Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. ×
Microsoft

MS Tweaks Ill-Received Licensing Plan 263

ahooton writes "C|Net is reporting that Microsoft has updated it's Software Assurance licensing program. The company has admitted that it's initial approach angered a large number of customers. No huge difference in pricing or terms -- changes are comprised of bundling some training and support. The one interesting concession is that corporate licensees of Microsoft Office can now use that suite on a home computer as well." What a concession. (Paddo points to this similar article on Australian IT via News.com.au.)
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

MS Tweaks Ill-Received Licensing Plan

Comments Filter:
  • by tuxtomas ( 559452 ) on Tuesday May 27, 2003 @10:29PM (#6053600)
    I was thinking they were going to implode soon.

    Business models can change....
  • by flacco ( 324089 ) on Tuesday May 27, 2003 @10:29PM (#6053602)
    ...rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.
    • Is having a dual-boot system with linux known as a buoy?

      Dragon Action Figures [mibglobal.com]

      • Re:Staying Afloat (Score:3, Interesting)

        by killthiskid ( 197397 )

        From the article:

        "This is not about changing the price. This is about providing added value and enhancements to customers, and we want to do a great job communicating that," Johnson said. The company expects its sales force to be versed in the latest program changes by September.

        I love this sh*t. Here we have an open confession that 'we want to do a great job communicating that'. This is great proof that the only serious change is that microsoft is goining to add an 'added value' and then ramp up it's P

    • by xixax ( 44677 ) on Wednesday May 28, 2003 @01:54AM (#6054612)
      CTRL-C CTRL-V

      GPL: The Guido Public License

      Preamble

      The licenses for most software are designed to take away your freedom to share and change it. By contrast, the the Scarpelli family's Guido Public License gives you more freedom with the benefit of protection for you, your family and your business. The Guido Public License applies to most of the Scarpelli Family Software Foundation's software and to any other program whose authors commit to using it. (Some other Scarpelli Family Software Foundation software is covered by the Guido Library General Public License instead.) You can apply it to your programs, too.

      Accidents, fires and floods happen. The Guido Public License protects you.

      We protect our rights with two steps: (1) copyright the software, and (2) offer you this license which gives you legal permission to copy and distribute the software.

      Failure to abide by the rules of any of the Guido Public Licenses will mean a visit from Guido Scarpelli himself.

      You don't want that.
  • Nice Dress! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Blackhalo ( 572408 ) <jmattj.ix@netcom@com> on Tuesday May 27, 2003 @10:29PM (#6053604)
    You can put a dress on a pig, but it is still a pig.
  • The one interesting concession is that corporate licensees of Microsoft Office can now use that suite on a home computer as well Is that similar to the licensing (myth?) that someone once told me, where if you use a license of office so often at work, you can install it on your home computer without purchasing an additional license?
    • I remember the old licenses (XT, AT, Apple II, Commodore, etc) said that you could make copies so long as no two copies were used at once. Granted, that was before installable software.

      Is that part of copyright law, or would the backup copy be the second one? Does a backup have to be of the distributed medium or can it be a backup of the installation tree?
    • It's always about the money.

      It's like salesmen. Every time they start to make decent money, the rules are changed so they get paid less, and the company gets more.

      Same thing for MS, sort of like a python. Whenever customers shift, MS will try to change to rules so they get more. Like any customer would say, "yes, we'll glasdly pay more for less"

    • by msobkow ( 48369 ) on Wednesday May 28, 2003 @06:45AM (#6055483) Homepage Journal

      There are four common commercial licenses:

      1. System licensing requires a seperate license for each machine.
      2. User/Seat licensing requires a seperate license for each user, but not each machine.
      3. Session licensing requires a license for each process, user, or device that is using the product, including those that access the product with sharing/concentrator products (e.g. the webserver only has 10 active database connections, but 300 users, so 300 session licenses are required.)
      4. Corporate licensing is negotiated on a per-customer basis and sometimes includes the most "interesting" terms and conditions.

      Microsoft is just conceding corporations the right to per-seat/user licensing, which is already one of the most common product licensing arrangements in the industry.

