Army to drop older Windows

The Army took the second step last month toward increased cost savings and standardization of Microsoft Corp. software by mandating that all active, National Guard and Reserve commands by 2005 use Windows 2000 or newer operating systems.

The directive phases out all Windows NT 4.0 sytems because the company will stop supporting NT Dec. 31. The decision also retires the Windows X and Millenium Edition operating systems.

Lt. Gen. Steve Boutelle, the Army's chief information officer/G-6, signed a Feb. 4 memo titled "Army Policy for Windows NT 4.0 and Active Directory Implementation."

Army European Command officials responded today by announcing a deal with Quest Software Inc., based in Irvine, Calif., to convert their numerous Windows NT networks to one network using the Windows 2000 and 2003 operating systems. The command, located in Heidelberg, Germany, also hired the company to consolidate its 240 Windows NT domains into a single active directory with three domains, according to a March 10 Quest statement.

The Army memo also issued policy and procedures for transitioning to the Windows Active Directory. The software identifies all resources on a network and makes them accessible to users and applications.

Boutelle announced in September that the Army still uses Windows 3.1, 95, 98 and NT 4.0. Running one operating system servicewide will keep costs down and let the Army more easily receive updates when released or patches when viruses and worms are detected.

The Army took the first step toward increased costs savings and standardization of Microsoft products in June by awarding a $75 million contract, worth up to $450 million, consolidating all of its buying power for company software.

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