Microsoft's NHS contract expires

Microsoft might be one of the first big outfits to suffer from the new Blighty government’s cost cutting schemes.

According to Health Insider which we get for its free prostate pull out, Microsoft’s agreement with the NHS has expired.

The contract has been in place since 2001 and apparently died off at the end of May. Normally the contract would be automatically renewed, but with the new government in place, all bets are off.

The Microsoft NHS Resource Centre website says the company hopes to have more news on 15 June. It seems that Redmond does not hold out much hope. It has started to pull “benefits” from the contract. These included giving NHS staff free Office software, and discounts on other Microsoft products.

The contract was huge. It meant providing desktop capabilities, anti-virus technology and updates to all Microsoft operating systems across primary care groups, acute, ambulance, community and mental health trusts, strategic health authorities, palliative care units and the Department of Health.

It was so large that Redmond stumped up £40 million investment to build a a Common User Interface programme to make technology easier to deploy and more user-friendly for NHS staff. Microsoft said that it will make a statement on the state of the contract in the middle of June.

The new government is said to favour something more open saucy and has declared itself the enemy of big software contracts. However, if Microsoft walks away from the contract then the NHS will not have much time to roll anything meaningful out.