Microsoft offers Windows XP, Office XP users 50 percent discount to encourage upgrades

Microsoft offers Windows XP, Office XP users 50 percent discount to encourage upgrades

Summary: Microsoft officials are well aware that its biggest Windows 7 and Office 2010 competitors are its own previous product iterations (Windows XP and Office XP/2003). To try and wean users away from older, "good-enough" releases, Microsoft is introducing a new licensing promotion.

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Microsoft officials are well aware that its biggest Windows 7 and Office 2010 competitors are its own previous product iterations (Windows XP and Office XP/2003). To try and wean users away from older, "good-enough" releases, Microsoft is introducing a new licensing promotion.

The revamped "Up to Date Discount" program is targeted at small/mid-size business (SMB) customers running older versions of Windows and Office. Between January 1 and June 30 of this year, Microsoft is enabling users running Windows XP or Vista (on the operating system side) and Office XP, Office 2003 or Office 2007 (on the productivity suite side) to receive a discount of 50 percent on the cost of their licenses for Windows 7 and Office 2007 (or Office 2010, once it is released by June 2010).

The 50% discount calculations "are based on estimated retail prices and reseller prices may vary," Microsoft officials acknowledge. But the Softies say U.S. customers who sign up for the program "would be paying $35.00 for a Windows 7 Professional Upgrade and/or $91.00 for Office 2007 Professional Plus in year 1, plus receiving all of the Software Assurance benefits (such as an automatic upgrade to Office 2010 when it launches, Office Home Use Rights, and much more) for that price."

As you'd expect, there are lots of caveats. First,customers get the 50 percent discount only for the first year of their Open Value Subscription (OVS) payment. (OVS is a Microsoft licensing program, introduced last year for SMBs, which allows users to pay for software licenses over time and includes many of the same provisions as Microsoft's Software Assurance licensing program.) The new deal applies only to those customers using the Professional versions of Windows and/or the Professional versions of Office.

The new promotion, which Eric Ligman, Global Partner Experience Lead with Microsoft's Worldwide Partner Group, announced via the Microsoft SMB Community Blog on January 1, goes beyond the current Up-to-Date Discount offer. Before the new so-called "N-2" update to the program was put in place, Windows XP users and Office XP users were ineligible for the discount. But Microsoft is now offering users of the older Windows and Office releases coverage if they're willing to sign up for the Open Volume Subscription plan.

Meanwhile, speaking of new Microsoft licensing promotions, Microsoft is introducing "version 4.0" of another SMB promotional licensing offer, known as "The Big Easy," according to Ligman.

Starting January 3, SMB customers can increase dollars available for them to spend with Microsoft partners  "by purchasing multiple qualifying product groups, adding Software Assurance to their orders and/or acquiring advanced, premium or Enterprise editions of the MIcrosoft Solutions." To qualify, customers need to buy products through their Microsoft partners between January 3 and March 31 via the Microsoft Open License, Open Value and/or Open Value Subscription programs.

Products included under the program include Dynamics CRM, Office Communications Server, SharePoint Server, SQL Server, Systems Center and Windows Server, among others.

Topics: Software, Collaboration, Microsoft, Operating Systems, Windows

About

Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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259 comments
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  • people won't take it even for 100% discount

    because Linux and Open Office are still better.
    Linux Geek
    • I will (NT)

      (NT)
      djmik
      • Go ahead, take the bait.

        And enjoy paying over the odds for everything and anything computer related thereafter ;-)
        CapitalismAteItself
      • (NT)?

        What does it mean when people on this site post (NT). I assume they don't mean "new technology".
        qunungnauraq
        • NT - no text

          Correct me if I'm wrong but I believe NT means no text. I guess it saves people looking at the flat view from clicking on a message with nothing but a subject line.
          SMparky
          • ahaa

            NT
            qunungnauraq
          • NT

            Is that the same as Subject Line followed by (EOM) which means the subject line is the entire message and there's no body? Where EOM = End of Message.
            Mr. Database
    • no it is not "better"

      because the majority of the apps my company uses are windows based with no versions available for other operating systems. Linux would not be better for me
      travis.duffy@...
      • just try it

        and your life will change for the better. :)
        Linux Geek
        • I have ...

          ... and my life blew chunks until I went back to Windows.

          Whilst HW support for Linux is better now than ever before, it's still a LONG way behind Windows. True, there are a lot of drivers for the most common chipsets and devices, but there are still a lot of devices and peripherals that are NOT supported on Linux.

          OpenOffice is nice on the surface, but quickly becomes a major PITA when trying to use it with docs created in MS Office (which 95% of our customers use). I gave up on OO when it garbled a PPT that I had to present to a large audience of investors. The "cost" of buying an MS Office license was insignificant compared to losing an account because some free software screwed up my presentation.

          I won't disagree with you that Linux and OO may well provide enough for some VERY undemanding users and many ultra-high-end users, but it is not yet ready for the unwashed masses (i.e. the other 95% of us).
          de-void-21165590650301806002836337787023
          • Best hardware support is in Linux.

            Install Windows and not only do you have to go hunting for drivers, but guaranteed that in 2/3 years time you'll have to do it all again, and perhaps chuck perfectly good hardware away because Microsoft felt it needed more of your money before it got the drivers ready for its "new" O/S.
            CapitalismAteItself
          • Have you even tried...

