Companies lose out as Microsoft profits from licence scheme, user group claims

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Companies lose out as Microsoft profits from licence scheme, user group claims

Mike Simons
FTSE500 IT user group TIF (The Infrastructure Forum) has spoken out over Microsoft's latest revenue boost, claiming it has profited from users switching to Licensing 6.0, its radical licensing scheme.

Fourth-quarter revenue for the software giant posted last week showed a 10% increase over the fourth quarter of 2001.

TIF chief executive David Roberts questioned whether the licensing programme would save users any money given the extent of its profit.

"Microsoft's dramatic increase in revenue despite the world economic climate is clear evidence of the success of its programme to force users to pay more overall for their licences, despite previous protestations to the contrary."

Net profits for the quarter also rose to $1.5bn (£900m), up from $65m in the same period last year. The results were released just days before the company's deadline for users to switch to the new License 6.0 bulk licensing deal and receive discounts.

According to Scott Boggs, Microsoft's corporate controller, the new bulk licensing programme helped drive sales of Windows and Office XP.

"We saw many corporate customers take advantage of our annuity licensing programmes," he said last week.

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