Microsoft welcomes complaint decision

Microsoft says it is pleased a customer complaint that introduction of its Software Assurance licensing scheme breaches the Commerce Act has been rejected.

Microsoft says it is pleased the Commerce Commission has rejected a complaint that the company’s new licensing scheme, Software Assurance, breaches the Commerce Act.

The commission’s decision follows a three-month investigation of the complaint, laid by Auckland law firm Clendon Feeney. Clendon Feeney partner Craig Horrocks contended that the introduction of Software Assurance on July 31 was a breach of section 36 of the act.

Software Assurance requires customers pay two years in advance for the right to any Microsoft software upgrades, regardless of whether or not the company releases any within those two years. In the past customers have bought upgrades as they required them.

Microsoft New Zealand managing director Ross Peat says the decision allows the company to get on with spreading the word about Software Assurance.

"We understand that our new licensing programme is a significant change in the way the company sells products to its business customers," says Peat.

Horrocks says he’s not surprised at the commission’s decision but feels the issue is serious enough to warrant public debate.

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