Feeds

Microsoft licence policy crumbles under fire

Microsoft staff break own Terminal Server licence agreement shock horror

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Microsoft has no plans to change its thin client licensing policies - but under heavy fire from users at this week's Citrix Thinergy conference in Orlando, Florida, the company conceded that this and other licensing issues were under review. Many observers felt the current policy was unsustainable, and that Microsoft would shortly buckle under pressure. Speaking in the wake of a coded attack on Microsoft's policies by FedEx CTO Robert Carter, company Terminal Server Product Manager Solveig Whittle said: "We don't have any plans to change our model and move to concurrent licences at this point." She did however concede that Microsoft had "a number of different licensing schemes," and that it was looking at ways to converge them. Unlike partner Citrix, which operates a concurrent licensing scheme for its thin client product lines, Microsoft insists on each client, whatever the actual hardware, having an NT Workstation licence and an NT Client Access Licence (CAL). Effectively, Microsoft's approach is designed to bring the company precisely the same amount of revenue as it would derive from a full-scale PC running NT Workstation and connected to an NT network. Whittle's justification for this is that the client is gaining access to all of NT's services and to NT software, is therefore effectively equivalent to an NT PC, and should be charged for equivalently. Concurrent licensing as practised by Citrix however can support a far larger total number of users at lower cost. Citrix, which announced its two millionth licence earlier this week, estimates that this represents a total of eight million users. Numbers of this sort would clearly damage Microsoft's revenue base, so you can see Whitttle's point. But having set out her policy clearly, and having stated that it wasn't going to change, Whittle proceeded to undermine it again. She told the audience she runs Windows 98 at home, connecting to Terminal Server, but "I don't have a Windows NT Workstation licence". Does that mean she's breaking her own licence agreement? "I asked that question," she said. "And so we've got people working on it." In reality, it's perfectly clear that Whittle is breaking her own licence policy, and that the two main issues she identifies as needing to be resolved, the Internet and home working, are likely to contribute to its ultimate demise. The ability of large and increasing numbers of diverse and special-purpose devices to connect to NT networks and run NT applications remotely makes it less and less likely that Microsoft can continue to apply a corporate seat licensing policy. Especially when its customers are also increasingly chafing at the notion that a user working from home as well as the office should have to pay through the nose for the ability to do so. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Bladerunner sequel might actually be good. Harrison Ford is in it
Go ahead, you're all clear, kid... Sorry, wrong film
Euro Parliament VOTES to BREAK UP GOOGLE. Er, OK then
It CANNA do it, captain.They DON'T have the POWER!
Musicians sue UK.gov over 'zero pay' copyright fix
Everyone else in Europe compensates us - why can't you?
I'll be back (and forward): Hollywood's time travel tribulations
Quick, call the Time Cops to sort out this paradox!
Megaupload overlord Kim Dotcom: The US HAS RADICALISED ME!
Now my lawyers have bailed 'cos I'm 'OFFICIALLY' BROKE
Forget Hillary, HP's ex CARLY FIORINA 'wants to be next US Prez'
Former CEO has political ambitions again, according to Washington DC sources
prev story

Whitepapers

10 ways wire data helps conquer IT complexity
IT teams can automatically detect problems across the IT environment, spot data theft, select unique pieces of transaction payloads to send to a data source, and more.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence
Download Choosing a Cloud Hosting Provider with Confidence to learn more about cloud computing - the new opportunities and new security challenges.