Microsoft holds line on custom support price

Microsoft freezes price on Custom Support Agreements for 2009.

Microsoft Custom Support Agreements will cost the same in 2009 as they did in 2008.

Custom Support Agreements, typically on technology that has aged out of Microsoft's volume support programs, usually increase in price year-over year, with the price change announced for the next three years, a Microsoft spokeswoman said. She said Microsoft made the move in response to the "global economic crisis."

The decision to maintain the current price level was made after weighing customer input, Maria Martinez, corporate vice president for Microsoft Services said in a statement.

Custom support includes problem resolution for older products; security hotfixes for vulnerabilities that Microsoft deems "critical" and "important;"and access to a hotfix database.

The price freeze matters to a subset of Microsoft business customers that have not upgraded from Windows NT, Exchange Server 5.5 and other older applications, said Paul DeGroot, analyst at Directions on Microsoft, Kirkland, Wash. "This is not for a lot of customers but maybe some public sector customers and others. In general, of course, Microsoft wants people to move to new products but there are still some VIP customers who have older systems that need and want support."

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