      Don't underestimate the impact to Microsoft's bottom line. Under prior interpretations, Microsoft was requiring the corporations to pay for two licenses per telecommuting employee instead of one. They were also requiring extra licenses for failover systems which aren't intended to be used unless the primary fails!

      • On a "portable" computer. It was in the EULA or written on the box (I forgot which). Since the term "portable" was left ambiguous, I deemed anything I can lift as "portable". Given the size & weight of the "luggable" PC's (remember those?), I figure I can be at least as creative as Microsoft.

        I was always annoyed that Microsoft quantity discount programs were seldom any better than the quantity-1 approach of buying a retail copy of MS Works just to facilitate the "upgrade" to Office. I need to se
  • Between this, and all of the charity software donations that they're making, they're basically changing thier public perception, while maintaining their draconian licensing terms.

    I have to give them kudos, even if only for the sake of sheer diabolicalness!
  • Oops (Score:4, Funny)

    by lendude ( 620139 ) on Tuesday May 27, 2003 @10:32PM (#6053621)
    "The one interesting concession is that corporate licensees of Microsoft Office can now use that suite on a home computer as well." You mean that under the previous terms I couldn't before now???? Oops!!!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 27, 2003 @10:33PM (#6053631)
    The one interesting concession is that corporate licensees of Microsoft Office can now use that suite on a home computer as well.


    Okay, we won't call it piracy if you've be brainwashed into our cult and take a copy of our scriptures home with you. Soon you'll be quoting them to all of your old friends.
  • Assurance? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mao che minh ( 611166 ) * on Tuesday May 27, 2003 @10:33PM (#6053633) Journal

    There really isn't any beneficial changes here. People's gripes were largely with prices and restrictive measures that were associated with the new scheme, not what kind of "assurances" they were recieving ("assurances" that they thought they were already getting for free with older Microsoft products and that they usually get for free with other venodrs' software products: real support, limited training, and manufacturer accountability).

    I still don't understand why Microsoft calls their scheme "Software Assurance". This implies that by being forced into expensive licensing schemes you are entitled to an extra degree of software security and performance.

    Security and performance should be qualities that sell your product initially, something to be proud of as a manufacturer, not aspects of a product that you get only after paying annual fees.

    Large companies end up paying tons in license fees for a plethora of different software products that fit individual needs. They could instead find a few open source products and pay the salaries of a few programmers to customize them to their needs, or outright integrate them. Lotus Notes for mail, Novell for meta, People Soft for CRM, Windows clients, etc. Instead, you could take one strong open source CRM, expand upon it, integrate web based mail (or even make a quick client), and integrate their features to work flawlessly, all running in an open source browser that is running on Linux terminals (which removes the need for de-centralized administration) - instead of forcing the admins to find ways around making all of these closed products work together in hack jobs, with expensive tools like Zen Works deployed just to install and configure software on expensive Windows workstations - or worse. Oh well - I'm being a square headed open source zealot again. I'll go lay down.

    What's really ironic is that I'm using WIndows 98 right now, because I screwed my Linux kernel and don't feel like fixing it. My girl just bought me "Enter the Matrix" for the Game Cube man....been busy.....damn agents.

    • Re:Assurance? (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Meshach ( 578918 )
      a lot of the reason that firms stick with ms is the huge cost associated with moving away from ms and retraining your whole staff

      if you already have loads resources using windows and office and moving them to linux and teaching all you staff to use it takes time. i feel it is worth it in the long run though. a school district here (canada) did started that migration a few years ago and there was a huge fight at first and still is (i know teachers and many don't like it) but people are learning to use i
    • Remember... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Faust7 ( 314817 ) on Tuesday May 27, 2003 @10:46PM (#6053711) Homepage
      Security and performance should be qualities that sell your product initially, something to be proud of as a manufacturer, not aspects of a product that you get only after paying annual fees.

