Microsoft chases London councils after Newham victory

Microsoft chases London councils after Newham victory

Summary: Microsoft will use Newham Council to show how it can help deliver improved social services in London

SHARE:
3
Microsoft unveiled ambitious plans on Monday to encourage the use of its products across London councils, using Newham Council to showcase what its software can do.

At a press conference on Monday, Newham Council announced it is rolling out Microsoft software across its whole IT infrastructure. It will use Microsoft operating systems and applications in its core operations, and its social services department will also run Windows XP Tablet Edition 2004 on tablet PCs.

"Our development of efficient IT is crucial to the council and our partnership with Microsoft allows the council to reduce IT costs and still deliver Newham residents excellent services," said Sir Robin Wales, Mayor of Newham.

Newham Social Services hopes to increase the quality of social care and reduce the time and costs involved with the process by using tablet PCs. The systems will be introduced over the next 12 to 18 months.

"Tablet PCs enable us to reduce the paperwork associated with Social Services administration and free up five to six hours of administration time as a result," said Charmaine Wiggins of Newham Social Services.

Wiggins explained that the present process involves a 25-page form that has to be carted around between a local citizen's home and head office before care can be authorised. Tablet PCs will allow the subject to agree to the proposed care on the spot, and sign this consent.

If the trial is successful, tablets will be "deployed widely", according to Wiggins.

Microsoft is quietly confident that Newham's decision will pave the way for other London Councils to consider adopting a Microsoft partnership in favour of open-source variants, such as Linux.

"Newham is a milestone for engaging with local government and they [Newham] share Microsoft values of innovation, leadership and vision," said Terry Smith, senior director of public sector at Microsoft UK.

"Microsoft is making a long-term commitment to local government and Newham are a big part of that," he said.

Last year Newham Council trialled a Linux desktop offering earlier this year, but eventually chose to stick with Microsoft.

It has been alleged that Newham Council examined Linux in order to force Microsoft to lower its bid, a strategy some have dubbed 'doing a Newham.' However, Richard Steel, head of ICT at Newham, denied allegations of dirty tricks.

Topic: Operating Systems

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

3 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • What the F**K di thses darn stupid councils think they are doing no doubt they are the labourite scumballs just like blair and Co ..

    If this country wants to survive we have got to get this infestation out of government now whilst we still have a litle something to cling to .

    What these councils are doing even daring to sign 1 year contracts defies sense they are spending the publics money on feeding a bunch of thieving coniving scumbags in Redmond in the style they have becom used to .

    PEOPLE OF THE UK WISE UP FOR CRYIN OUT LOUD ARE YOU ALL SO BLIND YOU CANT SEE WHAT IS GOING ON , FORCE A VOTE OF NO CONFIDENCE IN THE GOVERNMENT NOW BEFORE THEY CAN DO ANY MORE DAMAGE THAT INCLUDES STOPPING THESE LETHAL 10 YEAR DEALS WITH M$ Corp
    ITŚ YOUR MONEY BIENG BLOWN AWAY .
    anonymous
  • "the present process involves a 25-page form that has to be carted around between a local citizen's home and head office"

    lol - yes those forms must be really heavy! But now they're gonna use tablet PCs - wtf!!

    Why is this news anyway? Every government department and probably nearly every company in the UK uses Microsoft products.

    The tablet pc part makes me laugh though. Talk about wasting money!
    anonymous
  • To get rid of MS, you have to have IT people willing to take responsibility for what they are doing.

    Unfortunately, they are few a far between and most likely not working for councils anyway.

    Banks and other wealthy companies are adopting linux but government and councils can't seem to want to get unstuck. Strange since they have smaller budgets....
    anonymous