/James Maguire, www.NewsFactor.com <http://www.NewsFactor.com>/
Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT
has unveiled a new policy to discourage its business customers from
switching to Linux (news
- web sites
or other open source alternatives. Called Open Value, the new offer is
part of the software giant's Licensing 6 volume licensing program.
What's happening is that Microsoft sales reps have been instructed to be
on the lookout for any businesses that are migrating some of their
machines to the Lindows OS," Yankee Group analyst Laura DiDio told
NewsFactor. "If [the sales reps] think there's a real threat of some
pretty large numbers of defections to open source, they can request
authorization from Microsoft higher-ups to offer steeply discounted
DiDio said that in some cases, the discounts could be as high as 50
Microsoft instituted its Licensing 6 program this summer. The plan
raised licensing fees for the company's business users from 33 to 107
percent, according to research firm Gartner.
Although many of Microsoft's large enterprise customers complained about
the increases, small businesses were particularly hard hit. Of those
that declined to participate, the majority were small businesses.
Now, with its new Open Value initiative, Microsoft is attempting to make
participation in Licensing 6 easier for these small businesses. The plan
allows small businesses to spread out payments over three years while
still staying current with the latest Microsoft releases.
The program will begin early next year, according to Microsoft.
Additionally, Microsoft is offering zero percent financing until early
2003 for one of its Licensing 6 programs geared toward small business