Microsoft licensing to change?

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Microsoft is set to announce new licensing initiatives, as part of its next round of quarterly partner briefings from 2 July.

Kerstin Baxter, director of the partner group at Microsoft Australia, said the keynote address kicking off each day-long briefing would touch on further proposed changes to Microsoft's licensing regimen.

"We will be talking about some new initiatives in our licensing model, and the importance from a channel perspective," Baxter said. "There will be changes."

The briefings begin 2 July in Perth, moving on to Adelaide, Canberra, Sydney and Melbourne before finishing in Brisbane on 14 July.

Around 2000 people representing some 1,600 of Microsoft's total 12,000 Australian partners including ISVs, resellers, distributors, system builders and developers are expected to attend, Baxter said.

The morning keynote will see presentations by the new director of the small and mid-market solutions partner group, Alison Dodd, Kerstin Baxter and members of their team, followed by presentations on Office Systems, licensing, Office 2003/XML, Office Sharepoint Portal Server 2003 & Project Server 2003, Exchange Server 2003 and MSDN development. "Dodd has been with Microsoft five years and running our central marketing organisation most recently," Baxter said.

Presentations would focus on marketing, business, infrastructure and technical aspects of Microsoft products for the New Year and the coming quarter, with question-and-answer sessions, workshops and opportunities to meet and mingle with Microsoft staff and other partners, she said.

Baxter said information about the upcoming CRM product release would also be available, along with a stronger focus on ISVs. In previous years Microsoft has put more emphasis on the reseller side. "Some types of partners didn't realise the briefings offered relevant information [to them] before," she said.

Microsoft spends about $200,000 of its marketing budget on each round of quarterly briefings, she said, which includes magazine advertising. Regional briefings would also be held more regularly in future, Baxter said.


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