back to article UK.gov cuts deal with Microsoft to avoid £15m post-Brexit price hike

The UK government has inked a deal with Microsoft to prevent Whitehall from paying an extra £15m in licence fees due to a post-Brexit price hike. After the referendum, Microsoft said it would increase on-premise licensing by 13 per cent and cloud licensing and services by 22 per cent. It blamed "sustained currency changes" …

  1. Pseudonymous Clown Art

    Public Sector? Office 365?

    What could possibly go wrong.

    Are there offline installers for Office 365 products? Certain organisations like the MoD have networks that have no direct access to the internet so how is Office 365 going to work in situations like that?

    Also, has anyone managed to smoothly migrate a gigantic organisation to 365 without a hitch. Every time I hear "Office365" and "Migration" its almost always followed up with rage and anger.

    I know the organisation my missus works for has cocked up a lot of migrations recently including 365.

    I wont name the firm but its a well known health provider / gym that recently bought a load of Dickie Bransons cast offs.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Public Sector? Office 365?

      We have office365, at least until someone doing pipework in the street gets a bit too enthusiastic with a jackhammer again. No email but eclipse still worked. A surprisingly productive day. Particularly as lots of users were disorientated and couldn’t ignore us when we went to their desk to ask them what this loosely worded requirement really meant.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Public Sector? Office 365?

      Yet, nearly all of the money to build Microsoft Data Centres 'the infrastructure' was paid for pre-Brexit/pre-currency fluctuations.

      The ongoing running/maintenance/staff costs of a built datacentre are next to nothing, compared to the land acquisition/initial construction/build costs.

      Microsoft, lying through their teeth as usual. Give it 5 years of continued currency fluctuations, they might have a point.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Public Sector? Office 365?

      I work in another place where information governance is where we are supposed to start. I think Beardie has a couple of franchises with us, or he intends to.

      I think we are destined for Office 365 too. Perhaps the theory is that, as we are leaving the EU, we don't have to worry about data security anymore and all public bodies are moving this way?

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Public Sector? Office 365?

      "ike the MoD have networks that have no direct access to the internet so how is Office 365 going to work in situations like that?"

      Wow, I bet they never thought of that....

    5. d3vy Silver badge

      Re: Public Sector? Office 365?

      "Are there offline installers for Office 365 products?"

      Yes.

    6. MyffyW Silver badge

      Re: Public Sector? Office 365?

      Sod the public interest angle, I feel click-baited by the picture of the Commodore 64 keyboard.

      - Disgusted of Llantisilly

  2. frank ly

    Cloudy Outlook

    "... increase on-premise licensing by 13 per cent and cloud licensing and services by 22 per cent. It blamed "sustained currency changes" which led to a "price misalignment" of the pound."

    So, the on-premise licensing contract was to be paid in 'real' money and the cloud licensing in 'cloudy' money. Hence the different increases? I've always found finance to be confusing.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Trollface

      Re: Cloudy Outlook

      Its almost like your suggesting that M$ maybe attempting to extort extra money and using Briexit as an excuse.. surely not!

      1. deadlockvictim Silver badge

        Re: Cloudy Outlook

        Briexit? Rejecting foreign soft cheese for proper hard Cheddar?

      2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: Cloudy Outlook

        "Its almost like your suggesting that M$ maybe attempting to extort extra money and using Briexit as an excuse.. surely not!"

        It's a fine/punishment for not voting the "right" way.

  3. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

    That's all right then

    So, avoiding £15m increases due to The-Exit-that-shall-not-be-named. That's wonderful. We can spend it on the NHS - oh, hang on, it's not actually extra money is it? Okay, we can use it to train some unemployed teenagers as nurses, to replace all the Portuguese ones who are going home.

    <sorrow mode on>Damn, damn, damn, I promised myself not to be a remoaning snowflake today. Failed again</sorrow>

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Trollface

      Re: That's all right then

      Well snowflakes gonna snowflake!

      Its not to late you know, still have a good 2 years to move out of this racist, bigoted moronic country and move to the more enlighten EU, Greece or Italy perhaps? nice weather, everything is cheap!

      Or if the weather is too hot for snowflakes how about Sweden, I hear Rinkeby is nice..

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: That's all right then

        >still have a good 2 years to move out of this racist, bigoted moronic country

        >and move to the more enlighten EU

        Well, we'll keep our second homes there of course, and travel with our second passports, but we'll probably mostly remain in the UK (/England&Wales if that's all that is left of it) for tax purposes. It's not what we wanted but now we've been granted a way to strengthen our stranglehold on power here it seems foolish to just abandon it.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Trollface

          Re: That's all right then

          "Well, we'll keep our second homes there of course, and travel with our second passports"

          But after Briexit the continent will be in a different dimension from us meaning that we will never ever be able to go there again, but you have some magic gold plated passports that will allow you to jump that gap! WOW COOOOOOL!

