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UK government renews Microsoft EA for 180,000 seats

The Ministry of Defence has agreed to extend a massive Enterprise Agreement package with Software Box Limited, a popular Microosft Gold Partner and ACPO reseller, for another three years, a deal worth around £45 million for 180,000 seats or roughly £7 per month per seat.

The Register, who broke the news earlier today, said that the new real extends an existing near-decade partnership between SBL and the MoD. Nine suppliers were invited to tender but the margins are likely to be extremely thin given that Microsoft considers the MoD to be a “major account”, similar to a halo customer.

It is likely that the deal will see MoD computers finally move from Windows XP to Windows 7 as Microsoft ends support for Windows XP and Office 2013 next year.

Windows 7 got the Common Criteria (CC) certification back in March 2011. This is an industry standard used by 26 nations including the UK and is commonly regarded as a compulsory requirement for anything that touches national security.

The MoD is a ministerial department that is supported by 28 agencies and public bodies and employs just over 68,000 permanent and casual civilian personnel.