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US Navy May Close Large Deal with Apple

The United States Navy may soon lift a long-standing ban on the purchase and incorporation of Apple Macintosh systems.

According to anonymous, yet reputable sources, the Naval Chief Information Officer as well as several members from his staff have been meeting regularly with high-level Apple executives (including Steve Jobs himself) for some time now.

The two operating forces have also apparently begun circulating a draft proposal that would allow any division within the Navy to specially request Macintoshes. Additionally, it's been said that the "Navy-Marine Corps Intranet" (NMCI, which is the standardization of all equipment used on Navy bases) has included in its proposed budget: "Macintosh Support".

Sources within Apple are reporting that the NAVY has already standardized on the use of QuickTime as the standard multimedia format and, in addition, have put a great deal of effort into QSS (QuickTime Streaming Server) on Mac OS X client.

There are already several experimental G4-based QuickTime Streaming Servers being tested within the Navy — all purchased by contractors, so the Navy ban doesn't affect them — sources have told AppleInsider. From the mumblings being heard outside closed doors in Cupertino, it appears that the Navy will once again allow the purchase of Macintoshes and, in some cases, even make them standard for certain applications.

"I would say this is much more than a rumor," one sources said. "Considering that at one time, the NAWCWD (Naval Air Warfare Center, Weapons Division) was the single largest Macintosh customer in the world, this could have significant ramifications on Apple and would definitely affect their stock and profits when this is officially made public."