back to article MoD signs Microsoft mega licensing deal for 180,000 PCs

The Ministry of Defence renewed a three-year Microsoft Enterprise Agreement late on Friday with Software Box Ltd (SBL) for 180,000 seats in a deal that sources value at roughly £15m per year. SBL has held the Microsoft EA with the MoD for the past nine years and channel folk are not surprised the Large Account Reseller won the …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Margin might be thin

    But £15M on a pile of crap from MS, software that is the world's greatest attack target with the largest number of hackers and a consistent stream of vulnerabilities. The MOD is negligent in using this vendors software, as are FTSE100 companies and all organisations of similar size.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Margin might be thin

      I agree,

      It's like buying KIA prides and trying to use them as Main Battle Tanks.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Margin might be thin

        Now be fair, KIA will at least give you a warranty.

        1. NeilMc

          Re: Margin might be thin

          Do KIA still honour the 7 year warranty on a Pride even after its been hit by 17 depleted uranium tipped shells?

          Does that come under the anti corrosion and perforation warranty?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Margin might be thin

      Eadon, I thought you'd been banned?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Margin might be thin

        There are plenty of sane people that think Windows has all the security features of a Japanese paper house other than Eadon.

        1. Thecowking

          Re: Margin might be thin

          Surely Japanese paper houses are rife with ninja?

          I'd take that security.

        2. Lusty

          Re: Margin might be thin

          "There are plenty of sane people that think Windows has all the security features of a Japanese paper house other than Eadon."

          They may be sane but they are dangerously out of touch with current IT security and in desperate need of a skills update!

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Margin might be thin @Lusty

            "They may be sane but they are dangerously out of touch with current IT security and in desperate need of a skills update!"

            That's a good description of your average MCSE

            1. Lusty

              Re: Margin might be thin @Lusty

              "That's a good description of your average MCSE"

              And what other masterful qualifications have you gained oh wise one? I'll assume you at the very least have an MCSE otherwise you'd look a bit of a twat saying it's easy...

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Margin might be thin

      " the world's greatest attack target with the largest number of hackers and a consistent stream of vulnerabilities"

      Actually current versions of Windows have an order of magnitude fewer vulnerabilities than the enterprise Linux distributions - and are far more secure.

      With Windows, security and auditing were built in from the ground up. It's not Like Linux where you have to run special systems like SEL and run an experimental file system like NFS 4 to even approach the native security of Windows....

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Good news!

    I applaud my glorious leaders for having the vision to go through with this. Now the NSA have a direct line into MoD operations to ensure total security and protect them from within. This is excellent news and will further cement the relationship between this country and its most gracious imperial master, United Obamastan.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Good news!

      They are also getting two free devices with each licence:

      Kinetic and Goggle Glasses.

    2. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Re: "Now the NSA have a direct line into MoD operations"

      You need to update your conspiracy database, my good man. The NSA (or whatever its name at the time) has had a direct line into all UK government operations since the Cold War what with the secret MI-5/CIA "agreements" that have been instituted since that time. We even have one of those spy documentaries (I believe they call it the "Bond" series) that practically says so.

      The MoD could have Linux installed and locked down tighter than a gnat's arse, the task that generates the daily "elements of interest" reports would still send it all in proper Word format to the NSA bods for their perusal.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "Now the NSA have a direct line into MoD operations"

        "The MoD could have Linux installed and locked down tighter than a gnat's arse"

        That was previously considered, but was declined on security grounds in favour of Windows. See 'Windows for Warships'...

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    There was no choice

    A whole lot of the MoD is running on XP - because it's certified secure AC:10:20am, you know-nothing dolt - which is NOT going to be certified secure next year because it officially end-of-lifes.

    Windows 7 is now certified secure - are you reading this AC:10:20am? Or are you just going to ignore it and keep spouting bullshit? I wonder.. - and the MoD can upgrade. But they need licenses. Hence the deal.

    1. gerryg
      Windows

      Re: There was no choice

      <= not

      "there was no choice" ... says it all

      Unlike, say, the "Open Standards Board" for which as Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude said:

      "With interoperable systems based on open standards we can build in flexibility and cut costs by avoiding lock-in to suppliers or products, achieve a truly level playing field for a diverse range of suppliers, and provide better services for taxpayers."

      https://www.gov.uk/government/news/open-standards-board-members-revealed

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: There was no choice

      If it's that good why are the US military dumping it ?

      http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/01/12/drone_consoles_linux_switch/

      1. Getriebe

        Re: There was no choice

        @AC 11:13 - 'kin 'ell - that's one hell of a leap from AC 10:30 original 'There was no choice' to that aricle. Care to explain how the details link up?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: There was no choice

      Ha-ha-ha-ha-! Windows...certified secure...chortle. You think they just bung in an XP disc and got with a default install? It'll by customised and optimised to make it secure. If they are going to spend all the effort to do that, they should pick a system which starts out as secure and then configure that to their needs.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: There was no choice

        Yes. "Certified secure" means "securable". It's a lengthy old process. As I recall, it took 4 years for MS to get XP certified.

