Best Argument: No
Audience Favored: No (83%)
Complex systems need flexibility in procurement
Matt Baxter-Reyonolds: I think another way to look at this argument is that there's a presumption that is makes "more sense" to pay for software on a subscription basis as opposed to buying or leasing software as "big ticket" capital expenditure items.
No one would design an enterprise licensing framework like Microsoft's, or Oracles, or SAP's, or any of the big enterprise players. These organisations are about complex procurement of expensive systems built around relationships between the vendor and vendee. There is a reason why they are so complicated -- it's because these complex systems need flexibility in terms of their procurement.
That's the first part of my argument. The second part of my argument has to do with cheese.
We've had about thirty years of complex licensing from Microsoft. If the debacle over Windows 8's user interface changes are telling us anything, it's this -- Microsoft's customers do not like their cheese being moved. Whether people love or hate Microsoft's licensing frameworks are neither here nor there -- they may lose customers just by daring to change it.
Policies cannot and should not survive
Ken Hess: As early as 2001, TechRepublic writer Elizabeth Nelson shared a graphic summarizing a survey stating, "Microsoft's licensing policy opens the door to Linux." The survey results showed that 40.5 percent of the respondents said that they will consider Linux as a workstation alternative to Windows. Surprisingly, Microsoft has revamped its licensing policies but still a third-party company (Directions on Microsoft) has to offer a "Licensing Bootcamp", a two-day class on licensing compliance and policy. If that weren't strange enough, they have the audacity to charge $2,495 for the class.
In case you don't know why you should attend this $1,250 per day licensing extravaganza, they tell you why: "You already know this better than anyone: Microsoft licensing presents an overwhelming array of programs and choices, each with its own set of implications that could seriously impact your IT operations, budgets, and plans."
The financial impact to business is too great. Microsoft's licensing policies will force businesses to make some tough choices that won't favor Microsoft. The policies cannot and should not survive.