Microsoft has signed two giant licensing deals with UK government departments, covering more than 100,000 desktops.
The software giant has inked contracts with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) and the largest government department, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), which is planning a move to Windows XP despite a minor Windows upgrade knocking out 80,000 PCs there late last year.
The company said the deals will give both departments access to the latest Microsoft software and will deliver "significant savings and efficiencies through aggregated procurement, more standardised working and reductions in support costs".
The three-year enterprise agreement with HMRC covers 104,000 desktops across the UK. It gives the department access to the full Microsoft product suite, including Windows, Office Professional, Sharepoint, Systems Management Server and Exchange.
HMRC commercial director Mark Forth said: "This is a positive development for our organisation representing substantial cost savings over the term of the agreement and allowing us to adopt a flexible approach to the delivery of our IT services."
He added that the coordinated approach to negotiating the deal has resulted in additional savings for government.
DWP service delivery director Kenny Robertson said: "Our recent adoption of an enterprise agreement complements our strategic direction on the desktop and [Microsoft] have been in the trenches with us as we prepare the technical aspects to migrate our estate to XP."