Government saves £1m on Microsoft licences

The public sector has pooled its buying power to realise a better deal with the software giant

The UK Government will get a discount of more than £1m a year from Microsoft, under a deal reached between the software company and the Office of Government Commerce (OGC).

The OGC announced on Thursday that the Government will see the savings as a direct result of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) that allows the Government to pool buying power across the public sector.

As specified in the terms of the MoU, the Government has received a discount because the total number of Microsoft licences issued across the public sector now exceeds 1.5 million, the OGC said. The discounts apply to desktop software under Enterprise and Select Agreement licences, and include discounts on support.

"One-and-a-half million public sector users have joined together under OGC's leadership to make the most of their combined purchasing power," said Hugh Barrett, chief executive of OGCbuying.solutions, the OGC's trading arm, in a statement. "The new discount available on Enterprise Agreements can now be enjoyed by all public sector bodies and the savings can be reinvested into front-line public services."

OGCbuying.solutions also manages MoUs with Sun, Oracle and IBM on behalf of the OGC. The agreements contributed to £412m in cost-cutting delivered by the organisation last year, the OGC said.