Air Force taps Microsoft for services

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Air Force officials awarded a $14.5 million support services contract late last week to Microsoft Corp.

They want Microsoft officials to help them achieve standard software configurations for the service's desktop, notebook and server computers. They want the work completed by October 2005, according to an Oct. 29 Defense Department statement.

The contract also covers automating software distribution, managing software assets and providing security patch updates. "The contractor will provide premier support services to include round-the-clock access to Microsoft professionals for rapid resolution of complex software problems, review development issues, assess development processes and help with implementing preferred practice based on Microsoft development framework, examine testing processes and plans and provide guidance for implementing effective testing practices, and provide onsite emergency support," DOD officials said in a statement announcing the contracts.

Officials at the Air Force's Headquarters Standard Systems Group oversaw award of the contract from Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala. They also will hold a ceremony Nov. 15 for the building of a $12.8 million facility to house operational support for information technology used by the service's warfighters worldwide, according to an Oct. 22 Air Force statement.

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