NHS Connecting for Health has renewed its custom licence agreement with Microsoft after a three-year break point in the nine-year deal that is expected to save the NHS a total of £330m.
The renewed agreement includes the provision of desktop systems for up to 850,000 users and includes Microsoft’s Windows Vista operating system and anti-virus technology.
Microsoft founder Bill Gates, the then health secretary John Reid and NHS IT chief Richard Granger were all involved in setting up the original deal in 2004.
At the time, Connecting for Health, which runs the NHS’s £12.4bn National Programme for IT, said the option to use open source software in future “remains and continues to be evaluated”.
Under the terms of the agreement, Microsoft provided a discount to the NHS based on number of machines covered and the length of the agreement.
The renewed deal also allows NHS staff to join Microsoft’s home user programme, providing access to most Microsoft desktop applications to install and use on home computers.
Connecting for Health will also upgrade the NHS’s national NHSmail email service to run on Microsoft Exchange 2007, in a move announced earlier this week.
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