by CIO Staff

Inside and Outside Microsoft

Jan 15, 20024 mins

Inside Microsoft Outside Microsoft
Licensing 6.0 and Software Assurance (SA) announced, effective Oct. 1. Customers must upgrade their Microsoft software to the latest version before enrolling. They have three options:
  • Enroll in SA by Oct. 1.
  • Purchase old option, Upgrade Advantage (UA), by Oct. 1 and be grandfathered in to SA when UA expires.
  • Do nothing and buy new licenses next time they upgrade.
May 2001 Dutch IT group Netwerk Gebruikersgroep Nederland sends open letter to Microsoft, calling 6.0 a “knife to the throat.”
Microsoft reports that under the new program 20 percent of customers will see a cost increase, and 30 percent will see a cost decrease.

In response to negative feedback, Microsoft extends enrollment deadline to Feb. 28, 2002.

June 2001 Gartner releases report indicating licensing costs could rise up to 107 percent.

CIOs say Microsoft’s numbers assume the 30 percent who save money want to continue to upgrade at the same rate, and they don’t take into account the cost of doing[i] upgrades.

British IT group The Infrastructure Forum (TIF) agrees to meet in August with detailed financial analyses of 6.0.

Microsoft prepares presentations, white papers and other literature for IT managers pitching the program to their bosses. Included in Microsoft’s “why” list are:
  • Simplified licenses; easier to stay compliant.
  • More predictable budgeting.
  • Easier to justify expenses to management.
  • Prepares enterprises for .Net.
July 2001 Guernsey Research indicates customers with two-year upgrade cycles could save 19 percent with 6.0., but those on three-year cycles would pay 40 percent more.
August Sixty TIF members from 50 companies meet in London. The average TIF member will see a 94 percent increase cost. TIF members will spend more than $1 billion extra on Windows desktops during four years.

TIF creates a formal six-person Licensing Group to liaise with Microsoft. A meeting with Microsoft is set.

One CIO floats the idea of a three-month boycott of Microsoft products in a CIO forum. It doesn’t materialize.

Microsoft customers who were told they would have to apply SA across their entire enterprise in order to receive Premier Support, the highest level, get a reprieve. Microsoft will offer Premier Support for enterprises partially enrolled in SA.

Microsoft announces intention to create a level of support higher than Premier for customers who adopt SA across the board.

October TIF holds “productive” meeting with Microsoft at Microsoft’s Reading, England, offices.

Four consumer groups join to warn that Windows XP and its “restrictive licensing terms?significantly add to [Microsoft’s previous violations of antitrust law].”

Vermont’s Attorney General William Sorrell and five other attorneys general not involved in the antitrust case write Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer to support pending antitrust penalties and to support the inclusion of Windows XP in remedies.

TIF unanimously votes to send a formal request for action to the UK’s Office of Fair Trade and unanimously votes to issue press release. All the London dailies and the BBC pick up the story about the “Windows Tax.”

Giga poll of 4,500 Microsoft customers shows overwhelmingly negative response to the program.

CIO poll of tech executives shows 70 percent have no plans to upgrade to Windows XP.

Licensing 6.0 and Software Assurance go into effect for all newly bought Microsoft software.

Microsoft eases restrictions on “reimaging”-whereby customers erase a preinstalled version of Windows to put their own version on. Originally, customers were to pay for both copies of the software. Now, they only pay once.

Microsoft extends the deadline for enrollment again to July 31, 2002.

Microsoft allows Office 2000 users to upgrade to SA without buying Office XP first, as was the previous policy.

Microsoft says no more concessions on the program will be made.

… Future … Three more British IT interest groups that span industry and government join TIF in its protest of Licensing 6.0.

The Supreme Court denies Microsoft’s request for an appeal hearing. Remedies and settlement discussions continue in the District Court.

TIF starts a series of workshops for members that want to explore alternatives to Microsoft and the new licensing.

Licensing 6.0 and Software Assurance to take effect across the board. September 2002