Rebecca LaBrunerie Q&A: Last minute answers to your volume licensing questions

MS Licensing Program Manager Rebecca LaBrunerie answers leftover audience questions from the 7/11 volume licensing Webcast.

What Microsoft products are covered under the Enterprise Agreement? How does Microsoft benefit from this new licensing program? Is this program just for big enterprises? What's in it for mid-sized companies? These are just a few of the leftover audience questions from the July 11 Webcast, "Last minute answers to your volume licensing questions" that Microsoft Product Licensing Manager Rebecca LaBrunerie responds to in this Q&A.

Q: What if Microsoft is late to market with product upgrades? Is there protection for that?
A: As a maintenance-type program, Software Assurance (SA) does not provide a technology guarantee. It is designed to give customers access to the latest technology through even annual payments which are based on today's pricing. That is, the true benefit of SA is that the annual cost is only 25% of a license for server products and 29% for desktop products, like Office.

Q: What products are covered under the Enterprise Agreement (EA)?
A: The Standard Enterprise Platform is made up of Office Pro, the Windows Pro Upgrade and the Core CAL. Any or all of these can be included in the EA. We also offer a list of additional products; see the EA price list for the complete listing included with this offer.

Q: Can you explain Upgrade Advantage?
A: There is an extensive explanation of this at http://www.microsoft.com/licensing.

Q: Can we buy Software Assurance for existing Office products acquired from an OEM?
A: No, Software Assurance cannot be purchased for ANY OEM or Retail version of any product in the application pool.

Q: Can you purchase a multi-year SA?
A: Yes, depending on the volume licensing program -- SA coverage can be from two to three years in the initial purchase.

Q: What are the benefits to Microsoft of this new licensing program?
A: The new licensing program lays the foundation for Web services, and the additional annuity provides consistent revenue over the long term. It eliminates the unpredictable spikes in revenue that we have seen in the past.

Q: Is this a program just for big enterprises? What's in it for mid-sized companies?
A: Our Open License program is geared to small and medium sized organizations. All the benefits, features and functions of SA are applicable to customers no matter what their size.

Q: If a company reduces employees, can the annual SA costs be reduced to reflect the new number of employees/licenses that the company now has in operation?
A: In the Select and Open License programs this is not an option. In an EA agreement this is a possibility, depending on the quantity needing to be revised –- but that could also impact the overall price. Consult with your MS Account Manager for details.

Q: If an order is placed to a vendor before July 31 and vendor fails to submit to Microsoft by July 31, will Microsoft accept the order?
A: Yes, we will accept all orders that were placed in the resellers hands prior to 11:59 p.m. on July 31, 2002.

Q: If I order a PC with Office XP on it from a retailer, how do I downgrade to Office 2000?
A: OEM Office does not include the right to downgrade –- you would need to purchase UA for that product in one of the volume license programs to get the downgrade rights that are granted in those programs.

Q: What are the options for customers with EA before July 31?
A: A customer with an existing EA does not need to do anything in relation to the July 31, 2002 deadline -– they have their deal in place and it is not affected by this timeline.

Q: Will SA be available from OEMs who bundle your software with their systems?
A: At this time SA is only offered through the volume license programs. OEM is not a volume license program.

Q: We plan on upgrading the servers to Windows 2000 and Exchange 2000 and only about half of the desktops (8) to 2000. No upgrades are foreseen after that. Should we purchase one of these licensing agreements?
A: You do not state the planned timeline for you planned upgrades. Without those details it is hard to give precise answers. But since you are looking at upgrading even a portion of your products, you should consider UA or SA for those prior to July 31 to get the advantage of the cost savings for those items.

Q: We have an open license agreement for our Office products. Do we need to change anything or will that stay in effect?
A: There is nothing that is happening that will affect any agreement that is currently in place.

Q: Without SA, is one still entitled to bug fixes and service packs?
A: Yes, bug fixes, security updates and critical patches will continue to be supplied to all customers with or without SA or UA.

Q: Is SA available to all Microsoft customers?
A: SA is available to all customers who have a Microsoft volume license agreement.

This was first published in July 2002

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