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Microsoft climbs down over IUR changes

Vendor performs a U-turn in the face of mounting partner opposition over plans to cut back software licenses for internal use

In the face of mounting opposition from channel partners Microsoft has performed a U-turn on the proposed changes to its internal use rights policy.

The vendor had proposed that from 1 July next year licenses would not cover everyday use but could still be used by partners for demonstration purposes, solution and services development and internal training purposes.

The cost of providing the benefit was blamed for the decision but it sparked a petition that gained more than 6,000 signatures and threatened to completely overshadow the Inspire partner event that starts on Monday.

With the channel voicing its anger the vendor has now come to the decision to can the proposed changes claiming that it has listened and acted.

In a blog post from Gavriella Schuster, corporate vice president, One Commercial Partner at Microsoft, she made it clear that the relationships with partners needed to be protected.

“Your partnership and trust matters to us. Given your feedback, we have made the decision to roll back all planned changes related to internal use rights and competency timelines that were announced earlier this month. This means you will experience no material changes this coming fiscal year, and you will not be subject to reduced IUR licenses or increased costs related to those licenses next July as previously announced,” she wrote.

“Our decision to rescind these changes required a thorough review, and a key determining factor was the connection and trust we have with you, our partners — a valuable asset we do not take for granted. Together, we can continue to be a catalyst for digital transformation industry wide,” she added.

Lessons seem to have been learnt and the chances of this episode being repeated appear to have been reduced because of the way partners were so public about their reaction.

“Each year we review how we engage with partners and evolve our approach to ensure we provide best-in-class support to you and stay ahead of market changes. As we move forward, we commit to providing even more advance notice and consultation with our partner community to mitigate concerns and address issues up front. We will continue to invest in our partner program to ensure we create opportunities for all our partners,” said Schuster.

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