Microsoft launches new licensing program

Microsoft is set to launch a new licensing program aimed at large enterprises tomorrow.

The Select Plus program is designed to allow larger organisations to procure software at business unit level without losing the discount terms they are entitled to when buying in volume as a single organisation.

Built on Microsoft's existing Select volume licensing program, a single enterprise-wide Select Plus contract offers the same pricing level for all business units. It also offers the ability to add Microsoft Software Assurance support and upgrade package, but for a minimum 36-month term.

The terms of the existing Select scheme do not account for a customer's over or underestimates in the amount of software purchased each year, meaning enterprises may be given a larger or smaller discount upfront than they were entitled to under the final total amount of software purchased.

Unlike Select, the new scheme does not require enterprises to estimate in advance how many licences they are likely to purchase each year.

The other main difference is that the program does not require customers to renew their program entitlement every three years, like Select. Once qualified for Select Plus, customers need only register affiliate units to the programme once to enter into a perpetual agreement.

Clive Longbottom, service director at analyst firm Quocirca, said: "I think you'll see Microsoft making a concerted effort to move enterprises over to this new program. From the customer's perspective it's a hell of a lot easier to go for a perpetual licence and purchase software by business unit, but have Microsoft sort it out at an enterprise level."

But he was quick to point to out that, with Microsoft's avowed intention to move towards a more service-plus-software model more along the lines of other software-as-a-service delivery models, "its licensing will have to change yet again".

Miya Knights

A 25-year veteran enterprise technology expert, Miya Knights applies her deep understanding of technology gained through her journalism career to both her role as a consultant and as director at Retail Technology Magazine, which she helped shape over the past 17 years. Miya was educated at Oxford University, earning a master’s degree in English.

Her role as a journalist has seen her write for many of the leading technology publishers in the UK such as ITPro, TechWeekEurope, CIO UK, Computer Weekly, and also a number of national newspapers including The Times, Independent, and Financial Times.