Mac users don't have seat at NMCI

Electronic Data Services Corp. is not offering support for Apple Computing

Inc.'s hardware or operating system under its eight-year Navy Marine Corps

Intranet procurement.

The Naval Air Systems Command once had more than 10,000 Apple users,

but their numbers have dwindled in recent years as Navair chief information

officers in China Lake, Calif., and Patuxent River, Md., have restricted

purchases of non-Microsoft Corp. systems.

However, a Navy official denied that the department was trying to choke

out Macintosh systems.

"We asked for neither a Windows or a Mac [contract line item number],"

said Ron Turner, the Navy's deputy CIO for infrastructure, systems and technology.

In their NMCI request for proposals, department officials asked for a "level

of guaranteed services" for systems compliant with the Defense Information

Infrastructure Common Operating Environment, Turner said.

But NASA, another federal agency with thousands of Mac users, handled

seat management differently.

Under the Outsourcing Desktop Initiative for NASA, officials requested

that seat management providers support Macintosh and Windows operating systems.

"That was a big difference between us and NASA," Turner said. "They

specified "stuff.' We specified "service levels.'"

Navair officials have wanted to use the same software as their fleet

and systems command counterparts to make file interchange easier. Microsoft

Corp.'s Windows NT 4.0 is the standard operating system for Information

Technology for the 21st Century, the modernization program for shipboard

systems in begun in 1997 by now-retired Navy Pacific Fleet Commander Adm.

Archie Clemins.

Despite Macs' uncertain future in the Navy, the Apple booth at last

week's Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association TechNet Asia-Pacific

2000 conference in Honolulu sometimes was busier than competing PC vendors'

booths.

An Apple official said the company is working with EDS and the Navy

to get Apple included in NMCI.

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