When you think "U.S. defense contractors," Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT ) probably isn't the first name that comes to mind. Nevertheless, Microsoft placed among the winners of one of the more lucrative contracts handed out at the Pentagon last night.
The contract in question, worth as much as $412.2 million to the Redmond, Wash.-based software giant, calls for Microsoft to provide Microsoft Enterprise Technical Support Services necessary to obtain highly trained "Microsoft Blue Badge cardholder support." Receiving these services requires that the DoD obtain access rights to Microsoft's proprietary (closed-source) code, which is licensed under exclusive legal right of Microsoft.
Thus, Microsoft will be providing the Defense Information Technology Contracting Organization with consulting services that include the provision of software developers and product teams to work on a variety of proprietary Microsoft resources and source code. Also covered by the contract are "Microsoft Premier Support" services such as tools and knowledge bases, problem resolution assistance from product developers, and access to the Microsoft source code when necessary.
This contract will run for a one-year base period and may include up to four one-year option periods thereafter.