Assurances for the Software Assured: Microsofts Licensing Deadline Looms

By David Morgenstern  |  Posted 2004-06-25 Print this article Print

Shortly, the initial Microsoft Software Assurance three-year licensing contracts are set to expire. This special report covers all the SA angles by talking to customers, analysts and licensing pros.

Microsofts had a rocky time getting its "Software Assurance" (SA) licensing program on the right path. Since the Redmond software vendor initially launched SA, part of its Licensing 6.0 plan unveiled back in 2001, it has tweaked the program several times to try to appease customers who complained they didnt feel they were getting adequate value from their investments. On June 30, the day that Microsofts fiscal 2004 ends, a number of the initial SA participants three-year licensing contracts are set to expire. Microsofts sales team has been working overtime to try to convince customers to renew. But on earnings calls earlier this year, officials sounded a cautionary note, warning that Microsoft feared quite a number of licensees might opt to drop SA in favor of other Microsoft licensing plans.
Wheres SA been— and wheres it likely to go next? Read eWEEK.coms Special Report for the skinny.
News Analysis—Microsofts Software Assurance: A Search for Value Gaining satisfaction among SA licensees may be another matter, for Microsoft. Many licensees, particularly from the first batch of licenses due to expire this month, expected major upgrades and didnt receive them, according to analysts. Read the rest of this full history of the Software Assurance plan and what analysts see as its continuing prospects here. Research—How to Negotiate With Microsoft How you can negotiate better software licensing deals with Microsoft — even if your company recently signed a new contract with the Redmond software kingpin? In this interview by Microsoft Watchs Mary Jo Foley, a former Microsoft large-account reseller walks us through the paces. Read the full interview with the savvy author of the forthcoming Microsoft License Secrets book here. Analysis—Opportunities Lurking for Resellers with Microsoft Software Assurance Software Assurance licensing customers point to several directions that the program should take. The grips could prove to be opportunities for smaller resellers who know how to take advantage of SA missing features. Read the rest of this Ziff Davis Channel Zone story here. Analysis—MS Software Assurance Versus Red Hat Network Microsoft offers its Software Assurance plan while Red Hat has similar plans: Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Red Hat Network. But one, Software Assurance, has been something of a flop, while Red Hats new licensing plan has taken it from being merely the leading Linux company to being a leading ($3.2 billion market cap) IT company. eWEEK.coms Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols looks at the reasons. Read the rest of the commentary here. Check out eWEEK.coms Windows Center at for Microsoft and Windows news, views and analysis.

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David Morgenstern is Executive Editor/Special Projects of eWEEK. Previously, he served as the news editor of Ziff Davis Internet and editor for Ziff Davis' Storage Supersite.

In 'the days,' he was an award-winning editor with the heralded MacWEEK newsweekly as well as eMediaweekly, a trade publication for managers of professional digital content creation.

David has also worked on the vendor side of the industry, including companies offering professional displays and color-calibration technology, and Internet video.

He can be reached here.


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