Complaint causes Software Assurance brochures to dry up

Microsoft has stopped providing pamphlets on its new software licensing scheme Software Assurance in the wake of a complaint laid against it in New Zealand with the country's Commerce Commission.

A Microsoft developer, who didn't want to be named, says his company requested licensing and compliance brochures to give to clients to explain Software Assurance and licensing in general. He says the brochures, which the company has used in the past, provide "handy" guides for customers but after some delays Microsoft informed him that access to written material was being restricted due to the current legal situation.

Microsoft confirms that brochures are no longer available but says information about Software Assurance is on the corporate Web site. In an official statement, the company says, "Microsoft is continuing to work with customers to ensure that they understand all their options as we approach 31 July. Microsoft has a comprehensive Web site which customers are encouraged to visit -- This site has an excellent range of information on License and Software Assurance, covering all aspects of the changes occurring on 31 July 2002."

The Microsoft developer says while the material on the site is presented differently -- "no nice summaries or charts" -- it is still accessible.

"I would assume that it is unable or unwilling to change the international Web site due to the difficulty involved."

Meanwhile the Commerce Commission is still compiling information to decide whether or not it will investigate Microsoft. The commission has spoken to both Microsoft and Clendon Feeney, the Auckland law firm that lodged the complaint accusing Microsoft of anti-competitive behavior.

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