          "but we'll probably mostly remain in the UK (/England&Wales if that's all that is left of it) for tax purposes"

          Yeah, its nice to keep some of your own money.

          "It's not what we wanted but now we've been granted a way to strengthen our stranglehold on power here it seems foolish to just abandon it"

          Certainly is!

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: That's all right then

            "But after Briexit the continent will be in a different dimension from us meaning that we will never ever be able to go there again,"

            "Fog in Channel. Continent cut off"

    2. codejunky Silver badge

      Re: That's all right then

      @ Pen-y-gors

      "<sorrow mode on>Damn, damn, damn, I promised myself not to be a remoaning snowflake today. Failed again</sorrow>"

      Recognition is the first step. You recognised your unnecessary comment based on a misunderstanding and hopefully you will be able to cope with the changes going on around you without needing the NHS's help. Dont give up hope

    3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: That's all right then

      "a remoaning snowflake"

      Ya know, even after all these months, I still have no idea why "snowflake" has become some sort of pejorative insult again or what it is supposed to mean. Last time around, it was a(n anti-)racist term used by blacks against whites, especially in the TV sitcom Love Thy Neighbour.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Trollface

        Re: That's all right then

        Dont worry, neither do they.. and they hate it *lol*

        They call anyone who simply doesnt agree with them, bigot, racist, fascist, Nazi and other downright hateful names, to the literal point where it no longer bothers people, but yet you calling them a snowflake.. oh they're angry now, Oh boy are they pissed of now! - Now I'm gonna jam my thumb in their butthole..

      2. Mex5150

        Re: That's all right then

        "I still have no idea why "snowflake" has become some sort of pejorative insult again or what it is supposed to mean. Last time around, it was a(n anti-)racist term used by blacks against whites, especially in the TV sitcom Love Thy Neighbour."

        Sorry to disappoint you, but it's got nothing to do with racism, it's in reference to this line from the film Fight Club: “You are not special. You're not a beautiful and unique snowflake. You're the same decaying organic matter as everything else. We're all part of the same compost heap. We're all singing, all dancing crap of the world.”

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: That's all right then

          "Sorry to disappoint you, but it's got nothing to do with racism, it's in reference to this line from the film Fight Club: “You are not special. You're not a beautiful and unique snowflake. You're the same decaying organic matter as everything else. We're all part of the same compost heap. We're all singing, all dancing crap of the world.”

          Oh, is that all? BTW, your first sentence seems to imply that I was expecting it to be a racist comment or somehow inferring that either I'm a racist or someone looking to be offended on behalf of others. That's not the case if you read my OP properly. I was simply pointing out the previous existence of snowflake as an insult and wondered why it was being used again, but in a completely different and obviously non-racist context, ie WTF does it mean this time around. Now that I know it's taken from a film I've never seen, will never see and don't want to see, I can safely ignore it as one of those strange sub-culture references where the members can't get their heads around the idea that not everyone is like them and don't even understand the supposed insult.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I am aghast and agog !!!

    A Govt body managing to negotiate a saving on an existing contract. :)

    You just know that MS must be about to announce a new 'Bigger Better' product at a better price. !!!

    :)

    1. heyrick Silver badge

      A Govt body managing to negotiate a saving on an existing contract. :)"

      Not really. Government pays -x% and we little people get to pay +x% to make up the shortfall.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "To Protect me" - Microsoft, stand outside the front door of my house, not inside it.

      If a Firewall was the equivalent of fitting the outside front door of your house with a 5 lever lock,

      Windows 10 Creators update seems the equivalent (in terms of scattered default to 'ON' Privacy settings) of a Microsoft official (with clipboard) standing in the family bedroom, watching and offering advice/condoms as you perform experimental an** sex on your consenting wife.

      Yes, they're protecting you but you're both compromised by Microsoft's presence at the same time and it's very fcuking invasive, when you look into the detail (as Microsoft are doing) and who they will sell/pass (conduit) this data to.

  5. Christoph Silver badge
    Flame

    The government finds a way round the price increases that they created.

    But us proles can just pay up.

    1. CAPS LOCK Silver badge

      "But us proles can just pay up."

      Or not pay up. Do a bit of research, look at the alternatives, think about new ways of doing things. A little effort now and you can throw the monkey off your back forever. I have and it's a wonderful feeling.

    2. Just Enough

      "But us proles can just pay up."

      Who do you think would otherwise be financing the additional £15m? Do you think it would come out of Osborne's ample wallet? It's our taxes that would be paying for it.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        >Who do you think would otherwise be financing the additional £15m? Do you think it would come out of Osborne's ample wallet? It's our taxes that would be paying for it.

