"Yediot Ahronot": From today, gov't using Microsoft software illegally

The Ministry of Finance did not renew its license with Microsoft Israel to operate the software.

Hebrew daily “Yediot Ahronot” reports that all Israeli government ministries and agencies have become software pirates as of today.

The reason is that the Ministry of Finance did not renew its license with Microsoft Israel to operate the software. The three-year license expired last night, December 31, 2003.

As of today, Microsoft programs on computers in government ministries and agencies are operating without a license, and the legal status of their operators is the same as that of ordinary people who illegally copy software. Almost 40,000 PCs are in Israeli government service.

Microsoft (Nasdaq:MSFT) declined to comment on the matter, saying only, "Microsoft wants to hold business-like and quick negotiations with the authorized Ministry of Finance representatives, taking into account Israel's economic situation and prevailing price levels, and to continue our collaboration with the Israeli government."

Published by Globes [online] - www.globes.co.il - on January 1, 2004

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