CERN ditching Microsoft as licensing costs shoot up

June 16 2019

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CERN -- the famous scientific lab where the web was born -- is ditching Microsoft as the latter has revoked CERN's academic status, thus, increasing the licensing costs by over tenfold.

A prime example is that CERN has enjoyed special conditions for the use of Microsoft products for the last 20 years, by virtue of its status as an "academic institution". Although CERN has negotiated a ramp-up profile over ten years to give the necessary time to adapt, such costs are not sustainable, read a recent CERN blog post.

The multi-year project will begin with a pilot mail service for the IT department and volunteers this summer. 

If that goes well, CERN will migrate all of its staff to the new mail service. It also plans to move Skype for Business clients and analogue phones to a softphone pilot.

Many other products and services are 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, the blog post added.

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