Customer Feedback Improves Microsoft’s Volume Licensing Programs

REDMOND, Wash., Oct. 8, 2001 — Microsoft Corp. today announced changes to the rollout of its new volume licensing programs, including an extended transition for Software Assurance. Based on customer feedback, Microsoft is extending the Licensing 6.0 launch transition period to July 31, 2002, and making Upgrade Advantage available to customers under the Open and Select agreements during the full launch period. Also at the request of customers, Microsoft is changing the Software Assurance offering so that during the launch period Microsoft® Office 2000 customers as well as Office XP customers can enroll directly in Software Assurance. And for those customers who already made their licensing decisions, Microsoft is committed to ensuring that they will have the ability to benefit from these changes.

“Customers have told us that Licensing 6.0, our improved licensing program, which we launched on Oct. 1, 2001, is a significant change, but that our original five-month transition period was just not long enough,”
said Bill Landefeld, vice president for worldwide licensing and pricing at Microsoft.
“Given the economic climate today, it’s clear our customers were right. After listening to customers, Microsoft is extending the launch transition period to allow customers sufficient time to review their existing licenses, evaluate the new options and decide how to take advantage of Software Assurance.”

Analysts Agree

According to Alvin Park, senior research analyst at Gartner Inc.,
“The decision by Microsoft to allow additional time for signing new Open and Select agreements under which to purchase Upgrade Advantage will be welcome news to many of its customers. The same is true for considering both Office 2000 and Office XP ‘current’ until July 31, 2002, for being able to purchase Software Assurance.”

“We recommended that Microsoft take the opportunity to really help its customers by giving them the time to understand the options available to them under Licensing 6.0 and the time to plan an appropriate strategy for their organizations,”
said Giga Information Group analysts Julie Giera and Laura DiDio.

These changes will give customers the time they requested to perform a business case analysis.
“Public entities need adequate time to review significant changes in vendor programs,”
said Robert Feingold, chief information officer for the State of Colorado.
“Microsoft’s decision to lengthen the transition period to its new Licensing 6.0 gives Colorado the time it needs to review the new options and determine the best way to take advantage of the new alternatives.”

Today’s announcement is part of Microsoft’s ongoing commitment to listen to business customers of all sizes and to continue to improve the design of its license programs so licenses are simpler to acquire, understand and administer, while providing customers with a variety of choices to meet their diverse business needs.

Today’s enhancements mean that it is very simple for customers to buy Software Assurance for Microsoft Office 2000, Office XP, Windows® 2000 and Windows XP because they are considered
for the purposes of enrolling in Software Assurance until July 31, 2002. Office customers have indicated they value Software Assurance and have requested a smoother transition into the new programs. This change is a direct result of that feedback, and Microsoft anticipates that many more customers will be able to cost-effectively take advantage of the new Software Assurance offering.

Originally announced in May 2001, Microsoft’s new Volume Licensing programs bring simplification, choice and improvements to its customers. A key simplification was the replacement of the confusing
“alphabet soup”
of upgrade options (VUP, CUP, PUP, LUP, UA) with Software Assurance, which can be purchased for individual licenses or for all of an organization’s licensed PCs and servers. Microsoft’s Software Assurance offering provides the rights to upgrade to the latest versions of products released during the term of the agreement and will help customers quickly benefit from the very latest enterprise software.

Customers interested in Microsoft’s new licensing programs should contact their Microsoft sales representative or reseller. They can also find information on the Internet at .

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software — any time, any place and on any device.

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