back to article Public sector exempted from swingeing Microsoft UK price hike

The British government will not feel the squeeze of Microsoft price rises on volume licensing when the three-year Public Sector Agreement (PSA)12 launches on 1 July, The Register can reveal. The company yesterday gave UK resellers and customers a preview of the new look price list, also due to kick in at the start of July, …


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  1. MrXavia

    Discounts for the government??

    Why does the government still buy windows? lets switch it all over to open source? surely it would be cheaper to hire a dedicated UK wide support team for Linux, than it would be to keep paying for windows?

    It just seems counter intuitive, buy windows, and send our money to the US of A, when we could use Linux and spend the money to hire local techies to support the transition and keep everything working afterwards.

    But then again this is government procurement, there is no sense to it...

    Its like the government cant realise £1 spent here is better than spending ~£0.70 abroad, why? because you get the VAT and you get the income/corporation taxes... Plus it encourages growth, which leads to more purchases and more tax!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Paying for monkeys

      That's because Windows support personnel are ten a penny. Despite recent claims in the news that public sector workers are on better or equal pay to the private sector, it is simply not true and for the level of pay offered, the boots on the ground are generally simpler folk weaned on a diet of Windows. Furthermore the suits in control are generally non-technical and have risen to their managerial positions more through dead men's shoes and less on ability.

      The more knowledgeable and experienced IT workers WANT to move away from Windows but working against decades of intransigency and institutionalisation is a pretty tall order. Added to that, years of Windows technology has permeated so many systems that making a move away extremely difficult.

      Not to mention the fact that the suits do not want the responsibility of failure and so outsource projects to organisations like BT, HP, EDS, CSC and the like who are only interested in profit maximisation. So who do they employ? Monkeys that are brought up on a diet of Windows and thus the circle is complete...

      Be patient my brothers - the revolution is under way.

      1. JC_


        The more knowledgeable and experienced IT workers WANT to move away from Windows

        This is typical fanboyism - those that are knowledgeable and experienced share my beliefs, those that don't are clearly lacking... better to make the case for how moving to Linux will increase productivity and/or save money, using facts, not opinions.

        years of Windows technology has permeated so many systems that making a move away extremely difficult

        That's institutional knowledge, which is an asset. Again, you've got to make the case that throwing this away will be justified with productivity, not just because M$ is teh evil.

      2. Alfred 2

        Re: Paying for monkeys

        Couldn't agree more with parts of your post.

        At the last public body I was at they appointed a new head of the Help Desk (quite a senior post). His experience with Windows? He had been selling them the double glazing kind.

        He needed help even getting on to the network but he knew the right people so his position was safe.

    2. mike2R

      I wouldn't trust the government to roll out a new carpet.

      Switching OS across the entire public sector? There'd be fights in Whitehall for control of the single working abacus.

      1. adam payne Silver badge

        The government rolling out a new OS (cheaply and effectively) *shudder*

  2. bean520

    corruption possibility

    don't forget the possibility of backhander deals

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: corruption possibility

      Yes, because the only reason that someone would choose to keep an OS that you don't like is if they are on the take?

      As an aside: When was the last time that you thought you were in a position to bribe a public official? For me the last time was when I was in Morocco, I have never thought that I may be able to either offer or receive a bribe in the UK.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: corruption possibility

        I keep hearing that Windows got into its position of dominance through a mixture of dodgy business dealings and ignoring the IT depts in favour of making friends with the highly paid but ignorant.

        How did they make friends? I think various "incentives" helped.

  3. adam payne Silver badge

    Did the government threaten moving to Linux? Is that how they got Microsoft to take it easy on them?

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Defensive move by MS?

    The numbers involved in government procurement schemes are going to involve larger quantities than any other non-governmental deals so they [the governments] should expect larger discounts. However, a discount of such magnitude that it appears to entirely negate the latest price-hike, one that everyone else will have to bare, certainly does seem to be defensive.

    The question is, when someone is being defensive, who are they defending themselves against?

    Well, when you look at the possible candidates, it's limited to either Apple or Linux, and I just can't quite see Apple getting the gig, so yes, this move seems to be a reaction/defensive move against Linux.

    The saddest thing of all is that the only point of using MS software in education is to train students to use MS software; being closed-source there's very little to be learned about how the software actually works. The end result is that governments are using taxpayers' money to subsidise MS training and to promote MS software*.

    *I was once told that I was forbidden from installing open-source software (OpenOffice in this case) on a training company's PCs because it contravened their [the training company's] MS licensing terms.

    MS just seems to becoming more and more irrelevant these days; it doesn't appear to have a USP and it's just inertia that's keeping it going.

    1. Chris Parsons

      Re: Defensive move by MS?

      Baffled that anyone should have downvoted your post.

      I think, for the majority of users, Linux/Open Office is just fine. It isn't so easy to support as Windows - I do both, but it's just as intuitive to the end user and for most purposes, Open Office is adequate.

      I see the main stumbling block as e-mail - Outlook/Exchange is a good combination and works well with phones and tablets. Yes, you can work around it, but it's a hard path to follow.

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