Microsoft signs up Universities

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Microsoft has signed a three-year software deal with The Council of Australian University Directors of Information Technology (CAUDIT) which will see it rollout its desktop productivity software to over 72,000 full time university employees at 33 campuses Australia-wide. Hailed as the software giant's largest ever single deal with universities worldwide - Microsoft's large account resellers will rollout and service the latest releases of Microsoft's Office, Windows upgrades, Front Page, Publisher and Visual Studio during the three year contract period.

About 80 percent of all university teachers in Australia will have access to the software under the agreement, said Don Carlson, national education manager at Microsoft Australia.

Individual universities will pay an annual subscription fee for the products. Microsoft declined to put a value on the deal - which is an extension of an existing three-year agreement at the universities. Carlson said with this contract, Microsoft took the base worldwide licensing agreement available to universities around the world and tweaked it for the local market.

This involved extending software access to entities that support the various universities such as research facilities, on campus child care centres and student unions. It also provides access to visiting professors, work at home rights and access for employees of universities affiliates. "We looked at the local needs and wrote them into the contract," he said.

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