      Security is hardly a static entity. What's the more convincing sell, the idea that the product is already secure, period, or the idea that the product was as secure as possible when released and can be continually upgraded to maintain that level of security?
    • Re:Assurance? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Hangtime ( 19526 ) on Tuesday May 27, 2003 @11:52PM (#6054014) Homepage
      Large companies end up paying tons in license fees for a plethora of different software products that fit individual needs. They could instead find a few open source products and pay the salaries of a few programmers to customize them to their needs, or outright integrate them. Lotus Notes for mail, Novell for meta, People Soft for CRM, Windows clients, etc. Instead, you could take one strong open source CRM, expand upon it, integrate web based mail (or even make a quick client), and integrate their features to work flawlessly, all running in an open source browser that is running on Linux terminals (which removes the need for de-centralized administration) - instead of forcing the admins to find ways around making all of these closed products work together in hack jobs, with expensive tools like Zen Works deployed just to install and configure software on expensive Windows workstations - or worse. Oh well - I'm being a square headed open source zealot again. I'll go lay down.

      Your kidding right...go find a couple of open source packages and pay some developers to integrate them together. I'll take this one at a time.

      1. Besides packages like MySQL and Open Office that are dual-use meaning can be used in the home, name me five "business" open source packages out there? Better yet name me this elusive "strong open source CRM." Please tell me that product that bests Peoplesoft or Seibel, or duplicates 60% of the functionality, where can I find this elusive piece of software. It doesn't exist. I can't name you five Linux/Open Source packages that function as business applications but I can name you five off the top of my head in my niche of Builder's Mortgage Banking.

      2. Hire a bunch of Developers to Integrate It All: Problem, I'm not in the business of building applications, I am in the business of making loans to home builders. We only build things if its not already done. I looked 12 months for one software package even though we had developers in the bullpen waiting for a project because I have to then maintain that software! Chances are if your not in the mainframe world or you don't run a company like Disney or GE where turnover is minimal; your going to have turnover. That means maintenance, new releases, new features for a product that's already built and maintained by someone else! A complete waste! Its called a real option. If I build one piece of software I sacrifice building another. I would rather build software keeping us on the cutting edge of business then duplicating the functionality of another package.

      3. That hodgepodge of programs you referred to is Best-of-Breed buying its their to ensure that I get the most bang for my license buck. Yes integrationn is tough but if you go into the purchase with integration as a checklist item in criteria your less likely to be burned.

      4. Large companies end up paying tons in license fees...over a time span. All software can be depreciated over three years and based upon your tax strategy and the purchase maybe even longer. Its just like buying furniture and computers, yes its an immediate cash outlay but its affect on income can be spread over multiple years.

      • Re:Assurance? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by runenfool ( 503 ) on Wednesday May 28, 2003 @01:00AM (#6054394)
        You make some good points, but one thing about maintaining open source projects is that you can always just release the code under the GPL (which you probably should so you can be a good member of the community) and then if its a good start you will watch it grow and improve on its own. Particularily if you spend the money you would have spent on licensing you will continue to improve the product - and your people will know it inside and out. Add to that the 'free' development of other companies and before you know it you have an excellent product that exactly fits your needs, that your vendor will never drop support for, and that you will never need to wait for a vendor supplied patch (although you may have to crack the whip on your programmers :) ). You gain control and flexibility, and to many of us, thats worth the costs.

        Of course if your software sucks then you were better off buying bad software that came with support and maintenance (which of course isn't perpetual anyway) in the first place.

        Im not telling you to do this, Im just pointing out that this is really how its supposed to work in the open source world.
        • Re:Assurance? (Score:3, Insightful)

          by dirk ( 87083 )
          Whether it grows depends on the interest in the software. If he were to write and release a Builder's Mortage Banking software (fully complete version 1) under the GPL, it would not grow substantially because there would be little interest in it. Most programs who work on GPL project do so because they have a vested interest in the product, and that product would not appeal to most (if any) people. So it would sit mainly stagnant. If programmers did latch onto it, they would probably want to change the
        • You make some good points, but one thing about maintaining open source projects is that you can always just release the code under the GPL

          Excellent idea. Let me go over this again...