        Currently, no linux vendor has been willing to spend the the time and money required to achieve certification.

        What? Vendors must pay? Yes they must. A lot of AC's didn't know that little wrinkle, I suppose.

    4. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Give us a laugh - link to the list of security requirements

      Last time I read them, they were a complete joke. It looked like someone had gone through NT's marketing hype to collect list of features, then come up with some bogus excuse to claim that each feature was a security requirement. Anything that passes MOD security requirements is defective by specification.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: There was no choice

      My turds are certified as smelling of roses.

      Who certified them?

      Only the most knowledgeable and experienced body on the planet!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: There was no choice

        My turds are certified as smelling of roses.

        We all know that's only because the certifier was blind and you just had replaced all the refresheners in your toilet. That's cheating ;)

    6. Tyrion
      Stop

      Re: There was no choice

      @ AC 1st July 2013 10:32 GMT

      >> A whole lot of the MoD is running on XP - because it's certified secure.

      I haven't laughed so hard in a while. Windows and secure? Used like that in the same sentence is an oxymoron. There are zero day exploits exposed every month, and are being actively used in the wild. It's a dream come true for chinese and american government sponsored hacker teams, not to mention malware writers.

      As far as government procurement goes, when the MOD spends £20 for a single lightbulb, it's decidedly unsurprising that it picked a solution that's the most expensive, insecure, and vendor locked as possible. Though I'm sure the procurement team is enjoying their bribes, sorry, ahem.. gifts from Microsoft.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: There was no choice

        "There are zero day exploits exposed every month, and are being actively used in the wild"

        There are more zero day exploits on Linux, that on average take longer to be patched, and are exploited in the wild: http://www.zone-h.org/news/id/4737

        The Linux kernel alone is up to well over 900 - that's roughly twice as many as the whole XP OS....

  4. HollyHopDrive

    and the cost...

    ..for actually managing and patching the software for 3 years is......

    Be interesting to know. Bet that's a shitload.

    How much corporation tax did Microsoft pay in the last 3 years....? Another interesting to know stat.

    1. Getriebe

      Re: and the cost...

      @HollyHipDrive - your point about subsequent cost is correct. The deal will have been won on the total cost over a 3 year or whatever it is stretch. The total cost of integrations, staged roll outs, and other related platforms is where they will make up the money.

      The company that wins this has to have deep enough pockets to sustain the early losses to reap the financial benefit later.

      This assumes the MoD procurement section has got a lot better at writing contracts than they have in the past. Instead of spurious rants about lack of security as the freetards on here have homed in on, if they were highlighting the loose contracts our government writes I would have been behind them.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: There was no choice

    XP, so secure a kid with Asperger's can get in looking for UFOs & I suppose that the MOD's version didn't need any of the thousands of fixed files that a normal user's copy has needed.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: There was no choice

      Yeah, imagine how hard it must have been to hack a machine open to the internet with a blank administrator password. Probably as hard as those unix boxes he hacked which were open to the internet with blank root passwords.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No choice man...

    Let me know your NI number, then if you ever need Life support, I'll let the hospital know you'd be happy to be put on a system controlled by a PC running windows.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: No choice man...

      Personally I wouldn't be happy to have life support performed by *any* commodity general purpose desktop/server OS. That includes UNIX and Linux, Windows, Mac OS etc

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: No choice man...

      "Let me know your NI number, then if you ever need Life support, I'll let the hospital know you'd be happy to be put on a system controlled by a PC running windows."

      I don't think you have a choice - much medical hardware already runs Windows CE / Windows embedded..

  7. Mr Spock

    Snuffle, snort, oink, belch.

    TSIA.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Megaphone

    In unrelated news..

    MOD IT Procurment Manager is seen driving a new Aston Martin....

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: In unrelated news..

      Update :

      The MOD IT procurement manager is still awaiting delivery due to production problems at Aston Martin after they adopted MS's Intune.

  9. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

    MoD buy 180,000 Microsoft licenses

    How did the MoD buy 180,000 computers without Microsoft licenses?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: MoD buy 180,000 Microsoft licenses

      "How did the MoD buy 180,000 computers without Microsoft licenses?"

      The licensing costs will make an allowance for the value of OEM licences, and will charge for turning them into upgradeable, directly supported full version licences.

      They will not just be licensing the OS, but also all client software such as Office, SCCM, Exchange, Lync, etc. At a guess they probably got the 'E-CAL' pack.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Let's all meet up in the year 2000...

