Microsoft extends licensing transition until July 2002

In the face of customer concerns, Microsoft will extend the transition period for its new software licensing programs by four months to July 31, 2002, the company said in a statement Monday.

The extension will apply to end users considering their volume licensing options under the Open, Select and Enterprise licensing schemes and the Software Assurance upgrade plan, Microsoft said.

Customers had said that the original five-month transition period was not long enough to plan appropriate software strategies, and given the difficult economic climate, Microsoft has accepted those concerns, Microsoft said in its statement.

The changes announced Monday include:

-- Microsoft is extending the Licensing 6.0 launch transition period to July 31, 2002, including an extended transition for Software Assurance.

-- Upgrade Advantage is available to customers under the Open and Select agreements during the full launch period.

-- during the launch period, Office 2000 customers as well as Office XP customers can enroll directly in Software Assurance as these will both be considered as current versions-- customers who have already made licensing decisions will be able to benefit from the changes in the scheme.

In May, Microsoft announced a major overhaul to its licensing schemes to go into effect on Oct. 1. Part of the scheme prevents customers from buying a single-version upgrade to Windows. Instead, they need to either buy full versions each time they want to upgrade, or sign on to the Software Assurance plan, which gives customers the right to run the most current versions of Windows for the length of a license agreement, typically three years.

Last week, Microsoft made some changes to this plan, which had received negative feedback from customers polled in a survey.

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