Microsoft discounts in doubt after ruling

Businesses will need to scrap existing Microsoft site licences and take a different approach to renegotiations if the US Department of Justice divides the software giant into two or more companies

Users face losing negotiated discounts on Microsoft software if the US Department of Justice divides the software giant into two or more companies.

Businesses will need to scrap existing Microsoft site licences and take a different approach to renegotiations if the company is split, according to IDC research director Dan Kusnetzky.

"Some users have signed Microsoft Select agreements," Kusnetzky said.

"If Microsoft is split they may have to work with two or even three separate companies," he added.

Today users can mix and match back office, front office and operating system software based on a Microsoft Select agreement, which offer businesses massive discounts compared to off-the-shelf pricing.

Michael Chapman-Pincher, head of operations at The User Group, said that with users dealing with more than one account manager to purchase their Microsoft software, there may be a price hike in licence fees.

"While many users pay the published rate for their software, in competitive bids, Microsoft has been known to make dramatic reductions in overall licence fees," Chapman-Pincher said.

The DoJ this week rejected Microsoft's request for a one-year restructuring period.

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