Microsoft's money-making scheme.
When Microsoft announced its new software-licensing programme,
Software Assurance, in May 2001, there was uproar from users and
analysts. Not only did it do away with off-the-shelf upgrades, meaning
that businesses could no longer purchase the software that they wanted,
when they wanted, most analysts said it was also going to end up costing
companies more. That prophecy has come true. According to figures from
the Yankee Group, which surveyed 1,000 technology managers worldwide,
60% of the companies that have signed up to Software Assurance are now
paying more than they were before.
The size of those increases, however, has not been as large as
expected. Early forecasts from the Gartner Group predicted that Software
Assurance would push fees up by a minimum of 33% and that, for some
companies, costs would more than double. According to the Yankee Group,
22% of the companies it surveyed saw their fees rise by between 5% and
20%, while 28% said there was no change and 11% actually reported a
reduction in costs.