U.S. Air Force Signs First-Time Research Agreement With Microsoft for UNIX-to-Windows NT Conversion

U.S. Air Force Signs First-Time Research Agreement With Microsoft for UNIX-to-Windows NT Conversion

WASHINGTON, April 21, 1998 — Microsoft Corp. and three industry leaders today announced the signing of an unprecedented agreement with the U.S. Air Force Electronic Systems Center (ESC) to begin converting military command and control (C2) applications from UNIX operating system environments to the Microsoft® Windows NT® operating system.

The effort, under a cooperative research and development agreement (CRADA) signed April 14 at Hanscom Air Force Base in Bedford, Mass., marks the first time any Defense Department organization has publicly stated plans for moving critical C2 applications from UNIX to the Windows NT operating system. A CRADA is a flexible legal agreement between federal and nongovernment organizations to collaborate on common objectives that involve the transfer of technology. This CRADA will enable the government to utilize low-cost, easy-to-use Windows NT technology while preserving its investment in UNIX-based applications.

Electronic Systems Center is the Air Force’s leading center for the development of C2 systems. ESC manages over 200 programs with an annual budget of more than $4 billion. This CRADA falls in line with ESC objectives to establish the pace for new acquisition strategies for C2 systems. The Command and Control Unified Battlespace Environment (CUBE) will manage all aspects of the CRADA.

Microsoft will participate in the CRADA with Decision Science Applications Inc. (DSA), Intergraph Federal Systems and Softway Systems Inc. The agreement, designated as the CRADA for Conversion of UNIX-based C2 Applications to Windows NT, will establish the base technology and methods to support large-scale UNIX-based applications in a Windows NT environment and is expected to lead to significant cost savings over traditional UNIX systems.

In addition to converting command and control systems from UNIX to Windows NT environments, the agreement also is intended to utilize a variety of commercial off-the-shelf technologies to create longer life cycles for U.S. Air Force C2 systems. The project is then expected to produce cost data associated with the conversion of applications from UNIX to Windows NT.

The four commercial organizations involved in the CRADA will supply specific technology expertise to the effort. Microsoft will provide development tools and Windows NT software and consulting. DSA will provide C2 domain expertise and UNIX and Windows NT development skills. Intergraph will provide Windows NT Workstation-based hardware and related services. Softway Systems will offer OpenNT
middleware and development tools along with conversion expertise.

U.S. Federal Strategy for Windows NT

Several major government organizations are converting from UNIX-only systems to Microsoft Windows NT. Both the U.S. Navy and U.S. Air Force are in the process of such a migration, motivated by lower costs and easy availability of commercial off-the-shelf applications for Windows NT. At the same time, these organizations have invested, and continue to invest, in UNIX-based applications and deployment models. The CRADA effort will simplify the task of redeploying UNIX-based applications on Windows NT. By combining the lower cost of systems based on Windows NT, and the large investment made in UNIX-based applications, U.S. federal customers will gain the benefits of both environments on a single platform.

About Decision Science Applications Inc.

Decision Science Applications, based in Arlington, Va., is an employee-owned firm founded in 1977. DSA is an independent technical services company with expertise in military command and control systems, commercial information management systems, software development, electrical engineering, telecommunications and physics.

About Intergraph Corp.

A member of the Fortune 1000, Intergraph, based in Huntsville, Ala., is the world’s largest company dedicated to supplying interactive computer graphics systems. Products range from point solutions, meeting individual and departmental needs, to integrated, enterprisewide systems. Noted for delivering interoperable systems and applications, Intergraph bases its products on the Windows® , Windows NT and UNIX operating systems.

About Softway Systems Inc.

Softway Systems (http://www.opennt.com/) is the developer of OpenNT enterprise middleware, providing UNIX services for Microsoft Windows NT. The product addresses the needs of users, system administrators, UNIX VARs and developers who want to exploit their existing investment in UNIX-based applications and tools as they move to Windows NT. Softway Systems is building the OpenNT product line under a long-term agreement with Microsoft.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.

Microsoft, Windows NT and Windows are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

Intergraph and the Intergraph logo are registered trademarks and Intergraph Federal Systems is a trademark of Intergraph Corp.

OpenNT is a trademark of Softway Systems Inc.

Other product and company names herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.

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