Cliff Saran and Antony Savvas
Eurim, the parliamentary IT lobbying organisation, will discuss changes to Microsoft's client access licensing next week.
Last month Computer Weekly reported that Microsoft planned an eight-fold increase in Windows 2000 operating system licence charges for users who wanted to use Novell's Novell Directory Services, instead of Active Directory, its own proprietory directories' tool.
Geoff Petherick, chairman of the UK policy for fair deals in software and services contract at Eurim, said he was concerned by the cost implications for Novell users. He said Microsoft was to some extent forcing Novell customers who had opted to use Windows 2000 alongside NDS to renegotiate their contracts.
Nick McGrath, Microsoft's Windows 2000 product manager, played down these concerns.
He said that in certain situations Novell users would have to buy Windows 2000 CALs where they previously paid no licence fees. But he insisted, "The Windows 2000 CAL provides access to many services like file, print, virtual private networking and authentication."
He added that anyone who wished to remain on Novell could purchase Windows 2000 CALs at a discounted upgrade price.
But Bruce Lowry, a Novell product manager, told Computer Weekly, "If companies now have to pay to run established applications from us on an NT-based server, when they didn't have to before, this must be considered by the European Commission."
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