          I'm in a particular industry, with competitors. Let's say I spend $150k developing something over a 6-12 month period (multiple developer pay and proj mgt, etc). I then 'release it' under GPL, my competitor picks it up, spends about $6k 'learning ' the code and integrating it with their business processes (again - it's my
          • I'm in a particular industry, with competitors. Let's say I spend $150k developing something over a 6-12 month period (multiple developer pay and proj mgt, etc). I then 'release it' under GPL, my competitor picks it up, spends about $6k 'learning ' the code and integrating it with their business processes (again - it's my competitor) and they start to undercut my pricing. They've got the benefit of my software, my knowledge that's gone into my software, and have shelled out a small fraction of what I've had
      • Re:Assurance? (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward
        1. Besides packages like MySQL and Open Office that are dual-use meaning can be used in the home, name me five "business" open source packages out there? Better yet name me this elusive "strong open source CRM."

        Um. OK, so there hasn't been a drive to do this type of open source work, granted, and the original claims were too strong. But what's wrong with companys teaming up, paying some developers to get a good open source package eveyone can use, and then they can all go back to living life without wo
      • We're a moderate sized copmany: 100 Employees, 500 customers, about 17.5 mill in sales yearly. We hired 2 developers: One Java/MySql/Linux monster, one HTML/JavaScript/Photoshop dude. We locked them in a room, and one year later they emerged with an integrated web based system for everything we did beforehand on 8 different systems/databases. The migration of all the data in one swell foop took another month to plan well. We brought in a contractor for that month who specialized in data migration. Th
      • That's what consultants are for. I'm biased; I'll say that up front, because that's what I do for a living.

        A current largish client of mine is in the businesss of selling things on the web. They looked at commercial offerings combining CMS and storefront functionality (there are a lot of them), and ran screaming to my company, which is providing them a custom built package based on OS tools that will cost them less than 25% of what the commercial tools would have.

        The problem with most of the commercial pa
    • by Daniel Phillips ( 238627 ) on Wednesday May 28, 2003 @01:24AM (#6054494)
      There really isn't any beneficial changes here. People's gripes were largely with prices and restrictive measures that were associated with the new scheme, not what kind of "assurances" they were recieving ("assurances" that they thought they were already getting for free with older Microsoft products and that they usually get for free with other venodrs' software products: real support, limited training, and manufacturer accountability).

      It's a little-known fact that the "assurance" in "Software Assurance[tm]" refers to assuring that Microsoft's current high profit level continues, rather than anything a customer might want.
    • Re:Assurance? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Fesh ( 112953 )
      "Large companies end up paying tons in license fees for a plethora of different software products that fit individual needs. They could instead find a few open source products and pay the salaries of a few programmers to customize them to their needs, or outright integrate them."

      From my experience in IT, trying to change anything based on rational arguments of cost efficiency are useless. Microsoft solutions are "good enough" no matter how kludgy, no matter how balky, no matter how expensive. Management wo
      • Hate replying to myself, but I just remembered the other point I was going to make and forgot what it was (it's early in the morning, I haven't done any caffeine yet)...

        My other insight regarding the way corporate IT works is that they would much rather pay someone else to develop software than pay their own people to do it. It doesn't matter if it costs more in the end or means more effort to keep running... And it comes down, no surprise, to accounting.

        When you pay someone else to build something for yo
    • I still don't understand why Microsoft calls their scheme "Software Assurance". This implies that by being forced into expensive licensing schemes you are entitled to an extra degree of software security and performance.

      It's frighteningly Orwrllian, like from 1984. Remember how the Ministry of War was Called the Ministry of Peace, disinformation was called Ministry of Truth (I think). So software "screwing you royally" is called Software Assurance. Not much different, eh?

  • home work (Score:3, Funny)

    by jemartin ( 636867 ) on Tuesday May 27, 2003 @10:33PM (#6053635)
    The one interesting concession is that corporate licensees of Microsoft Office can now use that suite on a home computer as well.

    Well, there goes my excuse for not being able to view corporate memos and write designs and reports at home.

    • No, no... (Score:4, Funny)

      by Faust7 ( 314817 ) on Tuesday May 27, 2003 @10:43PM (#6053689) Homepage
      Well, there goes my excuse for not being able to view corporate memos and write designs and reports at home.

