Are Microsoft’s Fortunes Turning Around?
While many businesses and institutions have expressed no interest in adopting Microsoft’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows 8 platform, the company’s fortunes have changed slightly. Expressing confidence in its newly released operating system, the United States’ Department of Defense has announced that it will put the system in machines used by close to 75 percent of its workers. After all, IT security experts have argued that Windows 8, with its Refresh and Secure Boot features, is a much more secure platform than its predecessor, Windows 7.
The Department of Defense announced in a press release posted to its website on December 28 that it had “leveraged the buying power of more than two million information technology users to award a three-year, $617 million joint enterprise license agreement for Microsoft products.” Microsoft said that the three-year agreement is the “most comprehensive” agreement that it has ever signed with the department.
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In a press release distributed on Friday, the company stated that the deal provides the U.S. Army, U.S. Air Force and Defense Information Systems Agency with a “single vehicle for accessing the latest Microsoft technologies in support of top IT priorities around datacenter consolidation, collaboration, cybersecurity, mobility, cloud computing and big data.”
But excluding the company’s $617 million deal with the Department of Defense, Microsoft faces a grim reality for its Windows 8 operating system. Analysts at Argus downgraded shares of the software designer to a Hold from a Buy, citing slow Windows 8 adoption rates and low sales of the company’s Windows 8 flagship product, the Surface tablet, as the reason. A Forrester survey provided the necessary statistics to support Argus’s assessment; the research firm found in mid-October that approximately one-third of surveyed companies planned to adopt Windows 8 eventually, while 57 percent had not considered Windows 8 or plan to not to use it.
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