Microsoft: Volume licensees to get fewer CDs, shorter contracts

Microsoft: Volume licensees to get fewer CDs, shorter contracts

Summary: Microsoft is making a number of tweaks to its volume-licensing policies and procedures in the name of cutting complexity and reducing environmental waste.

TOPICS: Microsoft

Microsoft is making a number of tweaks to its volume-licensing policies and procedures in the name of cutting complexity and reducing environmental waste.

The changes affect those licensing Microsoft products under Enterprise Agreements, Select licenses and Open License Agreements and will take affect over the course of the first half of Microsoft's fiscal 2008 (which kicked off on July 1).

Microsoft is reducing the quantity of CDs it ships to its volume licensees by shipping to them only the most widely used software on discs. The rest of its software will go out over electronic download from the Microsoft volume-licensing services Web site. The new policy will create less waste, "which is good for the environment," according to a statement from a company spokesman.

Microsoft also has reduced the length of its volume-license contracts between 10 percent and 50 percent, depending on the program, officials said. The company has removed all signature blocks from its volume-license forms. Instead, licensees will get a new signature form that requires only a "single signature event" with the customer.

Microsoft also is making price information about products easier to find in its contracts by reducing the number of different price points and SKUs in its volume-license programs.

Topic: Microsoft


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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  • Uh, oh....

    Whenever we see that term "Cutting Complexity" things are about to get very, very complex. And usually more expensive in one way or another.

    Licensing 6 anyone?
  • RE: Microsoft: Volume licensees to get fewer CDs, shorter contracts

    Apple lowers prices and Microsoft raises them (read between the lines)?

    Typical monopoly behavior.
  • Translation

    Microsoft is providing less product and
    service for a higher price and a shorter
    Ole Man
  • This is actually a good thing!

    Why? Because it'll drive more and more of Microsoft's, Linux and Apple. Which is exactly as it should be!

    IMHO, Microsoft is like labor unionism - both have long outlived their usefulness and should have been dismantled long ago. And would have been if it weren't for the vast and continuing amount in "gratuities" given out to the appropriate individuals. Again, only IMHO, of course. (Darn! I keep wanting to say it like it is, not what's politically correct! Gotta stop doing that, lest the Thought Police pay me a visit....)
  • Product Downloads Website - Disaster for IT Professionals

    I have had the misfortune of experiencing the new volume license products download page. As many of you who are MCSE's or otherwise support your the IT infrastructure at your company know the product downloads at have been a lifesaver over the years.

    I personally used this site a LOT over the years. Many times I would pull a factory pressed CD of Windows XP to do some repair with the recovery console or to reinstall at a remote office and find that it was scratched, missing or was just plain unreadable. No problem, hop onto and redownload an ISO and burn it. I was only out the time it took to grab the ISO.

    The new site has completly removed ALL older products along with the product selector drop down box. You can no longer download an ISO of Windows XP Pro or Office 2003 even though this is still the most widely deployed combination of OS and Office suite behind Vista and Office 2007. Gone also are ALL ISO's of older Windows server products. You can no longer get an ISO for Exchange Server 2003, Windows Server 2003, Windows 2000, etc.

    The new Microsoft Products Download site is a disaster for the IT support professional. It amazes me how hard Microsoft works to upset and anger the base that supports and recommends their software.

    Support is the number one required item from a software company in today's world. If I can not access product downloads for licensed products that are still being sold or supported then what is the value of my license contract?

    New and improved product downloads website? Hardly!