Given Apple's marketing toward the young and the trendy, you wouldn't expect the U.S. Army to be much of a customer. Lieutenant Colonel C.J. Wallington is hoping hackers won't expect it either.Yes, diversity is very good.
Wallington, a division chief in the Army's office of enterprise information systems, says the military is quietly working to integrate Macintosh computers into its systems to make them harder to hack. That's because fewer attacks have been designed to infiltrate Mac computers, and adding more Macs to the military's computer mix makes it tougher to destabilize a group of military computers with a single attack, Wallington says.
The Army's push to use Macs to help protect its computing corps got its start in August 2005, when General Steve Boutelle, the Army's chief information officer, gave a speech calling for more diversity in the Army's computer vendors. He argued the approach would both increase competition among military contractors and strengthen its IT defenses.
Apple (nasdaq: AAPL - news - people ) computers still satisfy only a tiny portion of the military's voracious demand for computers. By Wallington's estimate, around 20,000 of the Army's 700,000 or so desktops and servers are Apple-made. He estimates that about a thousand Macs enter the Army's ranks during each of its bi-annual hardware buying periods.