News Analysis: Microsoft Licensing Update – April 2010

Published on April 28, 2010 by R "Ray" Wang

Welcome To The First Of A Series Of Posts On Microsoft Licensing Updates.
Given the vast array of Microsoft products and licensing categories, an organization may often feel overwhelmed by Microsoft’s policies.  While there may be some complexity, these series of posts are designed to provide up to date commentary and analysis on new programs as they become available.
Product And Program News

  • Price Increase For Office Professional Plus 2010. What is it?:  Microsoft increases Office Professional Plus 2010 by 5%.  Who’s impacted?: Customers with Professional Desktop and Professional Desktop with Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP) pricing.  Suite pricing increases between 3 and 4%.  When’s it effective?: This program begins May 1st, 2010.
    Point Of View (POV)
    : The recent price increase may be the result of revenue capture for new features in Communicator, Infopath, and Sharepoint Workspace.  The good news – Office Professional Plus 2010 includes the additional features of Office Enterprise 2007.  The current Office Professional Plus list price with the price increase is still lower than the list price of Office Enterprise 2007.  For those who paid less than list for Office Enterprise 2007, they should look at other VLP programs for bundling discounts to offset this price increase.
  • Microsoft Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS) Goes Global. What is it?: 17 new markets and 39 countries and regions gain BPOS.  BPOS includes E-mail and calendar, email coexistence and migration tools, document collaboration and workspaces, web conferencing, Microsoft Online Services Administration Center, and Microsoft Online Services Sign In Application. Who’s eligible?: All customers. When’s it effective?: This program starts April 14, 2010.
    POV: The new offering shows Microsoft’s commitment to pushing out its Cloud initiatives.  At Microsoft Convergence, Stephen Elop stated that more than 90% of R&D will be focused on cloud services.  Customers on BPOS-D gain Office Communications Online, giving them Voice capabilities in the cloud.
  • Academic Volume Licensing Programs Gain Electronic Software Distribution (ESD). What is it?: Customers can download software over the Internet. Who’s eligible?: Customers on Campus and School Agreement (CASA) with Faculty and Staff at Home rights or  Student Option; and Select License/Select Plus for Academic with Faculty and Staff Work at Home rights or Student Select and Student Select Plus.  When’s it effective?: North America and EMEA customers gain ESD now.  Latin America expected in May 2010.  APAC estimated date is Q1 FY11.
    Eligible customers should take advantage of this program to avoid the headaches of managing physical software delivery.  Customers can also benefit from the tax free provisions of Internet distribution of software.
  • Microsoft GeoSynth Launch. What is it?: The off-line version of the PhotoSynth platform will be available in a subscription based pricing format for Specialty Server configuration based on users and a single-user desktop version. Who’s eligible?:  Customers on Volume Licensing programs for Campus and School Agreements, Enterprise Agreements, Open Value, Open Value Subscription, Select Agreements, and US Government. When’s it effective?: This program starts May 1, 2010.
    POV: The subscription pricing program makes sense for users testing out the off line product.  Longer term, institutional customers may want to seek other pricing options such as perpetual license, perpetual license with upgrade rights, and enterprise agreements.

Microsoft Promotions Update
The following are new promotions that have been introduced

  • Windows HPC Server 2008 Promotion. What is it?: customers who purchase Windows Server HPC Edition operation system server license and Software Assurance (SA) packs can save up to 25%.  Who’s eligible?: customers must be on Open License, Open Value, Select License, Select Plus, and Enterprise Agreements.  When’s it effective?: April 1, 2010 to June 20, 2010.
    Microsoft’s been beefing up its maintenance programs.  Today’s SA packs include more than upgrade rights.  Services range from cold back ups for disaster recovery, home use programs, E-learning, new version rights, to spread payments.   Microsoft does not require SA with purchase.  Customers who seek maintenance should assess their business requirements first and then determine what features and packs within SA to select.  Make sure you only buy maintenance for what you need.

