Microsoft and the Queensland Government have announced a three-year enterprise licensing agreement under which all Queensland agencies will have access to whole-of-Government pricing.
The massive licensing deal, which covers some 150,000 Queensland public servants, was embargoed to be announced on the morning of Australia Day, a public holiday in Australia.
It is the result of several years of intimate negotiations between representatives from the Queensland Government and Microsoft.
The Queensland Government signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Microsoft for the future purchase of software and services back in October 2008, after Queensland ICT Minister Robert Schwarten took a two-week trip to the United States to discuss the deal with Microsoft.
A spokesman for Minister Schwarten told iTnews that the deal was due to officially be announced on Australia Day to meet the publishing schedule of The Australian newspaper.
In an prepared statement, the Queensland Government said the deal would underpin an effort to establish a "standardised desktop fleet, e-mail and server platform" across all of its agencies.
"A whole-of-Government arrangement has been entered into that gives all departments access to a range of essential server technologies for deployment across the government," Mr Schwarten said.
"In addition, the arrangement gives all state and local government entitles the opportunity to purchase other Microsoft solutions with various options, depending upon the needs of the agency involved."
The Queensland Government said the agreement will provide "a lot of certainty" for the 3000 Microsoft resellers operating in Queensland.
But the Government has opted to only include an "invited" panel of large account resellers to take part in the deal - which means that only a handful of pre-selected large partners among the 3000 will see any fruit from the deal.
Stay tuned for more on this story after Australia Day.