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Microsoft Software Assurance renewals in doubt

Users are still seeing little value in Microsoft's Software Assurance (SA) subscription licence programme, a new report from Forrester Research has suggested.

People who bought into Microsoft's controversial three-year software assurance scheme in July 2001 will now be ready for their third renewal. The programme costs users 25% of a full server software licence fee per year and includes a free upgrade to the latest version of the licensed product.

Forrester spoke to 61 users in IT procurement, 86% of whom were set to renew this month. Of those asked, 26% said they definitely would not be renewing, and 31% remanined undecided.

Forrester Research vice president Julie Giera said, "This software maintenance offering is one of the most comprehensive in the industry, and one of the most expensive. Microsoft has added other features to the program over the years, but many organisations told us they do not use most of these extra SA benefits."

Giera said that while the free upgrade was the main incentive for users to renew their SA contracts, the uncertainty over when Microsoft will release a major new product has made it difficult for IT departments to justify a three-year software assurance renewal.


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