MS licensing extension too little too late

'Have they got it horribly wrong? My guess is yes.'

Microsoft's decision to again extend the deadline for complying with a new software licensing programme has not been enough to sooth NZI IT services manager David Fletcher.

Fletcher was outraged when Microsoft first announced in May that customers would have to switch to the new licensing programme by October 1, a move which meant an unbudgeted six-figure upgrade bill for NZI.

Microsoft then extended the deadline for compliance to February 28 next year, and has now stretched the transition period out to July 31.

Fletcher is not surprised by the latest change but says after having spent long nights trying to find the required finance the damage has been done. His confidence in the software behemoth has been irretrievably damaged. "The worldwide reaction to the new licensing arrangement certainly shows that we are sitting up, taking notice and taking action. How can you trust Microsoft not to do this again especially if you are locked in?"

Fletcher says Microsoft was unable to guarantee that the rules wouldn't change again in two years (the length of the new agreement), when he attended a briefing on the latest development.

However, he believes customer satisfaction will eventually dictate the outcome. "With the rules having changed twice now since the original announcements one has to wonder have they got it horribly wrong? My guess is yes."

Fletcher says he will await further instructions from NZI's parent company in the UK and Europe.

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