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Microsoft Licensing Purposely Hard

It's nice sometimes to be validated. After researching two cover stories about Microsoft licensing, I decided that Microsoft made licensing hard on purpose. The more confused customers are, the more power Redmond sales reps have.

Now the esteemed analyst firm Directions on Microsoft agrees. In a recent article, the group (made up largely of ex-Microsoft execs) clearly believes Microsoft builds in this complexity as a negotiating tactic. The idea is IT gets so frustrated; it just pays the bill rather than unravel the tangle of terms and conditions.

There's help, and my two articles are a good place to start. My research started with Microsoft's own materials, which are largely unfathomable. Then I went to customers. But I didn't really start to get it until I talked with Scott Braden, in my opinion the No. 1 expert on Redmond licensing.

Here are a few links that can hopefully help:

Do you have any tips for negotiating with Microsoft or cases where you've been burned? Send both or either to [email protected]

Posted by Doug Barney on September 11, 2009 at 11:53 AM


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