U.S. Pentagon Will Upgrade 4 Million Computers To Windows 10 Within A Year

Microsoft has to be impressed with the overall positive reception to Windows 10 and rate of adoption compared to previous releases, particularly Windows 8. According to Microsoft, more than three quarters of its enterprise and education customers are in active pilots of Windows 10, and now one of the largest enterprises around—the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)—is joining the party.

The Secretary of Defense has directed all U.S. DoD agencies to rapidly deploy Windows 10 throughout their respective organizations for all information systems that currently utilize a Windows OS. That includes laptops, desktops, and 2-in-1 devices like Surface. The DoD's goal is to have all applicable systems upgraded within a year, a move that Microsoft claims would be "unprecedented" for a customer as big and complex as the DoD.


These kinds of decisions aren't made lightly. Terry Halvorsen, CIO for the DoD, said that DoD networks are "getting shot at" on a daily basis. The DoD spends $38 billion a year on cybersecurity and IT, and upgrading to Windows 10 was seen as a necessary step to both ensure systems are more secure and to get the agency standardized on a single platform.

"Further demonstrating a strong vote of confidence for the platform, Windows 10 has been certified as meeting specific government criteria and standards. The National Information Assurance Program, the arm of the US government responsible for evaluating commercial IT products for use in National Security Systems has certified Windows 10 against the Mobile Device Fundamentals Common Criteria protection profile," Microsoft stated in a blog post.

Microsoft's family of Surface devices have also been certified and are available through the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) Unified Capabilities Approved Products List. What that means is that Microsoft's Surface products meet strict security and interoperability requirements as laid out by the DoD.

Back in early January, Microsoft confirmed that there were 200 million active devices running Windows 10, a figure it reiterated today.