Speaking at the CIO Forum, Cathy Hotka, vice-president of IT at the US National Retail Federation, said she believes many CIOs will ignore Microsoft's demands. "A lot of people won't reply to Microsoft," she said. "They will seethe but they will think there is no option."
However, she added that this reaction might change over time. "In the long term CIOs will look more closely at where they go with Microsoft."
CIOs at the forum expressed their anger privately, but were wary of addressing the topic, which they felt to be beyond their control.
Despite these concerns, the CIOs that talked to Computer Weekly at the conference were not aware of any co-ordinated activity to take up the issue.
The vice-president of information systems for a major US manufacturing company said he is concerned "but not over concerned".
One CIO who had recently joined a new company said he had been given an extension by Microsoft to evaluate the options.
Another CIO said that he would not be able to find any extra money from his already restricted budget, and said he planned to ignore the issue.
Peter Samson, vice-president and general manager of technology sales development at Unisys, pointed out that subscription licensing already applies to the Unisys Datacenter Program, the high-end Windows 2000-based suite co-developed by Unisys and Microsoft.