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MS urged to delay licence (to print money) changes

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UK user groups have urged Microsoft to push back its licensing scheme revamp to give UK businesses time to get to grips with the changes.

The request was sent off in a letter to Neil Holloway, Microsoft UK MD, last week. It was signed by Elite, the British Computer Society's forum for IT directors, Imis, the IT management professional body, and Socitm -a local government IT managers' group.

According to news site CW360, a copy of the letter was also sent to trade and industry secretary Patricia Hewitt, and the groups have asked Hewitt for her help in the matter.

They want Microsoft to shift the date when organisations must make a decision on their licensing from the start of next month to May 31 2002. Microsoft aims to replace its software upgrade discount offers with a rental scheme where users pay a yearly fee.

The letter also points out that the decision date falls in the middle of the financial year for most businesses.

"If our views are proved correct, then the changes will have a serious impact on business as a whole," it states.

It goes on to claim that many companies are still in the dark about the changes. CW360 says that, despite there being just three weeks left to the deadline, most of the UK's top 500 companies have still to calculate the costs and benefits of the options.

Those that have worked out the pros and cons say they are unable to act because they don't know enough about Microsoft's future product roadmap to make a decision.

The Infrastructure Forum (TiF) last month claimed that changes could increase costs for companies by up to 130 per cent. ®

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