Microsoft should spend from now to July contemplating why its users don't want any part of its new software assurance licensing plans, one user group has warned.
In the face of a threatened user rebellion, Microsoft said earlier today that it had pushed back the final deadline for its controversial new licensing scheme from February to 31 July.
The Redmond giant said it wanted to give companies more time to think about how the new system affects their businesses. But its UK customers say it is Microsoft that needs to think things through.
David Roberts, chief executive of The Infrastructure Forum (Tif), which has reported Microsoft to the Office of Fair Trading over the issue, commented: "Microsoft has stated that the 'transition period was not enough'. We certainly agree that more time is required but time alone will not resolve the fundamental concerns of customers.
"The extra time should be spent by Microsoft to appreciate the level of concern amongst UK businesses over this issue. And in explaining why UK businesses should be subject to this new 'Windows tax', one that will cost hundreds of millions of pounds.
"We hope that Microsoft, now it has publicly admitted there is a problem, will re-evaluate its licence policy. However, reading the announcement from America, it just looks like Microsoft is giving customers more time, not more options.
"It is also interesting that Microsoft has still not recognised in any of its announcements that the most popular mechanism for licence upgrades has been removed without customer consultation."
From 1 October, the software company scrapped popular upgrade discounts and introduced subscription-based volume agreements. Tif says the changes will result in an average 96 per cent cost increase for its members over a typical four-year upgrade cycle.
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