back to article US Department of Defense to fling $1.76bn at Microsoft

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 …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Full proof plan

    Hand out free copies of Windows to the people smugglers. They won't have time to smuggle anyone because they will be too busy staring at 'Installing updates - please wait' messages.

    1. CAPS LOCK Silver badge

      Full proof?

      Shirley you mean Fool perve?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Full proof?

        If only Bob had said 'it looks like you're trying a weak witticism'

  2. Nolveys Silver badge
    Windows

    Support for tools, access to knowledgebases, “custom changes to source-code”.

    DoD: "If we pay you $1.76B will you make your garbage work properly for us?"

    MS: "We can pretend that we will."

  3. Christian Berger Silver badge

    That's actually quite insane

    Imagine you have high payed developers which cost you 100k a year. That's actually 17600 years worth of developer time. To put that into perspective, the Windows 3.1 team had around 20 people working for a few year to develop it. The Cray 1 was developed by a team about the same size within a few years.

    You could easily use that money to develop a custom computing architecture from scratch. One that will avoid security problems by clients not having an elaborated attack surface, one that just does what it's supposed to do.

    In fact you could even spend 10% of that an really boost academic security research, you'd probably reach a goal where you get a full operating system which can be proven to be free from a large number of bug classes by your compiler while it compiles.

    Spending all of that money just to get a legacy operating system to somehow work seems like a total waste to me.

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      Re: That's actually quite insane

      Spending all of that money just to get a legacy operating system to somehow work seems like a total waste to me.

      That is very true...

      But you have to accept that your suggestion requires a whole load of people to think outside the beltway(box) for more than half a nanosecond.

      MS would never propose it in the first place. That would just be too radical and NIH for the Redmond Hipsters.

      Besides once the DevOps and [insert current buzzword here] people got involved the small team of 20-30 would be 20-30,000. /s /s

    2. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Re: That's actually quite insane

      That's actually 17600 years worth of developer time.

      Silly boy - you forgot to take away the management consultants fees and administration:

      That's 5 years of developer time.

    3. LDS Silver badge

      "You could easily use that money to develop a custom computing architecture from scratch. "

      Probably. In how many years, though?

      Plus, you'll have to re-develop any application you need to run on it.

      Meanwhile, the Defense has to keep on running.

      It could also start to build planes, tanks, ships, guns, etc. etc. itself - would you like such government? Looks very much alike Soviet Union to me.

      We could discuss if that sum is OK or very bloated, though.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: That's actually quite insane

      "That's actually 17600 years worth of developer time. "

      But only 1.6 x Streets of Monaco yachts.

      "Spending all of that money just to get a legacy operating system to somehow work seems like a total waste to me."

      They already succeeded with that. Linux is now in the Windows Store.

    5. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

      Re: That's actually quite insane

      The initial version of Linux was developed by 1 college kid. But your point is well taken, get a small, competent team together and let them at it. You would probably have a truly modern OS in a couple of years. Given that all the common commercials are lineal descendents of 40+ year code it might a very good idea.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: That's actually quite insane

        "You would probably have a truly modern OS in a couple of years"

        They aren't buying an OS though, so that would not be time well spent. People don't really spent cycles worrying about OS these days. Not productive people anyway. They don't do cable management either, or patch fibre. In case you're curious they also don't use label makers to neatly and precisely identify their servers.

        Instead they buy commodity compute from global scale cloud providers like Microsoft and Amazon and worry about the detail that gives them value. That's not an OS. Both OS's are just fine these days. Linux is cheap and works, Windows is less cheap but easier/cheaper to manage at SMB/SME scale. Both are supported in both big clouds, and the other clouds too. Let's be honest though, if you personally installed an OS this year you've made a wrong turn somewhere or are very early in career.

        1. Simon B-52

          Made a wrong turn somewhere?

          Your consultant speak turd of a post would be well polished by you learning some grammar you arrogant tw*t.....I would suggest decency and humility too, but I'm a realist.

        2. TheVogon Silver badge

          Re: That's actually quite insane

          "Linux is cheap and works, Windows is less cheap"

          Not unless your time has no value and you don't need commercial support. Commercial licences for say Red Hat are quite a lot more pricy than Window Server for many uses!

      2. LDS Silver badge

        "The initial version of Linux was developed by 1 college kid."

        The initial version of Linux did very little - and was a simple kernel lacking all of the features you expect from a modern kernel running on multi-core CPUs. And it lacked all the tools and utilities needed to make it something usable - it was lucky that being Unix-alike GNU made them available easily from Unix code. And still, it took years to become really usable - and still, it lacks many professional applications.

        Start a new OS from scratch, and it will take years to make it usable. It's no surprise that most "new" OS are built over something already existing (look at Android, Linux+Java, or macOS, Mach+BSD+Next), because the effort and costs to start anew would be very, very high.

  4. Hans 1 Silver badge
    Happy

    https://www.berlin-mauer.de/videos/walter-ulbricht-zum-mauerbau-530/

    @1:04

    Berlin, 1961, GDR dictator in person: Nobody intends to erect a wall.

