Court approves DT V pact; two share small-biz portion

After a year-long legal dispute the Air Force opened the small-business Desktop V contract held by International Data Products Corp. but also awarded a contract to Dynamic Decisions Inc.

The Air Force originally awarded the contract to IDP only but DDI filed a protest that started at the Small Business Administration and ended in the U.S. District Court in Washington D.C. before the deal was announced last week. An SBA ruling last month limited the value of their awards to $100 million.

IDP which opened its contract up for business on Sept. 10 and DDI will compete with Hughes Data Systems for the Air Force's PC and notebook business. DDI needs to refresh its contract and go through acceptance testing. DDI anticipates taking orders by mid-October.

Robert Frye director of the Air Force's Standard Systems Group which manages the Desktop V program warmly welcomed the addition of DDI and IDP to the Desktop V contract. "This has been a tough hurdle " Frye said. "Our customers will reap the benefits. Healthy competition means our customers [will] expeditiously get the best product at the best price."

George Fuster president of IDP said the company plans to quickly upgrade the chipsets in its Desktop V offerings to provide Air Force users better value at the same price as well as adding the top-of-the-line Intel Corp. 300 MHz chip as an option to its high-end desktop line.

Bob Hesser director of new business for DDI said his company plans to offer only four products on its Desktop V line-up: a 166 MHz notebook and three desktops ranging in power from 200 MHz to 266 MHz. Hesser declined to provide pricing details but he said he anticipated having an ordering guide available in mid-October.

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