Mac users don't have seat at NMCI
- By Bill Murray
- Dec 12, 2000
Electronic Data Services Corp. is not offering support for Apple Computing
Inc.'s hardware or operating system under its eight-year Navy Marine Corps
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.
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'
An Apple official said the company is working with EDS and the Navy
to get Apple included in NMCI.