    That became the lie of 60's and 70's, will Trump's "Mexico will pay for the wall" become the lie of decades to come or will this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gdIHzLsELyA it is either, it is as simple as that ...

    Fun times in times of dire straights for the minions running the US state, my thoughts with you! Can we not crowd-fund something ? I'm pretty sure at least 35% of the free world would happily pay into it ...

  5. StewartWhite

    Not sure that JEDI is a great name for the project given that Enron used it for a number of their corporate scams.

  6. Pascal Monett Silver badge
    Devil

    Dear God, run for the hills

    ..custom changes to Microsoft source-code when applicable

    Holy fuck, the DoD is doomed. Given how Microsoft can't manage its own planned changes and updates without borking everything every month, I would be exceedingly wary of any "custom" changes.

    Might be better to have a primary update section, with a hundred PCs of all required configurations, and start updating those first to find out what is still running after Patch Tuesday.

    Unless, of course, those "custom changes" are actually just a central Windows Update Hub computer with a big red button labelled "Take Your Chances". Then I get it.

  7. sprograms

    The DoD already paid to develop a "Highly Secure Linux" years ago. Perhaps they could just dump 100million into developing a more pleasant GUI and call it a day. There are Linux-compatible databases-a-plenty in use by serious industries. It is the most common operating system in AWS instances. I suspect it is the Video Game Players that form the MS Windows power constituency.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      It's the most common OS on Azure too. Read the news more often. MS aren't an OS company and have not been for about a decade. In fact the most common data platforms on Azure are Hadoop based (not actual Hadoop, obvs that's horrific to use!

      1. TheVogon Silver badge

        "It's the most common OS on Azure too."

        Nope, Azure is about 70% Window Server by OS instance as per Microsoft.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          That was three years ago. Things have changed: https://www.zdnet.com/article/linux-now-dominates-azure/

  8. Walter Bishop Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Lightweight Portable Security Linux LiveCD

    Lightweight Portable Security (LPS) is a Linux LiveCD, (or LiveUSB), developed and publicly distributed by the United States Department of Defense’s Software Protection Initiative[2] that is designed to serve as a secure end node. It can run on almost any Intel-based computer (PC or Mac). LPS boots only in RAM, creating a pristine, non-persistent end node. It supports DoD-approved Common Access Card (CAC) readers, as required for authenticating users into PKI-authenticated gateways to access internal DoD networks" ref

  9. Walter Bishop Silver badge

    Political donations between the years 2007 and 2017

    01. Goldman Sachs $11.5m

    02. Microsoft $7.2m

    03. J.P. Morgan $6.2m ref

    Lobbying: $15,910,000 (2017-2018) '91 out of 115 Microsoft Corp lobbyists in 2017-2018 have previously held government jobs '

    1. LDS Silver badge

      Re: Political donations between the years 2007 and 2017

      You missed these 2018 contributions:

      Alphabet Inc $16,760,000

      Amazon.com $10,600,000

      Facebook Inc $9,790,000

      https://www.opensecrets.org/lobby/indusclient.php?id=B13&year=2018

      They are just under the "Internet" category...

  10. J J Carter Silver badge
    Linux

    For shame!

    OMG! just think of how many forks of the Debian distro that sort of money could buy!

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    DoD spending

    Everyone’s worried about a little bit of small change going to MS to allow the DoD to read the Word and PowerPoint proposals that the DoD spends the majority of its budget on.

    Around $717 billion in 2019...

  12. Marketing Hack Silver badge
    Windows

    Just contract is just a cover for the most unspeakable military R&D project of all time...

    For $1.76 billion, MS will make Clippy sentient, omnipresent and so gung-ho for the stars & stripes that John Wayne will look like a communist tree-hugging vegan by comparison. Imagine the horror America's enemies will feel as Clippy barges into their systems and screws them over as only MS code can!!

    "It looks like you are planning to plant a bomb at Disney World. I'm not going to help you with that!! Screw you, ISIS!! In fact, chew on some blue screen of death while I encrypt your hard drive and screw up your Active Directory profile!!"

  13. deadlockvictim Silver badge

    Make America Great Again

    Microsoft software: proven over time to be resource efficient, secure and user-friendly.

    America, you are in safe hands.

    1. Simon B-52

      Re: Make America Great Again

      The problem with this post is that it will typically be read in two different ways:

      1. English English - it's obviously completely sarcastic

      2. American English - it's obviously completely sincere.

      This may be why no-one has voted on it yet. Whilst to me, a real English speaker the sarcasm is funny, I'm wary of up-voting it for fear of encouraging the Trumpites.

      NB, Trump was once a bourgeois euphemism for Fart. Now it's literal.

      1. Teiwaz Silver badge

        Re: Make America Great Again

        This may be why no-one has voted on it yet. Whilst to me, a real English speaker the sarcasm is funny, I'm wary of up-voting it for fear of encouraging the Trumpites.

        NB, Trump was once a bourgeois euphemism for Fart. Now it's literal.

        And yet, not a one has suggested that the money could be used to build a wall instead?

  14. karlkarl Bronze badge

    Criminals just giving money to other criminals.

    I imagine it basically works the same way in a paedophile web ring.

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