NHS told to stop buying Microsoft software while negotiations take place

The National Health Service (NHS) in the United Kingdom has been told to halt all purchases of Microsoft software as the Cabinet Office prepares to negotiate a new pan-government deal with the company.

According to The Register, the Crown Representative is said to be leading talks with around 20 of the biggest suppliers of technology to the public sector; these include Microsoft, HP and IBM amongst others.

Negotiations on the deal are believed to have already started, at least according to letters leaked to The Register, which were sent by Stephen Kelly, who is part of the Crown Representative leading the talks.

In the letters Kelly stated, "It is my intention to develop a commercial arrangement with Microsoft which will provide better commercial terms; reduced cost and add greater flexibility,"

"The focus of the government in its engagement with strategic suppliers is to act with one voice to secure the most favourable terms, therefore I ask for your continued support during this process and that you refrain from non-business critical spend with Microsoft until a new commercial arrangement is secured."

The UK’s Coalition government previously cancelled an Enterprise Wide Agreement with Microsoft late last year, which was worth over £80m. The reasoning behind this was said to be a lack of business case or the budget to justify it.

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