Feeds

OFT to review MS licensing terms

MS 'surprised and disappointed'

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Intelligent flash storage arrays

The Office of Fair Trading is to review corporate IT customer claims that Microsoft's new software licensing terms are anti-competitive.

On Friday (Sept 21), The Infrastructure Forum expressed its concerns over MS' new policy in a letter to Trade Secretary Patricia Hewitt, and asked that the company be referred to the OFT. We have since learned the DTi has forwarded the complaint to the OFT, although this is described as usual procedure.

An OFT spokeswoman told us it was expecting the complaint but was unable to talk specifics before it has been reviewed. Any review into Microsoft's new policy - which insists companies buy new software every time they upgrade and comes into force on 1 October - will be split into two process.

The complaint will first be assessed to see if there are "reasonable grounds" that it may have broken the Competition Act 1998. This assessment will take anywhere from between a few weeks to a few months. The OFT does have the power though to stop Microsoft imposing the new policy if it believes it is affecting both competition in the market and the public in general.

If the OFT does find reasonable grounds, it will then launch a formal investigation that will take several more months (75 per cent of OFT investigations are completed within six months).

The Infrastructure Forum (TIF) claims that Microsoft new policy will cost business 94 per cent more than currently and UK business nearly £1 billion over the next four years.

Meanwhile Microsoft has told us it is "surprised and disappointed" with TIF. "We routinely discuss our business plans with the UK government," a spokesman told us. "And we will be able to talk to the OFT and explain the improvements and enhancements of our new policy."

The spokesman also told us that the company has spoken to TIF since the letter was sent and both sides "reiterated their commitment to ongoing dialogue". No mention was made about the tone or pitch of that dialogue however.

Meanwhile, the UK's two biggest resellers - Computacenter and SCH - are keeping tight-lipped about their views, or whether their customers had expressed any opinions concerning Microsoft's rules.

Computacenter told us it has no official response and was unlikely to produce one either. SCH has not returned our calls. ®

Related Stories

MS prices will 'damage UK business'
MS urged to delay licence (to print money) changes

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
NSA SOURCE CODE LEAK: Information slurp tools to appear online
Now you can run your own intelligence agency
Microsoft: Your Linux Docker containers are now OURS to command
New tool lets admins wrangle Linux apps from Windows
Microsoft adds video offering to Office 365. Oh NOES, you'll need Adobe Flash
Lovely presentations... but not on your Flash-hating mobe
You stupid BRICK! PCs running Avast AV can't handle Windows fixes
Fix issued, fingers pointed, forums in flames
HTML5 vs native: Harry Coder and the mudblood mobile app princes
Developers just want their ideas to generate money
prev story

Whitepapers

Seattle children’s accelerates Citrix login times by 500% with cross-tier insight
Seattle Children’s is a leading research hospital with a large and growing Citrix XenDesktop deployment. See how they used ExtraHop to accelerate launch times.
5 critical considerations for enterprise cloud backup
Key considerations when evaluating cloud backup solutions to ensure adequate protection security and availability of enterprise data.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.