Microsoft extends public-sector discount deal

The software maker has delayed the deadline for an introductory offer on its recently introduced PSA09 licensing deal
Written by Matthew Broersma, Contributor

Microsoft said on Friday it would extend an introductory offer on its recently introduced PSA09 licensing deal for public-sector organisations.

The extension follows comments by some public-sector bodies that the deal's original deadline of 30 June would not have allowed them enough time to obtain purchasing approval.

PSA09 was introduced in May as the result of a deal between Microsoft and Buying Solutions, the government purchasing body. The deal offers lower prices on Microsoft software licences for public-sector organisations, according to Microsoft and Buying Solutions.

PSA09 offers two tiers of pricing: a lower-priced tier for aggregate purchasing, and higher prices for ad hoc purchases of individual software packages, according to Microsoft.

An introductory offer, originally intended to expire on 30 June, allows buyers to pay the lower, aggregate prices for all purchases, Microsoft said. That offer will now be available until 15 December, Microsoft said.

"We... recognise that many public-sector organisations would benefit from additional time to evaluate the benefits contained within PSA09, as well as the innovative packages and new pricing models, to ensure that they choose the most cost-effective and relevant solution for their Microsoft software requirements," Microsoft said in a statement.

The extension is "great news", said Richard Steel, chief information officer at Newham Borough Council, in a blog post.

Steel said the initial timeline would have been difficult for many public-sector organisations to take advantage of, given the typical delay between when a contract is agreed and when it is finally signed.

"Several colleagues contacted me to say that, although they would benefit from the deal, they had insufficient time to get purchasing authority agreed by the deadline," Steel wrote.

The benefits of PSA09 include lower pricing for public-sector organisations, software packages designed specifically for the public sector, the ability to transfer licences between public-sector organisations and discounts for employees buying Microsoft software for use at home, Microsoft said.

At the time of the package's launch, Microsoft quoted Angela Eagle, exchequer secretary to the Treasury, as estimating that PSA09 could save taxpayers £75m over the next five years.

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