Microsoft’s attempts to persuade the Pentagon that its snout (rather than the likes of Amazon’s) is best suited to the $10bn due to be tipped into the federal funding trough as part of the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI).

The award of another DoD contract may, however, add to the increasing angst among some within the walls of Redmond over the sale of its technology for military purposes. Back in October, Microsoft’s Brad Smith said the company felt that those who defend the US should have access to the best tech (ie, Microsoft’s) and, while the company was all about ethics in Artificial Intelligence, if an employee didn’t like it, then the software giant would find them work elsewhere.

Probably working on a service pack for Clippy. ®

Similar topics

Broader topics

Other stories you might like

  • Robotics and 5G to spur growth of SoC industry – report
    Big OEMs hogging production and COVID causing supply issues

    The system-on-chip (SoC) side of the semiconductor industry is poised for growth between now and 2026, when it's predicted to be worth $6.85 billion, according to an analyst's report. 

    Chances are good that there's an SoC-powered device within arm's reach of you: the tiny integrated circuits contain everything needed for a basic computer, leading to their proliferation in mobile, IoT and smart devices. 

    The report predicting the growth comes from advisory biz Technavio, which looked at a long list of companies in the SoC market. Vendors it analyzed include Apple, Broadcom, Intel, Nvidia, TSMC, Toshiba, and more. The company predicts that much of the growth between now and 2026 will stem primarily from robotics and 5G. 

    Continue reading
  • Deepfake attacks can easily trick live facial recognition systems online
    Plus: Next PyTorch release will support Apple GPUs so devs can train neural networks on their own laptops

    In brief Miscreants can easily steal someone else's identity by tricking live facial recognition software using deepfakes, according to a new report.

    Sensity AI, a startup focused on tackling identity fraud, carried out a series of pretend attacks. Engineers scanned the image of someone from an ID card, and mapped their likeness onto another person's face. Sensity then tested whether they could breach live facial recognition systems by tricking them into believing the pretend attacker is a real user.

    So-called "liveness tests" try to authenticate identities in real-time, relying on images or video streams from cameras like face recognition used to unlock mobile phones, for example. Nine out of ten vendors failed Sensity's live deepfake attacks.

    Continue reading
  • Lonestar plans to put datacenters in the Moon's lava tubes
    How? Founder tells The Register 'Robots… lots of robots'

    Imagine a future where racks of computer servers hum quietly in darkness below the surface of the Moon.

    Here is where some of the most important data is stored, to be left untouched for as long as can be. The idea sounds like something from science-fiction, but one startup that recently emerged from stealth is trying to turn it into a reality. Lonestar Data Holdings has a unique mission unlike any other cloud provider: to build datacenters on the Moon backing up the world's data.

    "It's inconceivable to me that we are keeping our most precious assets, our knowledge and our data, on Earth, where we're setting off bombs and burning things," Christopher Stott, founder and CEO of Lonestar, told The Register. "We need to put our assets in place off our planet, where we can keep it safe."

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022