This past week a joint announcement was made by Microsoft and U.S. Air Force stating that Microsoft was releasing a more secure version of XP for the Air Force.
This isn’t actually true in the sense that Microsoft is releasing something specific to just one customer. They aren’t. The benefits of this “new” package are available to anyone and everyone.
The effort began with the Air Force utilizing Microsoft Consulting Services (MCS) to hammer down security and other policy settings. The effort resulted into what is now known as the “Federal Desktop Core Configuration” (FDCC).
The FDCC is simply a set of security settings that are not exclusive nor secret and are available to anyone who chooses to utilize them. You can get more information here.
We can learn from this effort. Each organization has an opportunity to streamline its IT expenditures without sacrificing availability and security. Standardization in large organizations, if done right, can reduce total cost of ownership while increasing these two vital pieces in the IT puzzle. And you won’t need a custom piece of software from Microsoft to do it. You already have it.