Microsoft to tweak licensing

Microsoft is promising to introduce new "flexibility" in its unpopular software licensing policies in the second half of the year.

Microsoft is promising to introduce new “flexibility” in its unpopular software licensing policies in the second half of the year.

New Zealand manager Ross Peat won’t be drawn on whether that will mean cheaper licensing, merely saying it will allow small to medium-size organisations to buy additional licences in smaller increments.

Microsoft business productivity head Robert McDowell, in New Zealand for the launch of Windows Server 2003 and Visual Studio .Net 2003, says he’s “intensely proud” to be part of a company that could admit it made a mistake when it brought in its “software assurance” licensing scheme last year. The scheme was widely perceived as a means of boosting licensing revenue although Microsoft described it as simplifying the licensing process.

McDowell says the company wants licensing to be linked to service, rather than be seen as the cost of running software on a particular device.

“We’re going to take more responsibility for delivering value.”

Meanwhile, the company says it has dropped prices from May 1 on business applications, operating systems, server software and development tools by "about 10%" on account of a stronger New Zealand dollar.

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