Microsoft's Office upgrade cycles helped by Software Assurance licensing

Microsoft's Office upgrade cycles helped by Software Assurance licensing

Summary: Microsoft will see an upgrade cycle for Office 2010, but it will take a while. In fact, Microsoft's software assurance licensing, which allows you to buy rights for future upgrades, is the biggest support of upgrades, says Forrester Research.

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Microsoft will see an upgrade cycle for Office 2010, but it will take a while. In fact, Microsoft's software assurance licensing, which allows you to buy rights for future upgrades, is the biggest support of upgrades, says Forrester Research.

In a report outlining Microsoft's recent licensing changes---Office Pro Plus goes up 5 percent, new virtualization and mobile options and policies and other tweaks---Forrester highlights Microsoft's potential Office conundrum.

To wit:

  • Forrester's survey of 110 IT execs found 60 percent of respondents are very or extremely satisfied with Office 2003 and 2007.
  • Only a quarter of customers keep up with Microsoft's 3-year Office upgrade cycles and 60 percent still use Office 2003.
  • Support and file compatibility drive upgrades as much as new features.

And Forrester's money graphic:

Add it up and Microsoft's licensing programs, which give you rights for future upgrades, is the most popular reason folks will move to Office 2010.

However, Microsoft's software assurance program may not make sense for companies that plan to skip versions. Forrester writes:

For many Forrester clients, SA (software assurance) on Office is too expensive. Buyers considering renewing an EA (enterprise agreement) or adding SA to an Office 2010 purchase will struggle to see sufficient value in Office upgrade rights when they don’t know what the next version will contain or when they’ll want to move to it...Microsoft’s business division is trying to preserve more than $10 billion a year revenue from its flagship product. It does not believe that it can generate sufficiently higher SA uptake to justify cutting its price.

Related: Microsoft to phase out Select licensing starting in July 2011

Topics: Microsoft, Collaboration, Software

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2 comments
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  • RE: Microsoft's Office upgrade cycles helped by Software Assurance licensing

    If you have Office 2007, and Software Assurance.. skipping 2010 makes no sense. In fact, skipping most of the time makes no sense as you only end up paying for it by having a much more difficult and larger conversion effort after having skipped. Financially it become a wash after you spend all the extra conversion time.

    MS has done a wonderful job with Office 2010 in keeping the 2003 file format compatibility in place and not converting by default.

    Besides, with the incredible additional new features in 2010...I can't understand any large company not upgrading. It is a substantial productivity booster....once you get it deployed.
    condelirios
  • RE: Microsoft's Office upgrade cycles helped by Software Assurance licensing

    Definitely a good news!
    Will follow this up and I hope the upgrade will be done soon.

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