        That might explain his need to hold six jobs at the moment, but Osbourne is no longer chancellor. That would be Hammond spending our taxes on it.

      2. Craig100

        "Who do you think would otherwise be financing the additional £15m? Do you think it would come out of Osborne's ample wallet? It's our taxes that would be paying for it."

        When we buy new kit we pay the M$ tax after all! Unless you buy one of the few brands that supply "other" <Linux> OS's as standard ;)

    3. cs94njw

      Yup - good for the government, who has contacts, lawyers, accountants, etc.

      Now, what about the rest of us to have to deal with this crap?...

  6. James 51 Silver badge

    When we moved from one version of office to another in work we ran into bit rot as every once in a while someone would have a file from the previous (or even two versions ago) that didn't work well with the new version. I suggested that we all move to sigil (it does have a WYSIWYG mode) and use epubs. Surprisingly, that didn't catch on.

  7. Craig Cockburn

    Inked?

    In a digital forum?

    Hold on I'll get my quill

    Or did you mean to write "agreed"

    1. Alumoi

      @Craig

      You'll find that all legal documents are still signed in a liquid or paste that contains pigments or dyes and is used to color a surface to produce an image, text, or design. Commonly referred as ink.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        maybe in the UK public sector, but not all.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    MoD Cloud

    MoD in The Cloud??? MoD data is precisely the sort of stuff you don't want going any further than the well-armed bored-looking youngsters on the front gate.

    If I wasn't posted Anon, mine would be the coat that's patted down every time I enter and leave. :)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: MoD Cloud

      I can give you a iron clad guarantee that not all MoD data is kept that secure.

      Mines the coat that probably should have been patted down but no one bothered because it was a civilian data centre with some rented racks...

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    There shouldn't be one single machine on ms products that don't really need them.

  10. Matthew 17

    I only clicked the article because it had a C64 on the picture

    I feel disappointed now.

    Might go n play Delta to cheer myself up.

  11. smartypants

    Individuals, on the other hand...

    ...are now finding the new Brexit Tax* eating into everything... Holidays, technology purchases, food. Just got back from Spain, and I got around a Euro for a Pound FFS.

    (*Might feel like a tax, but the government gets nothing extra with which to pay the increasing list of bribe payments to bits of the economy preparing to leg it somewhere less insane, and to pay for thousands of experts** able to run negotiations in having cake and eating it)

    (**I say 'experts', but, Team*** Brexit prefer not to listen to those - not even if they're the official Brexit committee they set up.)

    (***I say 'team', but these people only really know about knifing each other in the back)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Trollface

      Re: Individuals, on the other hand...

      "...are now finding the new Brexit Tax* eating into everything... Holidays, technology purchases, food. Just got back from Spain, and I got around a Euro for a Pound FFS."

      Oh the devaluation of the pound, an issue so bad that the day of it happening Mark Carney creamed himself so hard, the front of BOE looked like a scene from 'The Blob' - Your welcome UK economy.

      "(*Might feel like a tax, but the government gets nothing extra with which to pay the increasing list of bribe payments to bits of the economy preparing to leg it somewhere less insane"

      Yeah still waiting on that list.

      "and to pay for thousands of experts** able to run negotiations in having cake and eating it)

      (**I say 'experts', but, Team*** Brexit prefer not to listen to those - not even if they're the official Brexit committee they set up.)"

      Experts - Like those who continue to get.. er well just about everything wrong! sounds like a winning strategy! listen the "experts" - do the opposite - profit!

      "(***I say 'team', but these people only really know about knifing each other in the back)"

      *lol* yeah because there was none of that in the EU!, I'm sorry have you never seen politics before?

  12. King Jack
    Big Brother

    The real deal

    The real deal is the Gov turning a blind eye to M$ illegal spyware.

    1. Alumoi
      Black Helicopters

      Re: The real deal

      M$ illegal spyware

      Dream on, buddy. It's legal as hell as it's backed up by all major TLAs.

  13. Dave 15

    Mass info give away

    Really, MOD and the rest of Whitehall using the Microsoft cloud.... I guess that just makes it quicker to let the US government know all our state secrets.

    What annoys me is that if I publish a secret then I get locked up, Whitehalls gives them away to our enemies without thought

  14. starquake

    C64

    Whitehall still use Commodore 64's?

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Incoming brexit commentards in 3.2.1...

    This has nothing to do with brexit, it is business.

    You give a business the opportunity to screw you over and they will take it, doubly so for the likes of Microsoft.

    Lets say the pound moves back to where it was, does anyone honestly believe Microsoft will reduce the price? Don't be silly.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Trollface

      But.. But.. the Brexit! Doom, End of Days, Apocalypse!!!

