Tif's members represent more than 100 of the UK's leading blue-chip companies, boasting an average of 16,000 desktops.
"Although it is hard to generalise, I expect some negotiations to go right up to the wire," said Roberts. "And then I am sure there will be many organisations that will make the minimum decision possible - that is arrangements for the next 18 months to two years. This will give them enough headroom to adopt alternative strategies such as Linux."
Roberts said some organisations had met with Microsoft representatives to reach a deal on a better price and had been angered by Microsoft's refusal to negotiate. "Let's just say some of the meetings have been very short," he said.