      Just tell them you can't afford a computer that will run it. What does the latest version of Office require now? A Cray? ;)
    • No crap (Score:4, Interesting)

      by mao che minh ( 611166 ) * on Tuesday May 27, 2003 @10:50PM (#6053728) Journal
      My boss asked me to take home some work that was all compiled in various Word, Excel, and whatever that PDF-like Microsoft format is (Visio I think). I lied and said that I only have Linux installed at home and use Star Office (which is 2/3 true). He asked me how I could afford to pay for a Unix workstation and not Windows, which he thought was "free" with each PC. When I showed him Redhat.com and explained what Linux was to him, he was truly puzzled. He had no idea that there were any other operating systems other then Windows, Unix, and Apple/Mac. This is coming from a guy that has been in a management position within a rather large tech company for 6 years.
  • by SirTwitchALot ( 576315 ) on Tuesday May 27, 2003 @10:35PM (#6053643) Homepage Journal
    Allowing Office users to use the product at home with a corporate license will just help to keep people using office. People who want to work from home are either going to pirate office or install open office (a lot more people are learning that it works well enough for most uses.) This is a good way for them to keep their domanance in the productivity category.
    • Well... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Faust7 ( 314817 ) on Tuesday May 27, 2003 @10:55PM (#6053752) Homepage
      People who want to work from home are either going to pirate office or install open office (a lot more people are learning that it works well enough for most uses.)

      Actually, I'd wager they're just going to pirate Office, period. The ongoing corporate perception is that documents produced with non-Microsoft Office suites still stand a moderate-to-slight chance of not fully working with the officially sanctioned applications. When critical company information and timetables are involved, who but the most enthuastic advocates of alternative office suites, or the most technically adept workers who know exactly what's compatible, both of whom are very much in the minority with respect to the whole corporation, would ever consider using a non-standard office suite?
      • Re:Well... (Score:3, Insightful)

        by WNight ( 23683 )
        Who, except sales and marketing, or secretarial, has a job that hangs on the presentation of a word document? At my company I'm fine as long as I can open the ms-word attachments that the PHBs send out in email. I don't care if their memo is properly formatted.

        Ditto with everyone else in tech, except the tech writers.

        If this was just me at home, well I have VMWare running to let me check web pages in IE for compatibility, so I'd just pirate MS-Office and be done with it. But it's for a business who might
  • Concession (Score:4, Funny)

    by aeinome ( 672135 ) on Tuesday May 27, 2003 @10:37PM (#6053652) Journal
    Finally, Microsoft makes a concession we knew had to happen at some point.
    Now to wait for the "Linux is much better than Windows" concession...
  • by big_groo ( 237634 ) <groovis.gmail@com> on Tuesday May 27, 2003 @10:39PM (#6053668) Homepage
    The one interesting concession is that corporate licensees of Microsoft Office can now use that suite on a home computer as well.

    So...who else has been doing this since Office 97?

  • The company is eager to create a steadier revenue stream from its software products, particularly its cash cow, Office, and its desktop operating system businesses

    Because a near-monopoly isn't enough ?
  • Linux Helping! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by attobyte ( 20206 )
    I think linux might be getting on their nerves. See a little competition does work.
    • Re:Linux Helping! (Score:2, Insightful)

      by SN74S181 ( 581549 )
      Microsoft has always only had good products (relatively speaking) when they've been in a competetive market. It took the 'threat' of Netscape for them to get their act together on the Browser scene. A lot of the quality of Windows 2000 can be attributed to them feeling the heat from competing x86 operating systems being forced to come out with something at least as good. Lord knows why things cooled off enough that the best they could do after W2K was XP, though....
    • Re:Linux Helping! (Score:4, Interesting)

      by AvantLegion ( 595806 ) on Tuesday May 27, 2003 @10:57PM (#6053758) Journal
      I think linux might be getting on their nerves. See a little competition does work.

      The funny thing is when you sit someone down in front of OpenOffice, and make them actually use it, they realize that it's just like what they're already comfortable with - and it's free.

