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  • Changes to the volume licensing Software Assurance program

    Home Forums AskWoody blog Changes to the volume licensing Software Assurance program

    This topic contains 19 replies, has 12 voices, and was last updated by  rc primak 3 weeks, 1 day ago.

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    • #1952943 Reply

      woody
      Da Boss

      Looks like there are some significant changes: What’s changing with the Problem Resolution Support benefit? We’re adjusting support eligibility criter
      [See the full post at: Changes to the volume licensing Software Assurance program]

      3 users thanked author for this post.
    • #1952958 Reply

      Susan Bradley
      AskWoody MVP

      I do.  I’m not happy.  They certainly aren’t cutting the price tag and the demand that I have to spend $250,000 before I can get support cases is a slap in the face for us smaller customers that DO purchase software assurance.

      Susan Bradley Patch Lady

      9 users thanked author for this post.
    • #1953113 Reply

      OscarCP
      AskWoody Plus

      If this is how MS treats is best paying customers, what hope is there for the rest of us, the huddled masses?

      Really disturbing news for what it might tell us about MS’ corporate attitude and possibly its actual if not (yet?) publicly disclosed policies of providing expected service to its customers. I hope this is not as bad as it looks right now.

      Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group B & macOS + Linux (Mint) => Win7 Group W(?) + Mac&Lx

      • This reply was modified 4 weeks ago by  OscarCP.
      • #1953177 Reply

        Susan Bradley
        AskWoody MVP

        “Best paying customers” that are large enough for us to care about.

        Susan Bradley Patch Lady

        2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #1953179 Reply

      CADesertRat
      AskWoody Plus

      Kinda sounds like Nadela has decided to abandon small business by jacking up the prices.

      Don't take yourself so seriously, no one else does 🙂
      4 Win 10 Pro currently 1809 (3 Desktops, 1 Laptop).

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #1953207 Reply

      Pepsiboy
      AskWoody Lounger

      Just MS pulling the support rug from under MORE of us. My guess is that it will only end when there is nobody left that needs support.  Thanks for NOTHING, MS ! ! ! !

      • #1953307 Reply

        OscarCP
        AskWoody Plus

        Pepsiboy: “My guess is that it will only end when there is nobody left that needs support.

        If this is a true indication of a new  kind of “service policy” at MS, something like that might well happen and, maybe, not very long from now, with no enough customers left to support and still make it profitable to do so. Of course, it is most likely that such sudden 180 degree changes in policy are perfectly legal and, legalese aside, properly spelled out in the relevant contracts. But ‘legal is not always the same as ‘good’, although some interested parties and their lawyers may often prefer to obfuscate the difference.

        Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group B & macOS + Linux (Mint) => Win7 Group W(?) + Mac&Lx

    • #1953384 Reply

      GoneToPlaid
      AskWoody Plus

      Kinda sounds like Nadella is going “all in” for only big business and the Cloud. And when the sky does come tumbling down, where will that leave Microsoft? I consider going “all in” to be a delusional mistake.

      • #1953528 Reply

        OscarCP
        AskWoody Plus

        GoneToPlaid: “I consider going “all in” to be a delusional mistake.

        As is going “all in” to the “Cloud” Given the, by now, clearly very likely terrible failures in securing important information from cyber criminals ever more sophisticated in their methods, with the military of some nations also getting in the act because of it’s potential to do serious damage to each other without necessarily starting an actual shooting war. Not to mention the enormous amounts of electrical energy needed to power the server farms that, in turn, are used to run the “Cloud”. So much so that MS itself is experimenting with building and operating a prototype submarine server farms, where the heat from the machines can be vented directly into the sea. The idea includes using renewables, such as wind power  (from off shore wind turbine farms) and perhaps tidal electricity generators that take energy from the tides and convert them to energy. Tidal generators have been around for a while, but so far no attempts to scale them up to large installations have been completely successful.

        https://www.datacenterknowledge.com/microsoft/microsoft-has-sunk-another-data-center-here-s-what-you-need-know

        Investors are delighted, Nadella has put MS at the very top in terms of market valuation. But financial savvy is about just a small sliver of reality, and I fear those running now MS are not very much in speaking terms with the rest of it. Nor are the investors and those that write articles praising MS and Nadella’s success.

        Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group B & macOS + Linux (Mint) => Win7 Group W(?) + Mac&Lx

    • #1954006 Reply

      anonymous

      And yet folks will continue to support MS and maybe that’s the problem. Maybe the small customers will have to go with some Linux Enterprise OS distro and see if there is more support for the smaller businesses that can not meet MS’s minimum.

      So it’s $250,000 or the highway and maybe the small business owners will have to band together  to go coop style but will MS allow for that. I would have seriously recommended that these small businesses have already seen the writing on the wall and would have maybe decided on some Linux Enterprise OS support provider but maybe for the smaller  Businesses the learning curve is going to be too steep.

      I can’t help but to think that this may be an opportunity for some Linux Enterprise OS Distro Maintainer and their paid support services business model to come in and take that what MS is no longer interested in. They can’t charge for the OS as that’s Open Source but they can charge for the support services. It all depends on how wedded the business is to MS’s software ecosystem in addition to MS’s OS.

      The nice thing about Linux is that anyone can build their own Cloud or make use of some third party provider and host their business that way. But it really looks like MS is getting out of the small business Enterprise OS support market and MS’s CEO only really Knows the cloud and that’s his focus. And if MS’s revenues are increasing under that CEO then the investors have no reason to really want to remain in the small businesses PC market  that’s less than $250,000 per year in size.

