What You Should DoBy David F. Carr | Posted 2002-07-31 Print
Under its new "Software Assurance" plan, Microsoft has changed the rules for bulk software upgrades. Now, tech managers are deciding how to respondincluding some who are simply refusing to participate.
Coping with Licensing Changes
Before you agree to Microsoft's new upgrade terms:
- Upgrade only as needed. If you can stretch the use of your existing software out beyond three years, you may not need Software Assurance.
- Negotiate from strength. If you haven't upgraded older Microsoft software but plan to, you'll get your best chance at negotiating credit for the old licenses through an Enterprise Agreement.
- Be ready to use alternatives. StarOffice is increasingly a viable desktop applications alternative, able to read Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint files. Look for pockets of users for whom StarOffice makes sense, but beware of migration and training costs.
- Scale back. Consider reducing your Microsoft licenses, perhaps by replacing some servers with a network appliance or experimenting with the Linux operating system for kiosks or point-of-sale terminals.
What do you think of Microsoft's new software licensing pricing options? firstname.lastname@example.org
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