      I got an IM from my mother today, asking about my 17-year-old little brother's laptop and if she could use it on a business trip for some spreadsheet stuff. My little bro uses OpenOffice on his Windows install. Just explaining that all she has to do is Save As in an MS format to make her work portable to and from MS Office software seemed to be sufficient for her.

      Given her constant frustrations with random crashes of MS products, I won't be surprised if she switches over after using OO.

  • by FearUncertaintyDoubt ( 578295 ) on Tuesday May 27, 2003 @10:42PM (#6053687)
    As a DBA in a pure-MS shop with dozens of servers and about 1000 desktops, I can say that we are probably typical of the corporate customer who lives by MS but also resents the cost and control they exert over our enterprise. It sometimes feels like being a colony ruled by the king. Life can be good, but taxes are high and you are pretty much under the thumb of the big guy. When he says pay up, it ain't cheap, and you don't get much say in the process; it's pay up, or else starve. I think in general, the natives are getting restless, and it will not be long before we see open revolt against microsoft and their expensive licensing model.

    Microsoft seems to be getting the picture. While it looks like they are making just a couple of strategic concessions to try to maintain their stranglehold on the market. However, I don't think that they can stem the tide so easily. Eventually, they will have to make concessions to just about everyone -- i.e., they have to reduce their price pretty much across the board, because the market, having real competition, won't sustain their artificially high prices anymore (how do you think they got their $40 billion, not to mention Gates' 40?).

  • A Microsoft spokesman says they have informed their OEM partners that it has become illegal to ship computers designed for home use without Microsoft Office. The company says it is responding to a report that says 95% of computers shipped without Microsoft Office on them end up having a pirated copy installed on them within 90 days.
  • ...their whole "Stop people from moving to OSS" strategy we have seen lately ?

    If they weren't scrared of loosing their market I doubt they would change anything.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 27, 2003 @10:49PM (#6053721)
    Don't know about the Software Assurance program, but the academic Campus Agreement 3.0 has had the "Work at Home" clauses in it for a while now. Though in traditional MS fashion they've made one minor change in the new revision 3.1... from what I understand from reading the [microsoft.com] pages [microsoft.com], we can't let employees check out a set of install discs and the Volume License key anymore.

    Now the only option is to have employees bring in their machines while we install (don't even want to think about the liability issues there) or buy official MS copies of the media, for $7-20 each in minimum quantities of 25, which supposedly come with their own keys. If we have 1500 employees who each want a copy of Office XP, at $7 a copy we now have a nice added expense of $10,500, not to mention the logistics hassles of media ordering and inter-departmental chargebacks.

    Of course, those new keys are the 1-machine-only activation-enabled version, while the older agreement let us give out the activation-free Volume License keys and just keep a few sets of CDs at the helpdesk for check-out.

    Ugh. Gotta love MS.

    (posted anon to protect my employer)
  • ... how many people here are still using Office?
    Anyone?

    I made the switch to OO.o two years ago and haven't looked back. The only thing I miss is third party plugins, which isn't a merit of the product itself.

    • Raising hand... (Score:2, Informative)

      by mrscott ( 548097 )
      I'll admit it. I use Office. Office 2003 beta, even. I'm not one to often run beta software as my primary system unless there is a compelling reason. The redesigned Outlook provides me with the reason -- I haven't found a good replacement for Outlook yet -- Evolution doesn't cut it. I've used pretty much everything out there: WordPerfect/Quattro since DOS-based versions; MS Office since it was a DOS-based product; WordStar (yes - WordStar); IBM's Writing Assistant; StarOffice 5.2 and 6; and OO.o. Yep
  • by jsse ( 254124 ) on Tuesday May 27, 2003 @10:52PM (#6053736) Homepage Journal
    Master Bill Gates, Chief Architect of Matrix^H^H^H^H^Hicrosoft, in response to customers' whining at license changes, said in his dark mask:

    I am altering the deal. Pray I don't alter it any further. [bressler.org]
  • From the article:
    LaBrunerie said Microsoft surveyed 2,500 customers in the past year in an effort to find ways to mend fences with them.

    Hmmm I wonder if they interviewed any Slashdotters...


    Microsoft:What can we to make you pay us an annual fee?

