Microsoft is planning to simplify its licensing agreements, but insists that this will not lead to more costs for customers.
Chief executive Steve Ballmer has admitted that customers cannot understand Microsoft's end-user licence agreements, which they complain are too long and too complicated.
Speaking at the Gartner IT Expo in Florida, Ballmer maintained that Microsoft wants to simplify the agreements.
"I guarantee [that] we're not going to simplify anything in a way that causes any of the kind of hardships that we're seeing financially for some of our customers today," he said.
Ballmer explained that Microsoft had listened to the outcry over the recent introduction of Licensing 6.0.
"We learned that sometimes when you clean things up and simplify them, which starts with a noble sound, you can wind up costing some customers more money and that's problematic," he said.
Licensing 6.0 was introduced in August, but has met with resistance from customers who claim that it is more costly than previous deals.
But speaking at an event sponsored by supplier trade body Intellect, Microsoft's UK managing director Neil Holloway insisted that that subscription-style licensing is the future.
"Annuity has to be the way forward for people to get their licences from us and other people," he explained.
"We believe that is the right world to get to, but we got it slightly wrong. The good news is that we've got through that and we are into a new world for licensing."
Holloway indicated that other software companies will chose the same model.
"Annuity has to be the best way to go especially when you think of the software updates that people want to do," he said.
"We've made the changes and we are seen as the bad guy, but it is interesting to see how many people have followed us."
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