            ...Windows 7?

            I've put it on half a dozen different machines so far and it finds at least as much hardware as Linux, if not more.

            My ATi, Intel and nVidia graphics chips were all set to the correct resolution for the attached monitor and had 3D acceleration.

            The wireless and ethernet chipsets were correctly identified and Windows had downloaded all patches, before it had finished installing.

            The only devices I needed to look for drivers for were the figerprint reader and the DVB-T USB stick. Network printers mean that the drivers are automatically installed when you set them up, so no extra drivers needed there, either.

            Windows used to be dreadful - having to fit a floppy drive to a legacy free PC, in order for Windows to even admit there was a hard disk attached! But MS have learnt a lot from Linux over the last few years and their install process is fast and smooth and at least as good as Linux (simpler than any Linux installer I've used, but less flexible, you don't get the detailed packet lists of free software to chose from).

            With my old laptop, I had to wait 18 months for ATi to bring out a graphics adapter, before I could use it with Linux - the standard OSS radeon driver only supported 800x600, not really usable on a 1280x800 panel!

            I used Linux as my main desktop between 2002 and 2006 (got an iMac in 2006), I like Linux a lot, but now I use OS X and Windows mainly, with some virtual machines running Linux in the background.

            Linux is fine for some tasks, but it isn't a universal panacea and it cannot replace Windows in all circumstances.

            Especially for companies who have invested hundreds of thousands in bespoke software over the years, or rely on plug-in for MS Office.

            Where I work, there would be no way to switch to Linux and OO.o over night, we'd need a couple of years to get all the software re-written and properly tested - in fact, they are just switching from UNIX to Windows, so they won't be looking at going to Linux any time soon! :-D
            wright_is
          • The company that hopes to control all computing improves driver support

            from Vista's appalling level. Brilliant. Amazing what billions of dollars can achieve huh? ;-)
            CapitalismAteItself
          • Have you ever tried....

            to add a new piece of hardware without typing in archane line commands or editing config files? I never could figure out how to get a wireless card to connect using PSK.

            Maybe you are better at it than I am, but I do enough of that crap at work that I just want my home computer to work and get on with it.

            I use Windows 7 and like it.
            cwallen19803@...
          • Name an OS...

            ... that you don't have to find some driver support. Do you have to find drivers for Mac? No, but only because Mac OS is proprietary... Linux? Of course! You might even have to write your own driver!

            Microsoft doesn't make money on any hardware except keyboards & the like.

            Yes, of COURSE you'll have to do it again - if you buy new hardware, it will require a new driver. If you install a new OS than it will require a new driver. The same applies to any OS. This deserves a big DUH!
            ThomasRWright
          • Funny how Linux Dorks have to make things up

            [i]Install Windows and not only do you have to go hunting for drivers, but guaranteed that in 2/3 years time you'll have to do it all again, and perhaps chuck perfectly good hardware away because Microsoft felt it needed more of your money before it got the drivers ready for its "new" O/S. [/i]

            I guess the only way to be happy using Linux is to convince yourself to believe in things that simply aren't true.

            For example, I still have a PC with Windows 95 on it. Haven't paid MS a penny in 15 years for this computer. Haven't had to go "hunting for drivers" in 15 years either.

            I also still have 3 computers with XP. Again, haven't paid MS a penny since these computers were new. Haven't had to go hunting for drivers either.

            The funniest thing about your claim is that MS does NOT provide drivers for most hardware. Drivers are provided by the hardware vendors themselves.

            I guess the only way to be a happy Linux Dork is make stuff up and lie to yourself about how things work.

            Rick
            rick@...
          • Best hardware support is NOT in Linux

            "nstall Windows and not only do you have to go hunting for drivers, but guaranteed that in 2/3 years time you'll have to do it all again,"

            So whats plug and play all about?

            "and perhaps chuck perfectly good hardware away because Microsoft felt it needed more of your money before it got the drivers ready for its "new" O/S."

            Does windows make drivers for hardware or do the hardware manufacturers make drivers for their hardware?
            mrjoctave@...
          • My Experience is Similar

            But not completely the same.

            Yes, there are still major interoperability
            problems with Open Office and Word. Major enough
            to keep Word in business.

            Yes, Linux hardware support is still nowhere
            near as thorough as Windows.

            What is more, many of the Linux
            applications/applets the fanboys keep raving
            about are nowhere near as reliable as their
            Windows counterpart.

            Zero config wirelss, for example, has been
            working well in recent patches of Win95. The
            Linux counterpart, NetworkManager, keeps locking
            up for no good reason, especially after the
            computers comes back from suspend mode.

            But the fanboys will refuse to admit these
            things. It is just the way they are.
            mejohnsn
        • Perfect illustration of why Linux fails

          Users have needs and wants. Linux responds, "Your needs are not my concern. If you can program, you can have that functionality. Otherwise, suck it up and make do."

          That goes REAL far with users.
          ericesque
          • ?????....

            sorry but Linux doesn't "respond", period. It's the software companies with all the money that do all the talking, not the OS.
            Dave32265