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EU Commission Enters Talks With Microsoft for New Licenses

PCW - The European Commission has confirmed that it has entered into talks with Microsoft with the aim of keeping its licensing agreement for Windows.

The current deal with Microsoft is set to expire on May 31 and the Commission decided to enter into negotiated procedures with the software giant rather than hold a public tender. This decision has sparked much controversy among supporters of open standards. Those talks started on March 24.

However, the negotiated procedure measure is allowed by European Union rules under certain conditions and allows the Commission to acquire software made by a single vendor. But the length of such contracts may not exceed three years.

Quote - Graham Taylor, OFE:

"Although we haven't seen an official statement from the Commission about this yet it does look as though they are pushing ahead with a migration of staff to the Windows 7 platform without holding a public tender for the contract, and without considering alternative solutions. As we have already pointed out, this decision would appear to contradict the IT policy goals laid down in the Commission's Digital Agenda and it also would appear to run counter to the Commission's efforts to make procurement processes in Europe more transparent and fairer," said Graham Taylor, chief executive of Openforum Europe, via e-mail.