Microsoft courts governments in strategy shift

Having faced high-profile antitrust cases in both the U.S. and European Union (E.U.), Microsoft Corp. may not immediately spring to mind as governments' favored friend. So it is perhaps not surprising that the software giant has waged a quiet campaign in recent months to change its image from that of monopolist to "good corporate citizen." Microsoft has been creating a new public sector organization charged with engaging and influencing governments' technology buying decisions and has begun appointing regional and national chief technology officers (CTOs) to head its efforts. It broke out the public sector as one of its key business verticals early this year, and has ramped up investment in education, training, and community projects.

In Europe, where earlier this year antitrust authorities took a somewhat tougher stance against the software vendor than their U.S. counterparts, imposing over $600 million in fines and requiring that the company offer a version of its Windows operating system without the Windows Media Player software, it has grown particularly focused on the public sector market. At a public sector event in London on Monday, Microsoft announced that it is creating a portal for governments to provision technology from itself and its partners, and that it is teaming with Accenture Ltd. to develop software and services packages for European governments in areas like e-government and public safety.

News source: InfoWorld

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