The following promotions are now extended past June 30, 2010:

  • Open Value Subscription Expanded Up to DateWhat is it?: Upgrade to Microsoft Office 2010 or Windows 7 for customers who sign a new Open Value Subscription or Open Value Subscription for Government agreement.  Who’s eligible?: The Open Value Subscription program up-to-date promotion for existing desktop platform licenses of current (N) and previous (N-1) versions has been expanded to include N-2 versions: Microsoft Office Professional XP, Microsoft Office Small Business XP, and Microsoft Office Standard XP. When’s it effective?: Available now – the licenses launched worldwide in January 2010.
    POV: If there’s a compelling need to move to Office 2010 and Windows 7 and an Open Value Subscription is on the table, this represents a good incentive to upgrade to Microsoft Office 2010.
  • Rental Rights. What is it?: Rights for organizations to rent, lease, or outsource PC’s to third parties with qualifying Windows operating system or Microsoft Office system software.  Who’s eligible?: Open License, Select License, and Select Plus customers.   When’s it effective?: The program is effective from now till June 30th, 2010.
    : Based on current license rights, office equipment leasing companies, PC leasing companies and other businesses which provide PCs to operators of hotel and airport kiosks, internet cafés, and business centers, can not rent, lease or outsource the Microsoft software on the PCs to end users.  Microsoft began a program in January 2010 to offer these rental, leasing, and outsourcing rights for these businesses.  The program modifies the licensing rights for this type of third party end user situation.  The rights are provided through a one-time license transaction.  The rights are non-transferable and endure for the term of the underlying software license or life of the hardware they are attached to.

The following promotion is now extended past September 30, 2010:

  • Forefront Online Protection for Exchange. What is it?: Customers can receive up to a 30 percent savings on Forefront Online Protection for Exchange per-device and per-user monthly subscription licenses.  Who’s eligible?:  Open Value, Microsoft Open Value Subscription, Microsoft Select License, Microsoft Select Plus, Microsoft Enterprise Agreement, Microsoft Enterprise Subscription Agreement, Microsoft Campus Agreement, and Microsoft School Agreement customers.   When’s it effective?: The program is effective from now till September  30th, 2010.
    : Microsoft continues to seek additional revenue sources via its Microsoft Online Services division. This offer makes sense for customers who are looking for a hosted solution to protect from spam, to catch phishing scams, to enforce policies, and to deliver disaster recovery.  While other services may be more comprehensive, Forefront Online Protection provides a suite approach to a common problem with Exchange.

The following are promotions ending on April 30th, 2010:

  • Microsoft Office System Software Assurance Renewal. What is it?:  Discounts on SA renewals for Microsoft Office Enterprise 2007, Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2007, Microsoft Office Standard 2007, and the Microsoft Professional Desktop Platform.  Who’s eligible?: Open Value, Select License, and Select Plus customers. When’s it effective?: This program ends April 30th.

    Microsoft’s been beefing up its maintenance programs.  Today’s SA packs include more than upgrade rights.  Services range from cold back ups for disaster recovery, home use programs, E-learning, new version rights, to spread payments.   Microsoft does not require SA with purchase.  Customers who seek maintenance should assess their business requirements first and then determine what features and packs within SA to select.  Make sure you only buy maintenance for what you need.
  • Windows 7 Professional Upgrade. What is it?: Upgrades to Windows 7 Professional operating system—with or without Microsoft Software Assurance for Volume Licensing—and Windows 7 Professional with the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP) for Software Assurance upgrade licenses when acquired with Software Assurance (at full price).   Who’s eligible?:  Open License, Open Value, Select License, and Select Plus customers with qualifying Windows desktop operating system licenses.  When’s it effective?: This program ends April 30th.
    This program should be considered for those who paid full price for SA in order to capture full ROI on existing agreements

The Bottom Line For The Customer – A Good Navigator Can Demystify The Complexity In Microsoft Licensing

Though Microsoft continues to make strides in simplifying its software licensing policies, massive adoption by all parts of an organization often require greater coordination and up to date information.  Customers gain time to value when working with an expert who has both an understanding of Microsoft’s product strategy and licensing practices.  Software contract negotiations must tie back to both organizational and application strategy.
Your POV
What do you think of Microsoft’s recent promotions?  Are you challenged trying to manage your Microsoft Licenses? Do you find the licensing too simple or too complex?  Add your comments to the discussion or send on to rwang0 at gmail dot com or r at softwaresinsider dot org and we’ll keep your anonymity.
Please let us know if you need help with your overall apps strategy and contract negotiations strategy.  Here’s how we can help:

  • Demystifying Microsoft licensing
  • Assessing SaaS and cloud
  • Evaluating Cloud integration strategies
  • Assisting with legacy ERP migration
  • Planning upgrades and migration
  • Performing vendor selection
  • Providing contract negotiations and software licensing support

Related resources and links

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