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Microsoft licensing deal will not be renewed

15th July 2010

A software licensing deal between the Department of Health and Microsoft, which has run for 12 years, will not be renewed.

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The ending of the deal, believed to have been worth £500m, will now mean NHS organisations will in future have to negotiate directly with Microsoft.

NHS Connecting for Health has formally written to NHS organisations informing them of the decision.

But because the NHS Enterprise-wide Agreement was for perpetual licences, NHS trusts will still be able to use most existing software and will still have access to Office 2010 Professional and Windows 7 Professional.

What will not be covered though are future releases of desktop, operating system and server licences.

The letter from Connecting for Health, dated July 9, states: “Going forward, individual local organisations will be responsible for all aspects of funding, purchase, and management of Microsoft licences.”

The agreement was first signed in November 2004 and had made the NHS one of Microsoft’s largest customers and was last renewed in 2007. It covered most of the Microsoft desktop and personal productivity software for up to 850,000 NHS users.

The change is also likely to impact on NHS staff as many were able to obtain Microsoft software at a discount price for home use but with the end of the deal, this perk has been withdrawn.

While it is believed that the Department of Health endeavoured to secure a new deal with Microsoft at a reduced rate, the DH has not so far commented on the matter.

 

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