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Swiss public sector allowed to buy Microsoft software

Putting the Swiss army knife in

A Swiss federal court has handed Microsoft a temporary reprieve that allows the firm to sell its products and services to public sector customers, even though it could face an annulment in the final judgment.

The move follows software rival Red Hat launching a legal appeal in May this year against a Swiss government agency’s award of a contract to Microsoft without any public bidding.

NZZ online news (in German*) in Switzerland, reported the latest development today.

Last month Red Hat joined forces with 17 tech firms to dispute the snap decision by the Swiss Federal Bureau for Building and Logistics to buy Microsoft software and services for its division.

The agency had awarded Microsoft a three-year procurement deal worth 14m Swiss Francs (£8.1m) per year, without putting it out for public tender.

But the court’s interim judgment today means that buying Microsoft goods could prove a headache if the final judgment goes against Redmond.

However, if Red Hat et al’s objections are deemed unfounded, then purchasing Microsoft products and services might not be such a risky business for government agencies in Switzerland after all.

We asked Red Hat to comment on the court’s interim judgment, but it hadn’t got back to us, at time of writing ®

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*Google translation is here.

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