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Gov.UK and MS upgrade licensing deal

Polishing memorandum of understanding

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The Office of Government Commerce (OGC) is putting the finishing touches on a new memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Microsoft. The new MOU should not significantly change the commercial terms of the previous agreement, but will be expanded to include "more features than are in the existing MOU".

The FT reports that Microsoft hinted that the deal would involve increasing service and support commitments, rather than lowering prices.

This makes a lot of sense: one of Microsoft's favourite ways to counter open source software in sales pitches is to argue that Microsoft software has a lower total cost of ownership. By including more support in its standard deal, it strengthens this argument.

The terms of the current MOU, which expires next year, have been kept private because of concerns over commercial confidentiality. However, a spokesman for the OGC told The Register today that the new agreement was not around pricing issues, so the department ought to be able to be more forthcoming with details.

He explained that the OGC was "dotting the Is and crossing the Ts" now, and that an announcement would be made in early September. He added that an update on the status of the OGC's open source trials is expected at around the same time. ®

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