Microsoft Unlikely To Win Further US Army Orders For Combat Goggles Pending Deficiencies; Congress Approves $40M For New Model

  • Congress rejected the U.S. Army’s request for $400 million to buy up to 6,900 Microsoft Corp MSFT combat goggles this fiscal year.
  • The refusal in the $1.75 trillion government funding bill reflects concern over field tests of the goggles, adapted from Microsoft’s HoloLens headsets, Bloomberg reports.
  • The tests disclosed “mission-affecting physical impairments,” including headaches, eyestrain, and nausea
  • Instead, lawmakers approved $40 million of those procurement funds to develop a new model of the goggles, the report adds.
  • Over a decade, the Army projects spending up to $21.9 billion for as many as 121,000 devices, spares, and support services.
  • The Army has already ordered the first 5,000 goggles.
  • In December, the Army awarded a $125 million “task order" for the new model, labeled version 1.2.
  • The task order will provide improvements to address physiological impacts identified during testing, including software improvements for better reliability and reduced power demand.
  • More than 80% of U.S. soldiers experienced discomfort after less than three hours of using the goggles. The system also faced too many failures of essential functions.
  • Price Action: MSFT shares traded higher by 1.14% at $238.45 on the last check Thursday.
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