Page Three

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2003-05-28 Print this article Print

Microsofts Leach told eWEEK that there is no link between its decision to cut Office XP prices and any threat from the Linux/open-source desktop productivity suites, but rather it followed on its decision to change its Licensing 6.0 and Software Assurance program, announced on Tuesday, which gives customers running Office under Software Assurance home use rights for the software as well. "Clearly, coming at the same time as the improvements in the Software Assurance value focused on the enterprise and business customer, it made sense to do this now for retail customers as well," he said.
Until now, users who installed the Office software at their workplace computer or on a laptop could not install it at home as well under the same license. Microsoft will now give those customers home-use rights for Office in the ratio of one home use right for every one Office Software Assurance license held.
In order not to make this complicated for customers, who have told Microsoft they do not want any added burden, Microsoft is avoiding the need to involve the IT manager for this. "If the employee is eligible, they will go out to a Web site and submit their name, which will get validated. They will then have to submit a credit card number to pay a cost of goods charged at about $25 to cover shipping and handling, and we will send them a complete retail version of Office to their home, so they bypass the IT administrator at work," Rebecca LaBrunerie, Microsofts product manager for worldwide licensing and pricing, told eWEEK on Tuesday. The home-use rights will also apply to Microsoft Project and Microsoft Visio customers, LaBrunerie said, adding that Microsoft is giving those home users discounts of more than 30 percent on retail prices if they want to buy as many as three additional desktop Microsoft software products. More Microsoft News:
For more on Microsoft, check out Microsoft Watch.

Peter Galli has been a financial/technology reporter for 12 years at leading publications in South Africa, the UK and the US. He has been Investment Editor of South Africa's Business Day Newspaper, the sister publication of the Financial Times of London.

He was also Group Financial Communications Manager for First National Bank, the second largest banking group in South Africa before moving on to become Executive News Editor of Business Report, the largest daily financial newspaper in South Africa, owned by the global Independent Newspapers group.

He was responsible for a national reporting team of 20 based in four bureaus. He also edited and contributed to its weekly technology page, and launched a financial and technology radio service supplying daily news bulletins to the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which were then distributed to some 50 radio stations across the country.

He was then transferred to San Francisco as Business Report's U.S. Correspondent to cover Silicon Valley, trade and finance between the US, Europe and emerging markets like South Africa. After serving that role for more than two years, he joined eWeek as a Senior Editor, covering software platforms in August 2000.

He has comprehensively covered Microsoft and its Windows and .Net platforms, as well as the many legal challenges it has faced. He has also focused on Sun Microsystems and its Solaris operating environment, Java and Unix offerings. He covers developments in the open source community, particularly around the Linux kernel and the effects it will have on the enterprise.

He has written extensively about new products for the Linux and Unix platforms, the development of open standards and critically looked at the potential Linux has to offer an alternative operating system and platform to Windows, .Net and Unix-based solutions like Solaris.

His interviews with senior industry executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Linus Torvalds, the original developer of the Linux operating system, Sun CEO Scot McNealy, and Bill Zeitler, a senior vice president at IBM.

For numerous examples of his writing you can search under his name at the eWEEK Website at


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