Feeds

Microsoft rolls out volume software ‘leases’

File under "simplifications and improvements"

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

High performance access to file storage

Redmond made it official late Thursday; volume licenses are going to be leased to businesses, in three-year chunks, effective 1 October, according to its new Enterprise Agreement Subscription scheme. This means that when the lease period is up, your MS Magic Stuff will stop working and you'll have to ante up again.

Come on, you don't think they developed their software activation scheme for laughs, do you?

Microsoft freely admits that customers who don't fall for the idea of upgrading frequently would end up paying more, but cheerfully dismisses this category of (intelligent) users as a piddling twenty per cent, hardly worth a second thought.

The company therefore proudly announced "simplifications and improvements" to its volume licensing programs.

In one of those dorky living-FAQ setups where a PR flack pretends to 'interview' a MS exec, company veep for Worldwide Licensing and Pricing Bill Henningsgaard enthuses on the new scheme.

"We are responding to requests from our enterprise customers to better meet their licensing needs, by offering simpler licensing programs with more choices," Henningsgaard gushes.

"Our new Enterprise Agreement Subscription program is a first step toward offering software-as-a-service -- this is something some of our customers already want, and that we anticipate many more will expect in the coming years."

Henningsgaard says that Microsoft had done such a piss-poor job of administering its vast plethora of licensing schemes and options that it's now forced to streamline it all into one where users will be forced to pay for eternity.

"In addition to replacing the current hodgepodge of upgrades with a simpler way to upgrade, our new licensing programs will provide customers with online license-management tools, including statements of their purchase histories and their license rights."

"Right now, customers must keep track of their license agreements and produce their own summaries."

This is, quite obviously, a rotten thing for which few have the time.

So, "customers will be able to access online statements, maintained by Microsoft, that summarize their worldwide purchase history. They will be able to quickly and easily review their license rights and more easily determine the most appropriate and cost-effective way to acquire the rights to future versions of software that meets the needs of their business."

Henningsgaard doesn't say that this sort of online self-auditing is a 'feature' which the company ought to have provided all along. He doesn't say that the volume schemes were too difficult for Microsoft to get a handle on and provide a decent, useful service; but it's all there in the subtext.

He also neglects to mention whether Luddite holdouts (standard licensees) will get any of these (admittedly attractive) auditing benefits, so we rather suspect they won't.

The threshold for participation has been graciously lowered from 500 desktops to 250 to entice more players; but since the savings from a subscription will be only about fifteen per cent a year compared with a standard volume license, it makes absolutely no sense for businesses which can get decent mileage out of their software to go that route.

You'll save money if you can go four or five years without an overhaul. And you'll save heaps of money if you can go six or eight years.

Of course, if you don't subscribe you may get a few visits from the compliance SWAT team; and this might then sell you on the idea of subscribing; but we're confident that a company as respectable as Microsoft wouldn't dream of targeting standard licensees for a lot of troublesome compliance inquiries as some sort of subscription marketing tactic.

Absolutely confident.... ®

Related Story

MS squeezes business for more dough with rental model

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Android engineer: We DIDN'T copy Apple OR follow Samsung's orders
Veep testifies for Samsung during Apple patent trial
Microsoft: Windows version you probably haven't upgraded to yet is ALREADY OBSOLETE
Pre-Update versions of Windows 8.1 will no longer support patches
OpenSSL Heartbleed: Bloody nose for open-source bleeding hearts
Bloke behind the cockup says not enough people are helping crucial crypto project
Half of Twitter's 'active users' are SILENT STALKERS
Nearly 50% have NEVER tweeted a word
Windows XP still has 27 per cent market share on its deathbed
Windows 7 making some gains on XP Death Day
Internet-of-stuff startup dumps NoSQL for ... SQL?
NoSQL taste great at first but lacks proper nutrients, says startup cloud whiz
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
US taxman blows Win XP deadline, must now spend millions on custom support
Gov't IT likened to 'a Model T with a lot of things on top of it'
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.