December 30, 2003

Govt. suspends acquisitions of Microsoft software

The Israeli government has suspended its acquisitions of new computer software from Microsoft, citing price issues and the U.S. company's refusal to
sell individual programs from its standard software package, the Finance Ministry said Tuesday.

A spokeswoman for the ministry, which oversees government purchases, said the government would use the company's existing products for the time being.
She did not know when purchases of new software would resume.

The government will also encourage the development of lower-priced alternative software to help expand computer use with the public.

"This was a purely economic decision," the Finance Ministry spokeswoman said, speaking on condition of anonymity. "The Israeli government will not be
purchasing new products from Microsoft, but will implement its contract to secure existing systems."



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