CyberTech Rambler

August 10, 2006

Microsoft preparing reparation to compensate for Vista/Office delay

Filed under: Uncategorized — ctrambler @ 3:55 pm

According to eweek, Microsoft is preparing reparation to compensate Software Assurance customers for Vista/Office delay. The Register follow up the story with a MS person denying special incentives are developed to target them. I doubt the second story.
As detailed in my previous post, I expects Microsoft to do the right thing and compensate Software Assurance (SA) customers for their expectation of cheaper upgrade, compared to customers who did not purchase Software Assurance. Whether Microsoft likes it or not, and no matter what the licensing agreement actually says, SA was sold back in 2004 on the expectation of cheaper upgrade. If this does not arrive, a lot of IT managers will have egg on their face. It is never good business practice to have the person who strongly influence purchasing decision of your products look bad in front of their company directors. People remembers the wrong that is done to them longer than other memory.

Best case scenario: Microsoft gives you Vista/Office at the same rate as existing SA customers even if your SA expires and you did not renew. Best for you as it gives you what you expect, bad for Microsoft because customers who renews the SA wonder why should they bother to, especially if the only reason is to get Vista/Office. Given Microsoft inability to deliver the upgrade on time this time, why signed on the same terms that makes you lot will be vary to depend on Microsoft’s good will again down the line.

The moral of this lesson is, when one sign up for anything, do not rely on non-legalling binding promise. Fool me once, shame on you; Fool me twice, shame on me.

One aspect that can makes SA worth considering is the rights to run 4 copies of Windows in virtual machines. Forget all the rubbish trainings and tech support options. They are of little value to you the customers but make the manufacturer offer looks good.

The best compromise, and the most likely one, is customer with expired SA license get a price somewhere in between existing SA customers and those without. Another is you get a discount if you renew your SA. To some, the latter is not a bad proposition as they might need stronger technical support thrown in.

I do not believe Microsoft will do nothing in reparation. This will make those who bought SA look like fools. More importantly, those who gambled on not taking SA would be vindicated. If they did not buy it then, what chance of persuadiing them to buy it now?

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