US Department of Defense orders upgrade to Windows 10

— 9:03 AM on February 18, 2016

Microsoft reports that the U.S. Department of Defense has ordered all its agencies to upgrade their existing Windows machines to Windows 10. That amounts to four million systems. The DoD has set an ambitious timeline of just one year for the transition.  

The move was foreshadowed by a memorandum from the DoD CIO dated November 20 of last year. In that memo, the CIO said it's important to make the transition "in order to improve our cybersecurity posture, lower the cost of IT, and streamline the operating environment". The memo also notes that a Windows 10 Secure Host Baseline is being developed under the joint leadership of the Defense Information Systems and Agency (DISA) and the NSA. It's a safe bet that the DoD will not be running a vanilla version of Windows 10.

Microsoft also reports that its Surface tablets have been certified for inclusion on the DISA Unified Capabilities Approved Products List. Separately, the National Information Assurance Program has certified Windows 10 under the Mobile Device Fundamentals Common Criteria protection profile.

The move is a big boost to Microsoft's efforts to get more customers on its latest operating system. The company says there are now 200 million active devices running Windows 10 in the wild.

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