Microsoft Offers Recession Break on Support Pricing

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2009-02-17

Microsoft announced Feb. 17 that it will keep its legacy support pricing at 2008 levels this year to help customers control costs during the recession.

In a statement, Microsoft said it will maintain 2008 price levels for Custom Support Agreements through 2009. Company officials said this is a break from the standard policy of annual price increases.

"Pricing for Custom Support includes an annual enrollment fee that normally escalates YOY [year over year], with the pricing published three years in advance," Microsoft said on its Help and Support Web site. Retaining 2008 pricing "provides cost savings to Microsoft customers and enables them to maintain support on older versions of Microsoft products until they have had the opportunity to complete their migration to supported versions," Microsoft officials said.

"The decision to not raise Custom Support pricing for 2009 was made after talking to and listening to our customers," said Maria Martinez, corporate vice president of Microsoft Services. "By doing this, we've provided some immediate cost savings to customers running legacy products while they execute on their IT migration plans."

The Custom Support Program provides Microsoft enterprise customers with support for legacy versions of certain Microsoft products and service packs that have reached the end of support. Through the Custom Support Program, Microsoft gives customers control over their IT planning and migration timing.

According to Microsoft's statement, the benefits Custom Support Agreements provide include:

??Ç   Problem resolution support for legacy products and service packs that have reached the end of Mainstream and Extended Support

??Ç   Security hotfixes for vulnerabilities labeled "Critical" and "Important" by the Microsoft Security Response Center

??Ç   Access to existing database of security and nonsecurity hotfixes

??Ç   Ability to request nonsecurity hotfixes on new issues

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