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Gartner: Beat Microsoft's Licensing Deadline

Analysts at Gartner this week urged enterprise customers to carefully review their Microsoft Corp. software license agreements -- enterprises may be able to save a lot of money by renewing contracts before Microsoft's new licensing structure goes into effect Oct. 1.

Sept. 30 is the last day that Microsoft will offer Version Upgrades, Product Upgrades, Competitive Upgrades and Language Upgrades.

It is also the last day that its version 5.0 licensing is in effect. Version 6.0 takes effect Oct.1.

Partly in response to customer pressure, Microsoft extended the option of purchasing its Upgrade Advantage maintenance offering until Feb. 28, 2002.

However, complexities in the way Microsoft sells the UA agreements mean enterprises may not be able to use them for very long, Gartner says.

"Enterprises requiring UA should terminate their Open Authorization or Select Agreements and enter into new v.5 agreements before 30 September 2001 to position themselves to buy UA with the longest future upgrade coverage period," Gartner recommends.

Gartner's bulletin can be found here.

Microsoft's licensing homepage can be found here.

About the Author

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

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