Microsoft unit to receive support contract through PTO

The Patent and Trademark Office plans to award Microsoft Corp.'s consulting unit a sole-source contract next month to support the company's current and future product suite. The contract will be open to other agencies as well as PTO.

PTO's Microsoft Consulting Services procurement, a five-year task-order contract, will provide "knowledge transfer" of current and future Microsoft technologies, products, tools, training and project experience.

"This specialized combination of expert knowledge and direct access to proprietary corporate knowledge and resources makes Microsoft Consulting Services the sole source to provide the required services," said Michael Anastasio, a contracting officer at PTO. Microsoft established Microsoft Consulting Services in 1990.

The size of the contract will be determined by each task order, and the actual duration of the contract is dependent upon the level of spending, Anastasio said.

PTO currently uses several Microsoft products and plans to invest more heavily in the future.

The agency currently uses Microsoft Office and Microsoft Mail and plans to look at new products, such as Microsoft Exchange and Windows NT Workstation 4.0.

Over the next three years, the agency will migrate to Windows NT on the desktop to provide a common and seamless interface to the agency's office automation and business applications. Windows NT will provide database access through PTOnet, a communications network throughout PTO.

Representatives from Microsoft Consulting Services would not comment on the pending contract with PTO. According to a company official, the Consulting Services group is not very active in the federal government, although it is working with some federal agencies. Consulting Services is not a "big part" of Microsoft, he added.

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