The agreement gives the department a standard desktop configuration including Windows XP and Microsoft Office Professional. Homeland Security employees also will get access to the full line of Microsoft office-automation products.
Why Microsoft? Homeland Security says the advantages include a reduction in the costs associated with deployment, implementation, and maintenance, while providing for a more standard desktop environment. In addition, the department says, the agreement provides it with a common E-mail app.
The department also says it will realize operational efficiencies in acquisition management and support, software licensing and upgrades, asset management, and training, as well as helping the agency's 180,000 employees to more effectively collaborate and function as a single body.