When Is a Reparation Not a Reparation?By Peter Galli | Posted 2006-08-14 Email Print
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Opinion: When is a reparation not a reparation? Apparently, when it's a "customer incentive" program.
Microsoft is doing its best to discredit a recent eWEEK story on the company's plans to make good on expectations by some of its Software Assurance licensees who felt cheated by Microsoft's failure to deliver Vista and Office 2007 when promised.
This is sad, given the fact that Microsoft is actually doing the right thing. One might think the company would prefer to take credit for taking responsibility for its own schedule slips and the customer expectations it set.
Instead, Microsoft has chosen to trot out Sunny Jensen Charlebois, the product manager for its worldwide licensing and pricing group, to anyone who will listen, so she can deny that any such thing is planned, and to reinforce the message they want heard, which is that Microsoft always offers programs to drive adoption when it rolls out a new Windows operating system.
Here are more details on exactly what Microsoft told usbased on a transcript of an interview with Allison Watson, the corporate vice president of Microsoft's Worldwide Partner Group, which I recorded at the annual Microsoft worldwide partner conference in Boston in July.
When asked how Microsoft planned to address the fact that the delay in releasing products like Vista and Office would significantly impact partners and their customers who have volume licensing agreements and Software Assurance, Watson said: "We have already identified all of the customers who fall into these buckets and associated partners.
"And, starting two months ago, the worldwide field was empowered with offers and incentives and a commitment to partner and customer satisfaction around these issues," she said.
Watson did, however, also try to downplay the effect of product delays on enterprise customers with volume licensing agreements, and the partners who work with them, saying that for them it is less about when a piece of software ships and more about how the software is delivered and supported and affects the entire product family and their platform.
She also argued that a delay could actually be a good thing for those ISVs and partners that work with Microsoft on the services side, but noted that "I'm not trying to minimize the importance of it."
Read the full story on eWEEK.com: When Is a Reparation Not a Reparation?