Microsofts new licensing scheme confuses UK Plc

30 May 2002 British businesses are crying out for more information about Microsoft’s new subscription-based licensing scheme, called Software Assurance, according to a survey by reseller WStore.

And up to 30% did not rule out moving away from Microsoft software after 1 August in protest at the changes.

In a survey of 5,000 of WStore’s corporate customers – including many small and medium-size businesses – the Farnham, Surrey-based reseller found that there was a “lack of awareness over the benefits” of Software Assurance, which will be introduced at the end of July.

“Many UK businesses do not understand the implications of imminent changes to Microsoft licensing programmes,” WStore concluded. Although just under two thirds of respondents were “aware of the changes”, the same proportion were “still asking for more information”. Although “70% said that they had no intention of moving away from Microsoft products,” that leaves 30% who may be considering alternatives.

Only 38% indicated that they intended to “upgrade” to Software Assurance before the 31 July deadline. This follows a £1 million (€1.57m) marketing campaign and is in spite of the discounts being offered to persuade organisations to sign up ahead of the deadline.

Many analysts and users remain strongly opposed to Software Assurance. Gartner has warned that corporate customers will face a massive increase in licence charges from 31 July as a result.

Infoconomy news:
Microsoft software licence charges to soar – Gartner (23 May 2002)
Microsoft customers baulk at new licensing scheme (10 May 2002)

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Ben Rossi

Ben was Vitesse Media's editorial director, leading content creation and editorial strategy across all Vitesse products, including its market-leading B2B and consumer magazines, websites, research and...

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