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Microsoft Kills Off Enterprise Advantage Contract Option

Microsoft has dropped its plans to implement a proposed "Enterprise Advantage" contract option that would have given organizations potentially better bulk software purchasing discounts.

The Enterprise Advantage option, outlined by Microsoft in July, was designed for organizations using the Microsoft Products and Services Agreement (MPSA). The MPSA itself is a more flexible plan than Microsoft's traditional Enterprise Agreement. However, both agreements currently lack the ability for an organization to combine their perpetual licensing with their services licensing to gain better software pricing discounts. Enterprise Advantage, planned for launch in 2017, was supposed to have remedied that circumstance.

This week, Microsoft confirmed that it is not going ahead with the Enterprise Advantage option for the MPSA. A spokesperson at Microsoft offered the following oblique explanation to that effect:

"Our goal is to provide modern licensing choices that enable customers to digitally transform their organizations. After careful evaluation, we decided Enterprise Advantage on MPSA would create more change for our customers and partners than was necessary. By investing further to enhance all the ways customers want to buy, Microsoft assisted, self-service, and through value-added partner services, we can streamline how we get to modern licensing with fewer steps for our customers."

In essence, Enterprise Advantage for MPSA is dead, even before it was available. Microsoft's statement above, though, does seem to imply that some other agreement streamlining may be under consideration. If so, it's not making the details public.

Microsoft initially seemed to be proceeding apace with Enterprise Advantage, but it later quietly began pulling references to it from its licensing pages. The omission was noticed by independent analyst firm Directions on Microsoft in a Dec. 5 Twitter post. This week, long-time Microsoft reporter Mary Jo Foley received confirmation from Microsoft on the program's demise.

The Enterprise Advantage option, before its demise, was a three-year agreement plan that had been specifically designed for organizations with 250 to 2,399 users or devices.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

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