You can buy Software Assurance for MSDN Professional and get rights to Visual Studio.NET Pro. If you buy MSDN SA for Enterprise they get rights to future versions of VS .NET Pro and VS .NET Enterprise Developer, and if you buy MSDN Universal SA you get future versions of all 3 VS .NET products (i.e. Pro, Ent. Dev and Ent Architect). SearchWin2000: If you have less than 250 PC's than it sounds like it doesn't make sense to pursue the volume purchasing option - Is this statement true?
Not at all. If you have fewer than 250 PCs, you can benefit with volume pricing through Open License as well as Select License. Furthermore, if you like the benefits of Software Assurance upgrade coverage, you can buy SA through Open and Select. SearchWin2000: Are you saying that I can't get Version Upgrades for my '97 licenses without Software Assurance or Upgrade Assurance after July 31, 2002?
Version upgrades were eliminated on October 1, 2001. They are being replaced with Software Assurance. You can still buy UA for Office '97 apps through July 31, 2002, which will give you rights to future versions of Office including Office 2000 or Office XP. SearchWin2000: Was that three years for which SA is valid?
Software Assurance is three years under the Select License and it is two years under Open License. SearchWin2000: What's the story on reimaging?
Reimaging is allowed under Open, Select and Enterprise Agreements as long as you have the exact license which you are re-imaging. See the contract for details. SearchWin2000: If I already have a license and want to get SA, how do you determine what the cost of SA is?
Before July 31st, you can buy SA separately for 29% of the full volume license price, as shown on the price list for desktops and 25% for servers. After July 31st, SA can only be purchased in conjunction with a new volume license. SearchWin2000: After July 31, will Select and Open license still be available?
Yes, Open, Select and Enterprise Agreements will be available after July 31, 2002. The upgrade offerings will change after July 31, 2002. After July 31, 2002, you will be able to purchase the license or license with Software Assurance. SearchWin2000: Going forward, is MS going to send out notifications to resellers when their end users' Upgrade Advantage is about to expire?
We provide two month's advanced notice for the expiration of Select and Enterprise Agreements so that customers can review their options. SearchWin2000: Would I need to be on the most current version to purchase SA or UA before July 21, 2002? Or is this pre-req only after July 31?
You need to be on the most current version of products to purchase SA before July 31, 2002; after July 31, you will need to buy the current license at the same time in order to purchase SA. If you are not on a current version, we recommend buying UA before July 31, 2002, because UA lets you skip versions to become current. SearchWin2000: I have Win 95, Win 98, ME and XP. We never upgrade because we try to retire the older compters and purchase the new computers with the Win software. Will all of the Windows run together since we are connected to a Novell network?
Our products will work with one another but please contact Novell for any interoperability answers. SearchWin2000: How long will end customers have to convert to SA after their UA expires?
Customers with Upgrade Advantage automatically have Software Assurance after July 31st. If you are renewing your upgrade coverage, you have 90 days grace period to renew Open Licenses, 30-90 days under Select and EAs, depending on which contract you have in place. SearchWin2000: What is the best licensing for an organization that has roughly 25 to 50 computers (which includes growth) and wishes to stay current in the Office suite package?
If you already have Office, you should buy UA or SA for existing licenses before July 31, 2002 to get the best price. Buy UA if your office licenses aren't current (current = Office 2000 or Office XP); buy SA if you have Office 2000 or Office XP. If you don't have Office yet, buy SA at the same time as you buy your new licenses. SearchWin2000: Is there a white paper for the licensing program available?
Please check out all the customer guides on MS Licensing. SearchWin2000: Can SA be purchased for operating system licences, or does it apply to applications only like Office?
Software Assurance is available for operating system licenses as well as the Office family, other productivity applications, MSDN, server products and core CAL. SearchWin2000: If I have 100 clients, one server running Exchange, do I need one CAL for Exchange and one CAL for accessing the server?
Exchange is licensed per device. You need one license for the server and one license for each client device. SearchWin2000: Just to clarify, after July 31 if there is no UA or SA , are customers forced to buy new licenses?
After July 31st, you can purchase a license or a license with Software Assurance. The upgrade offering known as Upgrade Advantage goes away, and so does the ability to purchase Software Assurance upgrade coverage separately. SearchWin2000: Why is there no up front discount in Select 6 like we have in Select 5?
The upfront discount in Select 5 was a promotional offering for a limited time. SearchWin2000: Why was the decision made to move away from the VUP, CUP etc?
We heard from customers that having five different ways of upgrading was hard to understand and more importantly, difficult to manage and stay in compliance. We designed Software Assurance to provide simplicity in the entire software asset managment process. SearchWin2000: How many years is the SA valid?
Software Assurance is valid for two years under Open License and for three years under Select License. SearchWin2000: Do you have a recommended business analysis outline that can be shared with clients to help with the decision making process?
We have helpful materials on our website: www.microsoft.com/licensing and your reseller or account manager can help you with this calculation. SearchWin2000: How does this effect me on an EA already and does this change my EA?
You don't need to buy SA if you have an EA, because EAs already include rights to any versions that come out during the term of the agreement. If you already have an Enterprise Agreement, when it expires, you are eligible for special EA renewal pricing. SearchWin2000: Why can't you upgrade OEM OS copies anymore?
You can upgrade OEM OS products through volume licensing now and after July 31, 2002. SearchWin2000: Can we purchase OEM licenses with just a hard disk?
OEM software must be preinstalled by the manufacturer. SearchWin2000: We would like to be able to purchase software assurance separately like we can in Select 5. Can SA be sold separately in Select 6?
Actually, SA wasn't available under Select 5: as part of the transition period in 6.0, you can purchase it separately for existing, current licenses. After July 31, 2002, SA will only be available with the purchase of new volume licenses. SearchWin2000: When you mention 25% and 29%, is that on the list price of the products or the end-user price?
The Software Assurance percentage is based on the Estimated Retail Price (ERP) that maps to your volume licensing level. SearchWin2000: Can SA be purchased for operating system licences, or does it apply to applications only like Office?
Software Assurance is available for operating system licenses as well as the Office family, other productivity applications, MSDN, server products and core CAL.
Rebecca LaBrunerie has ten years of experience in software industry licensing. She currently coordinates communications for licensing and pricing at Microsoft, a role she has held for the past nine months She previously worked on initiatives to simplify and bring consistency to product usage rights under the company's many business models. Prior to joining Microsoft in 1999, Rebecca worked in corporate licensing sales, contracts negotiations, channel sales management, and legal and business affairs. Read more of LaBrunerie's answers to user questions.