In the face of a threatened user rebellion, Microsoft has pushed back the final deadline for its controversial new licensing scheme.
From 1 October, the software giant scrapped popular upgrade discounts and introduced subscription-based volume agreements. It had given firms until the end of February 2002 to make the switch, but has now said that the transition period will last until the end of July 2002.
Microsoft said it has extended the deadline to give companies more time to think through the effects of the new system on their businesses.
Analysts, some of whom said that they have never seen so many users upset over planned licence changes, believed that the news would be welcomed.However, simply delaying the pain is unlikely to placate angry UK user groups, such as The Infrastructure Forum (Tif), Elite, the Institute for Management of Information Systems and the Society of IT Managers, which are furious at the huge licence fee hikes that they say will result from the new scheme.
Tif, which estimates an average 96 per cent cost increase for its members over a typical four-year upgrade cycle, has already called on the Office of Fair Trading to investigate Microsoft for abusing its dominant position in the market.
Last week the user groups vowed to keep on protesting.
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