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.
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.
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.
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.