Microsoft denies role in Birmingham Linux flop

Microsoft has insisted it did not slash its software prices to encourage Birmingham City Council to abort its Linux project.

Birmingham pulled the plug on its open-source desktop project after it found that an upgrade to Windows XP was cheaper. Birmingham City Council had planned to roll out 1,500 Linux PCs across its libraries, but in the end converted just 200 PCs.

Industry experts have suggested that Microsoft offered Birmingham special discounts to sway the balance in favour of XP. But Microsoft firmly denied these allegations. Asked whether Microsoft had offered special discounts to Birmingham, Nick McGrath, head of platform strategy told ZDNet UK, "No, not all. We are in discussions with every single local authority. There is a common buying framework."

McGrath added, "The decision was very much taken by Birmingham."