updated 11/19/2004 8:26:15 PM ET 2004-11-20T01:26:15

Microsoft Corp. on Friday said that together with Dell Inc. it will provide the Air Force with software and related support services to simplify the acquisition process in an agreement worth up to $500 million over six years.

Under the contract, Microsoft will provide core server software, maintenance and upgrade support, while Dell will supply more than 525,000 Microsoft desktop Windows and Office software licenses.

(MSNBC is a Microsoft - NBC joint venture.)

"By consolidating purchases of software and hardware products across its enterprise, the Air Force will be able to enhance IT operations globally through better management, policies and planning," general manager for Microsoft Federal Curt Kolcun said in a statement.

The agreement also will support the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Chiefs of Staff and several Joint Combatant Commands.

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