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Goody Bag for Licensing 6.0 Gets Bigger

The one constant in Microsoft's Licensing 6.0 and Software Assurance programs has been change. Generally, that change has come in the form of added goodies for the program as the company realized it was alienating customers with too many restrictions for too little value and arming critics with a hot button issue.

The ongoing effort to spruce up Licensing 6.0 got another boost this week as the company launched four new promotions around the licensing program.

Microsoft extended its Step-Up promotion, which had previously only covered server software, to Microsoft Office 2003 and Microsoft Project 2003. Step-Up allows customers to upgrade from the standard edition to a higher level edition of software for the difference in price between them.

In another change, Microsoft added flexibility in Software Assurance licensing of Microsoft Office by allowing customers to acquire SA on top of machines they've acquired from OEMs with Office pre-loaded.

Two of the changes go into effect next month. In January, Microsoft plans to roll out Solution Accelerators for Office, sets of templates and tools for specific functions such as finance, human resources and sales. Now the accelerators will be available to customers who have Software Assurance on the required Microsoft Office software.

Also next month, Microsoft will begin giving Software Assurance customers discounts for Microsoft Press titles. The program comes on top of free training that Microsoft added for Software Assurance customers in September.

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.