Microsoft Launches ASP Program in NZ

AUCKLAND (07/28/2000) - Microsoft Corp. in New Zealand is launching an application service provider (ASP) program in September to allow ASPs to pay monthly for software use rather than buying licenses outright.

The announcement follows a year of quiet experiments by the U.S.-based parent with its software pricing models.

The new program will only be available to Microsoft certified solutions providers (MCSPs).

"Our rationale is that the MCSPs have great skill levels in the Microsoft platform, have access to support and have an existing relationship with us," says Microsoft's Auckland-based consumer and commerce group manager, Paul Muckleston.

Signing up for the ASP licensing program will require partners to complete a monthly report detailing the usage of the various Microsoft applications and infrastructure components, says Muckleston.

The vendor will train its certified partners by introducing technical training and providing information on the skills required to build and operate an ASP on the Microsoft Windows DNA Platform.

The ASP program will also support existing end user select licensing.

According to Muckleston, if a company has an existing select agreement, it can have the ASP manage the license on its behalf.

However, it will need to be licensed for the latest software version and have a license for each device accessing the application.

Muckleston expects it to take several years for a general shift of revenue towards ASPs, but says Microsoft wants to prepare its partners in advance.

"We want to make the transition as easy as possible and recognize that there will be a variety of application deployment models running in parallel for many years to come," he says.

"The net result is customers will be able to choose a mix of locally installed and managed applications based on Microsoft technologies versus those delivered over the Internet from a Microsoft ASP."

ASPs will be able to license SQL Server 2000, Windows 2000 Server, Exchange 2000 and Office 2000 on a monthly basis.

The fees will be determined either by the number of named users or the number of processors on the system running the software.

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