    How many people posting here actually run IT departments?

    I dream of getting MS products for £83.33 a seat.

    For security issues see any popular software or hardware out there at all whether free or megabuks (Firefox & Macs as examples).

    Realistically would you rather your software was controlled from the USA, Russia or China? FFS…

    I thought people where all popping off at Apple & Google nowadays, and that the days of attacking Microsoft where numbered - as they were when I started in IT and IBM was the evil corporate of ultimate doom.

    Have I stumbled on a dusty huddle of 1990’s techies that have totally failed to move on?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Let's all meet up in the year 2000...

      Yes. They still keep telling each other that next year linux will own the desktop.

      I wish I was joking.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Joke

        Well...

        "Yes. They still keep telling each other that next year linux will own the desktop."

        But they are making progress. Just check the response to, say, Unity (Gnome desktop) and compare that response to the current of the "desktop standard" OS Windows 8.

        Gnome was first in introducing something which made their users run away, and Microsoft followed up on it.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Well...

          "But they are making progress"

          Not in terms of market share. And the gap with Windows keeps growing - Linux is forever playing catchup, but is still falling further behind....

  11. Beezle Bob

    thought of eadon's face and I....

    haa haaaa haa haaaa haaa haaaaa ha ha ha huh haa haaa haaaaa haaaa whaaaaa haaa whahahhaaa hahaaa haaa ..

    huh hah

    haa huh haa ha HAAA haaa!

  12. The Godfather

    margin? what margin?

    Margin so thin it's translucent.....even if supplied directly

  13. C. P. Cosgrove

    One Hundred and Eighty ?

    180,000 licenses. doesn't that equal 180,000 computers ?

    That's getting close to two computers per member of the armed forces !

    Chris Cosgrove

    1. Snapper

      Re: One Hundred and Eighty ?

      Having worked in the MOD I can tell you those drones don't think two or three REMF civil servants per front-line soldier is out of order at all.

    2. NeilMc

      Re: One Hundred and Eighty ?

      Another fine example of screwed UK Public procurement.

      Dont know how many you want

      Dont know the solution options

      Dont know who owns the budget

      Get a load of suppliers who are all rigging the market to bid

      Get loads of proposals in that are all the same price and spec

      Professional Procurement play a game of "ip dip dog shit" and choose ............ the winner

      which strangely enough is the bidder that has won the contract for the last 3 tenders

      Same old same old.......

      We commission aircraft carriers with no planes available to fly off them

      we then change our minds and respec the aircraft and the carrier and huge addtional expense

      we procure attack heliciopters that cannot be flown because we did not tick the box for pilot training

      we procure transport helicopters that cannot fly if its cloudy because we did not tick the box for radar

      we design and build and inferior rifle for the Army rather than buy an off the shelf product like the AR15

      The list is endless evidencing a profligate public sector who continue to dip their hand in our pockets via taxation when their procurement projects over spend. This sorry mess is all headed up by shadu mandarins and celebrity politcians who are all in it fr themselves.............

      A sorry state indeed.

      1. TheVogon
        Mushroom

        Re: One Hundred and Eighty ?

        "We commission aircraft carriers with no planes available to fly off them

        we then change our minds and respec the aircraft and the carrier and huge addtional expense"

        You can blame Gordon Brown and the labour government for that one. Nothing to do with the military. Everything to do with bribing the electorate...

      2. Green Nigel 42
        Happy

        Re: One Hundred and Eighty ?

        Prehaps we can add MOD procures 180,000 Windows 8 licenses ( bargain none downgradable version!) that list of disasters!

        No one said it was Windows 7.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: One Hundred and Eighty ?

      Current staffing level of the UK armed forced is in fact very close to 180,000 - plus a large number of reservists.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Microsoft (1 of 7 "Data Provider companies") provides backdoor access

    I remember, before Win 8 lauch, MIcrosoft was bragging that in order to make Win 8 more "secure" they closely worked on the issue with the NSA. And now , thanks to Snowden, we have learned a bit more as to what "security" might mean to a "Provider" company. Well, if I were a foreign government, I sure wouldn't use Windows any more - unless they provided me with my own, private backdoor to snoop on my citizens, of course.

    1. TheVogon
      Mushroom

      Re: Microsoft (1 of 7 "Data Provider companies") provides backdoor access

      "Well, if I were a foreign government, I sure wouldn't use Windows any more - unless they provided me with my own, private backdoor to snoop on my citizens, of course."

      Sure - you would use something that no government was involved with like Open BSD?

      Oh, wait: http://bsd.slashdot.org/story/10/12/15/004235/fbi-alleged-to-have-backdoored-openbsds-ipsec-stack

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