    Slashdotter: I'll never join the dark side!

    Oh wait, it says they interviewed customers, NM.

  • by Archfeld ( 6757 ) * <treboreel@live.com> on Tuesday May 27, 2003 @11:02PM (#6053794) Journal
    How many people, who work from home on a regular basis, DON'T use a laptop with docking station set-up these days, and carry the ONE device back and forth ?

    As a hardware support monkey that is the general setup where I work.
  • by djupedal ( 584558 ) on Tuesday May 27, 2003 @11:10PM (#6053840)
    Rome has announced concessions with the outlying provinces.

    The Magistry of Taxation [cato.org], realizing that the combination of tax farming and a lack of census taking led to anger and protests, will now attempt direct taxation, following 5 years of census. It is hoped that peace will once again return to the Empire, however, many Senators privately concede that Rome's reach has now exceeded it's grasp.
    • Or too subtle for some of the moderators to see the MS reference....ah well, one man's wisdom is another man's birdcage liner.
  • by AliasMoze ( 623272 ) on Tuesday May 27, 2003 @11:26PM (#6053915)
    Microsoft and the other huge software companies have a real problem on their hands - they sell nothing. They sell air. Apple has an interesting twist - they sell user experience. We can't pick these things up with our hands and feel like we have something. And really, though a spreadsheet or word processor enables us to potentially work faster and easier, there's nothing special under the hood. Mmmaybe compatability from program to program is a plus with one package, but let's face it. The program is being marketed like it does the work all by itself, when it's just a tool, a very expensive tool that has no material value.

    Everything common should be open source and free. The OS first, then programming languages, then communication tools, then office tools, etc. A strict licensing program for any of these is laughable and backward, unless it's truly innovative and unique. MS Word? Excel? Please.

    People love to blame piracy for lost sales. I call it comeuppance. It's like living in a world in which we have to buy air, being charged too much, and stealing air so as to not die. Company X didn't invent the stuff; they just exploit it. Common computer programs should be treating as air, owned by all. But, of course, one day someone will own the air too, and we'll be here arguing whether the air thieves are pirates.
  • by JudgeFurious ( 455868 ) on Tuesday May 27, 2003 @11:30PM (#6053930)
    ...of Johnny Cochran in the South Park episode where he's talking to the jury and then pulls out a monkey?

    "Look at the monkey. See the monkey? Look at the monkey."

    None of this addresses any of the things that people really had a problem with regarding their licensing scheme. None of this is going to make a bit of difference to our shop. We're getting open source alternatives lined up and mapping out our "Escape from Redmond" plan with the idea of getting it done by the end of 2003. This simply couldn't be less relevant to us.
  • I was under the impression that the licensing already allowed corporate users to have a copy on a home machine as long as the copy at work was not being used by someone. At least that is what I was told by our MIS person.
  • If you don't like the licensing, don't use the software. That applies to the Microsoft EULA, Shared Source, etc., as well as the GPL, LPGL, BSD, Apple, Sun Community License, etc., etc., etc.
  • ..corporate licensees of Microsoft Office can now use that suite on a home computer as well.

    Don't most folks do that now already???
  • License for home use (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ericvids ( 227598 ) on Wednesday May 28, 2003 @04:12AM (#6055089)
    Hmm, the single-user license for Office (excluding OEM) already allows the use of two simultaneous copies of Office on separate computers, one for his workstation and another for his personal-use computer (e.g. laptop).

    Apparently, licensing in bulk used to remove that right, and now they're putting it back in. In effect, they're simply shifting the favor back to its original, equitable state.

    At least MS is getting a clue.

  • "MS Tweaks Ill-Received Licensing Plan"

    As if Microsoft ever came out with a well-received licensing plan?

  • by 4of12 ( 97621 )

    The company has admitted that it's initial approach angered a large number of customers.

    These PR releases are fun.

    I remember one at the time that SA was initially released and MS officials admitted that "they were at fault for not explaining the advantages of SA to their customers" who seemed not to properly understand the advantages.

    Heh. Like no one understood.

There is no royal road to geometry. -- Euclid

Working...