Microsoft to shed light on Newham Council's Linux u-turn

The London Borough of Newham's decision to choose Windows over Linux was a big surprise. Microsoft and Newham will soon reveal more details about Newham's decision
Written by Graeme Wearden, Contributor
Microsoft is about to reveal more information about one of the most controversial clashes in the battle between Windows and Linux.

The software giant has scheduled a press conference for Monday, 16 August, at which it will talk in detail about the London borough of Newham's decision to deploy a Windows-based desktop and server infrastructure.

This deal, which was signed at the start of the year, was a surprise as Newham had been testing an open-source product which it was expected to choose over Windows.

Microsoft has been billing Newham's decision as proof that its software can give better overall value than Linux.

However, this claim has been hotly contested by those in the open-source camp, who have alleged that Microsoft was forced to make huge cuts in its licence fees in order to keep Newham onside.

It has even been suggested that Richard Steel, Newham's head of ICT, put on his best poker face to persuade Microsoft that he was determined to choose Linux as part of his drive to cut IT costs, thus compelling the software giant to make him an offer too tempting to turn down.

If Newham had indeed chosen Linux then it would have been a significant boost for open source, and a major source of embarrassment to Microsoft.

According to Microsoft, Monday's event will "deliver the findings of the evaluation process conducted by Newham in the interests of selecting a software partner to support its transformation programme".

It will also "launch Newham's unique partnership with Microsoft; a partnership which will see Newham and Microsoft working closely together on a range of projects that will directly benefit Newham and the public sector as a whole."

Editorial standards