Do you expect that you might use any Linux or open-source technology? RICHEY: Well, no. Well use open standards. Microsoft is a proponent of open standards because thats at the heart of successful Web services interoperabilitybetween our Web services product and Oracles and others. Open source, however, is a different issue. And comparing Microsoft to Linux, my biggest concern is the total cost of ownership. Earlier on I said we owe it to our customers to help them invest their public dollars wisely. I do not believe Linux is the best investment when youre making it from a cost/benefit perspective. The total cost of ownership of Linux because of configuration control and long-term security issues does not stand up to the Microsoft platform.RICHEY: Microsofts e-government initiatives are consistent with the OMBs [Office of Management and Budgets] e-government initiatives. The OMB owns the federal strategy around e-government. Our goal, our mantra inside the Microsoft homeland security strategy, is that we will not talk to a customer about a Microsoft homeland security solution unless its perfectly aligned with OMB and their goals around e-government. We applaud their efforts around e-government for a couple of reasons. Were very confident that if our government customers look at the platform that they already own first to adopt change or incorporate new IT policies, then its consistent with our goals in terms of the federal agencies having to make decisions that are consistent with e-government or they get shut down by OMB. So its not in our interest to not understand what our government customers requirements are around e-government. So homeland security is a line of business that rides across the e-government network. Do you work with any agencies in the intelligence community? RICHEY: The answer is yes but most of it we cant talk about. Let me just say that we have longstanding productive relationships with the intelligence community. What I can tell you is that Im really proud to say that the director of operations at the CIA has awarded one of our intelligence sharing solutions a protection level three of certification. Thats significant in the intelligence business and in the homeland security business, and were very proud of that. And that drives right to the issue of the security of our platform.
Is your work there one of Microsofts e-government initiatives?