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Health service ends Microsoft software contract

16 July 2010

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The Department of Health has announced it is to end the £500m deal between software giant Microsoft and the health service in England.

A DH spokesperson confirmed it will not renew its contract for 900,000 licences for Microsoft’s PC software, which was due for renewal this year.

The official said: “The Department of Health has already invested so that NHS trusts are able to have access to the latest versions of Microsoft desktop software. Future investment decisions will be taken at a local level, in line with the proposals set out in the white paper published this week.”

The Liberating the NHS white paper promises that NHS organisations will increasingly be enabled to be “customers of a more plural system of IT and other suppliers”.

The deal with Microsoft was signed in November 2004, when the number of software licences was extended from 500,000 to 900,000, and former health secretary John Hutton claimed at the time that it would result in savings of £330m on the department’s existing arrangement.

Although the Department of Health said the value of the deal was “commercially confidential”, reports estimated the value at £500m.

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