OMB to require standard Windows desktop configuration

Microsoft pact with Air Force could be model for DOD

The Office of Management and Budget will require agencies to move to a standard configuration for Microsoft Windows desktop by Feb.1, 2008.

In a memo that will be signed off on as early as today by OMB Deputy Director for Management Clay Johnson, and supplemented by an e-mail that went out today to CIOs from OMB Administrator for E-government and IT Karen Evans, the White House is expanding the work the Air Force did with Microsoft Corp. governmentwide.

Starting in 2004, the Air Force began shifting more than 525,000 desktop computers to three predetermined configurations. It also preconfigured all software on its computers with security settings specific to Air Force requirements.

The Army also is following the Air Force’s lead and implementing the standard configuration.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology worked with the Air Force and other Defense Department agencies to develop guidance about securing Windows operating systems, including XP and Vista. OMB is making this guidance mandatory in order to improve IT security across the government, experts said.

OMB’s memo will require agencies to develop plans by May 1 on how they will implement the standard configuration, said a government official familiar with the memo but who requested anonymity because the document hadn’t been issued. The plans must include how they will test the configuration, automate enforcement to use these permitted structures, restrict administrator rights and address other issues.

Agencies by June 30 also must make sure all newly purchased desktops and other hardware and software purchases include the standard configuration, the official said.

“This should make it easy for everyone, agencies and vendors, because there is nothing subject to interpretation,” the official said. “The developers will have to develop against the same configuration.”

Featured

  • Telecommunications
    Stock photo ID: 658810513 By asharkyu

    GSA extends EIS deadline to 2023

    Agencies are getting up to three more years on existing telecom contracts before having to shift to the $50 billion Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions vehicle.

  • Workforce
    Shutterstock image ID: 569172169 By Zenzen

    OMB looks to retrain feds to fill cyber needs

    The federal government is taking steps to fill high-demand, skills-gap positions in tech by retraining employees already working within agencies without a cyber or IT background.

  • Acquisition
    GSA Headquarters (Photo by Rena Schild/Shutterstock)

    GSA to consolidate multiple award schedules

    The General Services Administration plans to consolidate dozens of its buying schedules across product areas including IT and services to reduce duplication.

Stay Connected

FCW Update

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.