Dutch government's Microsoft talks collapse

Dutch government's Microsoft talks collapse

Summary: Brief: The Dutch government has abandoned a €147m scheme to employ Microsoft for a massive systems upgrade


Negotiations between Microsoft and the Dutch government over a potential deal worth €147m to upgrade 245,000 computers have fallen through.

Microsoft said on Thursday that the talks failed because neither party could agree on the number of contracts needed.

Microsoft said it was disappointed that the deal had fallen through, but that it was also working on other deals with different Dutch government agencies.

"We can confirm that the agreement is not on, but we continue to work with the Dutch government," said a Microsoft spokesperson.

Earlier this month, Dutch MPs said they were unhappy the government was considering the deal with Microsoft. The contract, if agreed, would have run for five years, but MPs said it contravened the government's policy on open source software.

The Dutch government is a coalition between three parties -- the Christian Democrats, the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) and a small Democrat party (D66). MPs from D66, the Labour, Green and Socialist parties (PvdA, Groen Links and SP) reportedly questioned the ministers of defence, home affairs and justice about the potential deal.

Earlier this month, Microsoft's contract to supply Beijing's municipal government, rumoured to be worth $3.6m, was cancelled. ZDNet UK readers have criticised Microsoft's winning of a £500m contract with the NHS.

ZDNet UK's Ingrid Marson contributed to this report.

Topic: Operating Systems

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  • Why is Microsoft still working on other deals with different Dutch government agencies? Don't either understand the government policy? Or do either think that if they graft together the right combination of "requirements" that only Microsoft will be able to deliver on those? In short, why?

    For one, if Microsoft is allowed to "work" with different Dutch government agencies then are others as well at the same level and at the same time? And if that's not the case then how do the heads of those government agencies think they can explain why giving Microsoft "a competitive advantage" is not an infringment of the current government policy? And won't allow for damages claims?

    All this "working" with just vendor will only end up in tons of "what if" and "why" questions later. Before they know it the blaming finger of trying to hide things will be pointed. That's a situation that won't help them one bit.

    So what's the problem of working with various parties (with different views and solutions) and out in the open for all to see? At least that would make pointing a blamer finger later more difficult for those involved from the very beginning.