Microsoft has strenuously denied reports that changes to its Select licensing agreement will raise the cost of its software for corporate users.
According to a report in PC Week in the US, citing Gartner Group analysts, some large customers could be paying up to 15% more under the revised Select 4.0 scheme. Select 4.0 was introduced this month as a replacement for Select 3.0, which expires on 30 November.
Bob Vellone, general manager of organisational licensing at Microsoft US, denounced the report as "inaccurate". He claimed the new pricing structure would give "comparable" discounts to those under the old scheme. Vellone declined to give exact figures for the relative discounts under the two schemes, saying "the pricing must be looked at on a case-by-case basis".
With Select 4.0, Microsoft has scrapped its unpopular enterprise licensing system for large corporates and has expanded the ceiling of its variable purchase agreement for medium-sized customers from 20,000 units to 50,000.
For customers unhappy with this arrangement, the company said it was prepared to work out individual agreements.
"This is not a price increase," repeated Vellone. "In addition, the new system has the advantages of greater simplicity and ease of implementation."
Some Select customers were unfazed by the prospect of the price hike.
Paul Watkinson, IT consultant at Parcelforce, said: "15% is a drop in the ocean compared to what some rivals charge. It's not just a question of price - Select is very good for us."
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