Microsoft has won a $927-million, five-year contract to provide technical support to the U.S. Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA).
The company earlier this year won a huge contract with the Defense Department, which said it would move all 4 million of its employees to Windows 10 within a year and would buy large quantities of laptops and other hardware. Microsoft signed a similar deal in 2013 to bring Windows 8 to 75 percent of all Defense Department employees.
Microsoft did not respond to a request for comment on the support contract.
There was no clear indication whether the support is to be provided for Windows or for Azure, Microsoft’s public-cloud offering, though the contract appears to deal only with Microsoft applications, not with web services. Microsoft offers data centers dedicated specifically to the Defense Department. They were opened in preview mode in October.
Microsoft has an entire web page devoted to DISA, which is a combat-support agency of the Defense Department that provides a secure cloud environment for that department, the White House and other organizations that help defend the U.S. DISA has approved Microsoft’s Azure Government, a specialized public-cloud service, for everything up through controlled, unclassified information.
Update: The contract requires Microsoft to provide access rights so that DISA can “leverage a variety of proprietary resources and source code.” Microsoft must provide “access to Microsoft source code when applicable to support Department of Defense’s mission.”
Update, Dec. 12: The Defense Department has clarified that the contract does not allow it access to Microsoft’s source code. You can read more about the contract and the clarification here.