The Air Force will be getting the most secure version of Windows XP. Critical security patches could be installed on the Air Force computers within 72 hours rather than the average 57 days it usually takes. Steve Ballmer was persuaded to provide the Air Force with the secure version of XP in order for them to save about $100 million in contract costs.
Many government agencies have the power to convince vendors to create higher security products, but most of the time they take what they are given. The Air Force took exception with the case of the more secure version of XP. Making things more secure for the government and then to consumers later on is called a “trickle down approach.”
When the Air Force met with Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, they specifically requested a more secure version of XP which would require less time for administrators to reconfigure and maintain patches. Ballmer himself agreed and became personally involved with the implementation.
?He has half-a-dozen clients that he personally gets involved with, and he saw that this just made a lot of sense,? stated former Air Force CIO John Gilligan. ?They had already done preliminary work themselves trying to identify what would be a more secure configuration. So we fine-tuned and added to that.?