In December, we heard reports that the Pentagon had officially certified an Android device and Android 2.2 for use on Defense Department networks. According to a report from The Washington Post, citing a recent document posted by the Defense Department, the Pentagon is hiring contractors to securely manage a combination of at least 162,500 iOS and Android devices. The document also noted the project could expand up to 8 million mobile devices:
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The project is “a significant step towards delivering a secure mobile communications capability’’ to the entire agency, according to the document… The plan opens the door for the military to provide alternatives to BlackBerrys. RIM has clung to government business as an area of strength as consumers and some businesses switch to rival devices with bigger touch screens and faster browsers.
According to Wikipedia, the DOD had about 3.23 million total employees as of 2009. This is obviously yet another blow to RIM, which already has many devices on the network, but according to a statement from RIM’s Vice President of Government Solutions Paul Lucier: “Military left BlackBerry compatibility off its requirement list because it already has a RIM system to manage the devices.” He also said the company is excited for the possibility of government using BlackBerry Mobile Fusion to manage iPhones and Androids on its networks.
Earlier this year, we showed you how the United States Air Force was deploying iPads as Electronic Flight Bags and had difficulties using non-Windows devices to do so.