Friday, 14 June 2019 09:22

CERN decides to jettison Microsoft after steep price hike

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CERN decides to jettison Microsoft after steep price hike Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Microsoft's revocation of the "academic institution" status granted to the European Organisation for Nuclear Research, better known as CERN, has led to the organisation deciding to get rid of software sold by the Redmond behemoth in order to avoid lock-in and to keep its costs down.

In a statement, CERN said it had created a project known as Microsoft Alternatives or MAlt a year ago, anticipating that Microsoft would seek to earn more money from the software that the organisation uses.

"Recently, [Microsoft] has decided to revoke CERN’s academic status, a measure that took effect at the end of the previous contract in March 2019, replaced by a new contract based on user numbers, increasing the licence costs by more than a factor of 10," CERN's Emmanuel Ormancey said.

"Although CERN has negotiated a ramp-up profile over 10 years to give the necessary time to adapt, such costs are not sustainable."

CERN said the first major change it would undertake was moving to a pilot mail service for the IT department and volunteers in the European summer, followed by use by the entire organisation.

"In parallel, some Skype for Business clients and analogue phones will migrate to a softphone telephony pilot," Ormancey said.

He said many other products and services were being worked on. "Evaluations of alternative solutions for various software packages used for IT core services, prototypes and pilots will emerge along the course of the next few years."

iTWire has sought comment from Microsoft as to why the company decided to charge CERN more for its software.

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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