The fact that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security awarded Microsoft Corp. a $90 million enterprise software deal two days after Bill Gates met with DHS Secretary Tom Ridge in Washington is more than sheer coincidence. It’s now a major security headache for a mammoth new agency that security experts say lacks the wherewithal to have considered alternative sources for its software. On June 25, Gates met with Ridge and other leaders on Capitol Hill. And on June 27, the DHS signed a contract with the company for server and desktop software for approximately 140,000 users. The DHS described the contract as a critical step in the department’s efforts to establish a common computing environment for its 22 formerly independent agencies. Full Story
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