Microsoft has announced a number of changes to its licensing structure in an attempt to simplify licence management and costs for customers.Joe Matz, corporate vice president of worldwide licensing and pricing at Microsoft, said in an interview with the company's PressPass service that the changes were led by customer feedback."I regularly visit organisations around the world to better understand their licensing needs. My team conducts global customer surveys that take the pulse of more than three million customers each year," he said."Customers feel the pressure of the economic environment and look for ways to save money on the IT investments they have already made. They are looking to Microsoft to deliver software licensing that provides flexible and affordable purchasing solutions that align with how they buy. That is top of mind for us as we design Microsoft Volume Licensing programmes."Microsoft is planning to launch a number of packaged licence options from October in a choice of two contract options."Customers can purchase this offer through the Enterprise Agreement as an enrolment. By signing a Microsoft Enrolment for Application Platform, customers can choose between one of two flexible licensing models: one-year true-up, or three-year true-up," said Matz."For customers with a three-year true-up, we provide predictable costs with fixed payments for the term's life."Matz claimed that customers could see lower costs by taking on the longer-term contract option.Packaged licences, known as the Enrolment for Core Infrastructure, will help companies to ensure that all areas of a technical infrastructure are covered, Ma tz explained."Previously, customers would have purchased our infrastructure technologies using a combination of licensing models, including per-server, per-processor, per-operating system environment and subscription," he said. "With the Enrolment for Core Infrastructure, this is all accomplished on a simple per-processor basis."Although customer demands have led to many of these changes, Matz conceded that the popularity of software-as-a-service and cheaper cloud-based applications have had an affect."Microsoft must strike a balance between providing traditional licensing solutions, and expanding into new ways to purchase and use software, like subscription and online purchasing. Virtualisation is clearly impacting how we license software," he explained."Ultimately, we will offer one unified purchasing experience so that customers can purchase and use software licences when they need them, with minimal to no barriers to purchasing and deployment."What this means is that customers can purchase through one agreement, and manage their licences through one platform, instead of managing multiple agreements today."
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