Microsoft Sweetens Licensing Programs

Microsoft unwrapped changes to its volume licensing program during
a webcast this week,
saying it had tweaked the rules to give customers more choice and flexibility.

The Redmond, Wash.-based software vendor also launched a product licensing Web site where the company
will post licensing terms, conditions and supplemental information related to the use of all products
licensed under the volume licensing programs in the United States and Canada.

The company slightly sweetened the Software Assurance offering, which guarantees customers any upgrades.
Microsoft added one cold backup server software license for every server covered by
a customer’s Software Assurance agreement to aid in disaster recovery.

The Step-Up License promotion, which was introduced as a limited-time deal,
will remain a permanent program. Step-Up lets customers upgrade from the standard edition of
products to the enterprise edition while maintaining the original Software Assurance agreement, rather
than having to purchase a new license.

At the same time, Microsoft changed the licensing terms for Microsoft Operations Manager (MOM) 2005,
offering an Operations Manager License, or OML. In the future, instead of requiring a license for each processor,
it will use the server-plus-managed-device model.

Microsoft expanded the defense duty covering trade secret and trademark claims that protects customers
from liability for patent infringement related to Microsoft products. It also removed the monetary cap on the damages
that the company would cover on such claims against customers.

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