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Windows 10 gets battle-hardened: US Army recruits 10,000 rugged tablets

The ruggedized Windows 10 tablets from Getac will help the US Army keep a check on supplies and logistics.

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Last year the US Army announced a massive Windows 10 migration, of which the new tablets form part.

Image: US Army/AFN Wiesbaden

The US Army's Windows 10 deployment has progressed far enough to roll out nearly 10,000 new rugged tablets with Microsoft's latest OS.

The rugged Windows 10 tablets will be deployed to soldiers who support the US Army's Global Combat Support System (GCSS), an SAP web system that handles the US Department of Defense's logistics, supplies, and finances.

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The branch has bought 9,783 Getac F110 G3 tablets with docking stations, according to defense electronics supplier Getac. The product image accompanying its statement on the contract shows the device running Windows 10.

The tablets will be used to "capture UID [unique identifier] data using its built-in barcode reader to provide unprecedented asset visibility", according to Getac.

The US Army embarked on a massive Windows 10 migration after the DoD announced last February that it would upgrade around four million machines to Windows 10 within exactly one year. This shift is designed to improve cybersecurity and streamline the IT operating environment.

For the Army, the migration would be complex, affecting medical, tactical, aviation, and logistics computers powered by Windows 7 and earlier, which run highly customized applications.

The Army's Chief Information Officer Group was aiming to complete the Windows 10 transition for many systems by January 31, 2017, but last month, it said it expected its European Windows 10 rollout to be finished by the end of September 2017.

The Windows 10 rollout in the Pacific region is starting in April. All US Army systems are now due to be running the Microsoft OS by January 31, 2018.

It's likely that GCSS, which is based in Fort Lee, Virginia, has migrated to Windows 10. But even if it hasn't, the tablet is available with a Windows 7 downgrade option. Getac said it should fulfill the entire order by May.

"For two years Getac worked with GCSS-Army to ensure the F110 was compatible with their network and participated in ongoing group sessions with both organizations," said Scott Shainman, president of Getac.

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The rugged tablets will replace aging systems used for tactical logistics by the US Army, including its reserves and the National Guard.

Image: Getac

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