U.S. Department of Defense praises Windows 10’s security, transition on track

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Microsoft Windows 10 just got an unofficial endorsement from one of its biggest and arguably most important customers: the U.S. Department of Defense, whose Pentagon CIO Terry Halvorsen praised the operating system in a press event last Friday.

Halvorsen has been one of the staunchest pusher of Windows 10 throughout the Defense Department, and cites two advantages of Windows 10 as reasons for his attitude: Windows 10’s “baked-in security”, and it’s cloud-friendliness to Azure. In fact, per his words, Windows 10 will be the first “operating system that had this much security baked in from the beginning” for the DOD.

“If you’re using a computer at home and you’re not on Windows 10, you’re doing yourself an injustice — you ought to be moving to Windows 10.”

-Terry Halvorsen, Pentagon CIO

Close integration with Azure will also allow the DOD’s various services and agencies to set up “secure, integrated communications and “independent clouds.” Harvolsen gave an example of a separate cloud for the Army, the Navy, the Air Force, and a joint Army-Navy cloud. Cloud sharing and communication fast becoming the norm in the corporate world with their clear advantage in boosting collaboration and productivity, and it’s good to see a governmental body adopting the market’s leader, Azure.

“We’re going to put out some guidance to our employees in general — it’s not an endorsement of Windows 10 or Microsoft specifically — listing what the characteristics of Windows 10 would give you if you put it in your home system,” “That’s as close to an endorsement as I can get for a software product.”

Halvorsen’s enthusiasm for Windows 10 seems to have convinced the right people in the DOD, as all four of its military services and agencies are reportedly  set on “a tight timetable” to transition to the new operating system in a year’s time: other supporters include Army CIO Robert Ferrell, the rest of Army leadership, and the DOD secretary. While the deadline of January 31, 2017 may sound too tight to some, the Pentagon’s tech chief seems confident that at least all the DOD’s major networks will be on board, which will accounts for more than 80 percent of the upgrades.

“We have an opportunity…to improve the way we can all communicate because we’ll all be on a standard baseline.”

DOD employees may also get guidance to install Windows 10 at home, and stopping just short of officially endorsing the OS, Halvorsen also revealed that the DOD is pressing its foreign allied partners to adopt Windows 10, to have a “standard baseline”. Whichever the reason, this is a big win for Microsoft, and should help boost its OS’ credibility and usage start by a big amount.