      How F@#king dare you come here with your rational comments!, be gone... er.. xenophobe, raciest, any other 'ist that makes your rationale less rational!?!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Yet here they are, giving away £15 million they are perfectly entitled to argue for as a consequence of the current exchange rate, which just happens to be a consequence of the referendum outcome.

      Of course; letting the government and Whitehall off the £15 million has probably bought them some favours for the future.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: C64

      "Whitehall still use Commodore 64's?"

      A recent review showed them to be less prone to leaking personal data than Windows 10.

  16. Gio Ciampa

    Putting my cynical hat on...

    I wonder if HMRC might have been persuaded to cut a sweetheart deal also - to balance out the books...

    ...can't be having a megacorp losing money now, can we?

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What about the rest of us?

    Any chance I can ink a deal to prevent me from paying more for our mortgage, insurance, shopping, holidays and other expenses from going up due to a price hike?

    Because much like the government, I would like to save some money if I can too.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What about the rest of us?

      "... Because much like the government, I would like to save some money if I can too."

      You can ....... but the volume commitment may be a bit expensive to fund each month unless your family headcount numbers in the hundreds. :)

      Here is an idea, form a collective with a few streets where you live and buy in BIG volume for a discount.

      Get your best 'Sales' professionals to negotiate the best deal.

      I am sure there are a few Supermarkets chains that would be willing to do business for a regular volume of known business. :)

      Worth a go !!!

  18. EnviableOne Bronze badge
    Windows

    MS, DPA, GDPR and FISA

    MS have there Cloud contracts approved by the EU as meeting DPA, the chocolate factory and amazon do not.

    If you use their correct offering data will stay in the UK and can't be moved off shore.

    The US TLAs can go swing as they have craftily worded the DC contracts so they dont actually own the tin, so US courts (FISA or otherwise) have no jurisdiction.

    So privacy concerns are abated, but the real issue is the TCO.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It is not public cloud but private cloud Office 365

    It is not a public cloud but a private cloud version of Office 365 stored in secure UK data centres with secured UK networks.

    More details can be seen here, http://www.computerweekly.com/news/450303820/MoD-becomes-first-tenant-in-Microsofts-UK-Azure-datacentre

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: It is not public cloud but private cloud Office 365

      According to your link the data centres are in the UK but it's still someone else's computer.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It is not public cloud but private cloud Office 365

      But, MS:

      1) can still replicate it all and put it in the US too.

      2) can interrogate it all remotely bypassing accountability

      3) still capture all the auth/SSO traffic that hits the US, not the UK DCs.

      etc

      It's sad that governments trust what the lawyers have done and rely on safe harbour, model contract and privacy shield and ignore what the we, the people that architect and engineer this stuff know.

      Ah well, every generation needs to learn for itself.

      1. Jay 2

        Re: It is not public cloud but private cloud Office 365

        Indeed. I am unconvinced about Office 365 for any business. I'm sure the beancounters who love this sort of thing will complain when they can't play with their spreadsheets or get their email.

  20. Martin Pittaway

    Know it all Microsoft luvvies costing the British tax payers a fortune

    Lobby your MP.

    Swap to Apple and don't pay a penny in on-going licence fees! No OS upgrade fees. No BIG server license fees.

    Totally compatible. Apple's own Office suite will read and write to Office 365 documents.

    Infinitely expandable (XSAN) plug n play.

    More secure.

    Just who is that keeps complaining that Apple product is expensive?

    1. EnviableOne Bronze badge

      Re: Know it all Microsoft luvvies costing the British tax payers a fortune

      PC £150, iMac £350+ 2500 worksations

      £500k extra every refresh cycle

      MS costs £40k per year

      5 year refresh cycle

      PC saves £60k per year - and you get bonuses with compatability, controll and flexibility

      Apple not as cheap as you think.

  21. FIA

    Didn't read the article, got too hung up on the pic

    Dunno why, but the incorrect cursor keys really bother me.

  22. Mex5150

    Or instead of that 'deal' they could save even more

    Just dump M$ and move to FOSS (Free and open-source software) and save even more money ;^/

  23. russmichaels

    ok but what does this have to do with a Commodore 64 ?

  24. Martin Pittaway

    Longevity

    PC's ££££££££££££££££ year on year cost a fortune to live with. Subscriptions to anti virus. malware and spyware.

    Macs? Hmmmm. Don't need to subscribe to anything for protection unless you're a paranoid PC nerd who thinks they know better.

    Tell me. Why do Windows luvvies hate Apple when it was the Mac interface Bill Gates fell in love with, had to have whatever the cost, and so Windows arrived how many years after the Mac OS GUI was launched? And lets not forget. Word and Excel were on Mac in a GUI LONG before the Windows versions.

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