Microsoft Offering Licensing Discounts
by Arie Slob
Hello Windows users,
In an apparent bid to stem the flow of business customers migrating to Linux, Microsoft this month started offering a credit line program for it's Open License, whereby Microsoft is offering 0% interest for 24 months on Open License purchases of Licenses with Software Assurance or Software Assurance Only, by qualified Open License Customers, made from October 1, 2002 through January 31, 2003. For more information on the credit line program (which only applies to the USA), see Microsoft's Licensing site.
Last summer, when Microsoft instituted its Licensing 6 program, many customers complained that it raised the price they'd have to pay to Microsoft, and research firm Gartner agreed with these complaints, saying some customers could see increases of up to 107 percent.
According to reports, Microsoft sales representatives have also been instructed to be on the lookout for small business users that are migrating some of their machines to Linux. If the sales rep has the impression that there's a real threat of defection to open source, they can request authorization from Microsoft (managers) to offer steeply discounted pricing, which in some cases has been reported as high as 50 percent.
Microsoft will also introduce a new License type called Open Value, which will allow small business users to spread out payments over a 3-year period, while they would still stay current with the latest software releases. This program should start early next year.
Most business users cited the need for an up-front fee as one of the major dissatisfactions with the License 6 program. And while it's cost prohibitive for the larger businesses that have tens of thousands of users to upgrade, smaller businesses with less then 1,500 users may find it easy and cost-effective to do so.
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