Summary: The NHS is told to “freeze all Microsoft spend,” according to an unusually good report from The Register (based on a leak, which is crucial for real journalism)
LAST month we wrote about the Bristol story which was a great example of tenders going wrong and people who favour Free software (i.e. public interests) losing their job. We have seen many such stories, and not just in the UK. Recall for example the story of Massachusetts.
The Cabinet Office is halting all but emergency purchases of Microsoft software in the NHS as it negotiates a pan-government procurement deal with the software giant.
The Crown Representative, headed by former Micro Focus CEO Stephen Kelly – appointed by Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude in April – is leading talks with 20 of the largest suppliers to the public sector, including HP and IBM.
Efforts to cut a deal with Microsoft are happening now, Kelly confirmed in letters sent to NHS Trusts mid-June, leaked to The Register by sources.
“It is my intention to develop a commercial arrangement with Microsoft which will provide better commercial terms; reduced cost and add greater flexibility,” said Kelly.
We will keep a close eye on this. And thanks to The Register for actually doing decent reporting like it used to before signing a deal with Microsoft (which our readers tell us insistently was the reason for change). █