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Failing the Licensing Test?

OK, so my first item is pretty positive about Microsoft. Lest you think I'm a mindless Redmond apologist, allow me to talk about licensing for a bit.

I think Microsoft's licensing plans are purposely complex. Like legal documents that only a lawyer can understand, you need a Microsoft rep to explain how its licensing works, and I doubt that more than a handful of those really understand it all. That complexity gives Microsoft control -- it can lead you to the deal it wants you to make.

Now there's apparently even more confusion, this time relating to Microsoft's licensing Web sites that were redesigned last year. Customers are having problems logging in, and once in, often have trouble finding their accounts or accessing features that used to be a cinch. Microsoft says only a portion of customers have these problems and the issues are being addressed.

If there's one group you don't want to irritate, it's volume customers. What do you think of Microsoft licensing? Do you have any special negotiating techniques you'd like to share? Send answers to both to dbarney@redmondmag.com.

Posted by Doug Barney on January 13, 2010 at 11:53 AM