      This is just like IBM and it’s PC focused business exit only with MS and it’s OS products where the PC is not really that much of the focus anymore and really any small business that could not see this coming is really maybe not going to remain viable too much longer. The writing on the wall and all was as obvious as the nose on one’s face after MS introduced Windows 8 to the market in attempt to reproduce on the PC/Laptop Desktop OS a smart phone like App ecosystem and that smart phone OS/App ecosystem is  the very definition of a cloud driven business model.

      The great irony of all this is that most Large Enterprises have embraced  Linux as their go to server OS of choice in order to avoid MS’s exorbitant OS Licensing/Services fees and many small businesses are beginning to make use of some form of cloud services provider that’s Linux Based. And MS is trying trying like the dickens to force it’s small business enterprise customers onto it’s cloud based Desktop services offerings.

      Small Mom and Pops are pretty much on their own if they want to own their own server hardware and also have a support contract that’s considerably less than $250,000 annually and maybe they should be looking at some transition options  now that there is a definite timeline before that support ends.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #1954485 Reply

        rc primak
        AskWoody_MVP

        The flaw in your argument is that there are already two such Enterprise Linux Distros and support organizations. They are… drum roll… IBM and SUSE.

        And Google is talking about writing their own Linux Distro from the kernel outward. Paid Enterprise support, of course.

        IBM acquired RedHat this year, making IBM possibly the largest paid support Enterprise Linux operation in the world. SUSE must be up there as well. Ubuntu (Canonical) and Microsoft are third for paid Linux support for the Enterprise. That is, unless you count China’s new Linux distro, but that’s not exactly paid support. It’s total government control.

        Maybe I missed a major player?

        -- rc primak

        • This reply was modified 3 weeks, 6 days ago by  rc primak.
        • This reply was modified 3 weeks, 6 days ago by  rc primak.
        • This reply was modified 3 weeks, 6 days ago by  rc primak.
        2 users thanked author for this post.
        • #1954732 Reply

          anonymous

          “The flaw in your argument is that there are already two such Enterprise Linux OS Distros and support organizations. They are… drum roll… IBM and SUSE.”

          As you have stated there are Enterprise Linux providers that offer support and there is no argument about that nor was there any argument about that intended. The Question is thus more concerned with regards to getting those smaller than $250,000 yearly MS licensees the actual support now that MS is soon to be dumping them overboard with little flotation support but water-wings to ply those deep ocean swells.

          So is there someone out the there with the Linux OS/Support Services ability that would welcome the business of these smaller businesses entities that are too small for MS’s liking and with some methods developed in advance to take on what MS no longer sees as worth its time.

          Red Hat(a Big Blue subdivision) do they have any interest or do they also want just the bigger fish, or is it Ubuntu (Canonical), SUSE, or some other Linux support entity looking to make a living on the bottom pickings. There is about to be a market niche, maybe more than a niche, for some new/existing Linux OS/OS services provider that can make a go at it with what MS is no longer wishing to support. But I would welcome an article that deals with some Options and their relative costs compared to what the support costs currently supplied by MS and will be until that 2021-2022 time frame when that all that support ends.

          The costs of for some Small Businesses with both their Mission Critical software and OS being both supplied by MS maybe somewhat higher than some other Small Businesses where their Mission Critical software may be more custom/bespoke and able to be ported over more easily to a new OS/Ecosystem.

          Is this just MS wanting to force those clients onto MS’s Windows Virtual Desktop cloud based services and MS only having to worry about light weight containers and the Smaller businesses forced onto that ecosystem willing or not. It sure looks like MS wants to get out from under supporting the many and varied sorts of PC/Home server hardware based OS support business and move more towards some less costly(Less Costly to MS’s bottom line) sort of support business model that probably will not see any savings be passed on to those small business clients(Below $250,000 Yearly) with MS netting any savings for support costs by doing away with a multitude of different PC/Server configurations support requirements.

          If I where a Small Business(Under $250,000 total Support Billing yearly) that’s just purchased some server hardware but is still dependent on MS for that Enterprise OS software assurance support then I would be worried about getting any 5+ years productive use out of such hardware if I could not obtain any extended software assurance contract after the 2021-2022 time frame and hardly sufficient time to properly fully amortize that hardware expense. And It’s not an inexpensive undertaking to switch OS/services support over any remaining 2 year time frame so that’s going to be a hard thing to suffer with little options other than some appeals for some extensions that may just be ignored.

          1 user thanked author for this post.
          • #1961354 Reply

            rc primak
            AskWoody_MVP

            So is there someone out the there with the Linux OS/Support Services ability that would welcome the business of these smaller businesses entities that are too small for MS’s liking and with some methods developed in advance to take on what MS no longer sees as worth its time.

            Apparently, no. And not likely in the future. Reason: There’s no path to profits in doing this.

            Is this just MS wanting to force those clients onto MS’s Windows Virtual Desktop cloud based services and MS only having to worry about light weight containers and the Smaller businesses forced onto that ecosystem willing or not.

            Apparently, yes. That’s where the path to profits leads.

            If I where a Small Business(Under $250,000 total Support Billing yearly) that’s just purchased some server hardware but is still dependent on MS for that Enterprise OS software assurance support then I would be worried about getting any 5+ years productive use out of such hardware if I could not obtain any extended software assurance contract after the 2021-2022 time frame and hardly sufficient time to properly fully amortize that hardware expense.

            So would I. Even as a consumer I would have such concerns.

            Welcome to the new world of Virtual Operating systems and Cloud Desktops. And for consumers, no desktop. Just a Smart Speaker. In every single room. With an always-on web cam. “Always listening, always watching” should be translated into Latin and posted as the new motto for AI and Big Tech. Maybe translate it into Kryptonian.

            -- rc primak

      • #1954594 Reply

        lurks about
        AskWoody Lounger

        The main motivator for switching software or OSes is when a nebulous pain threshold is reached. Many photographers are fed up with Adobe’s shakedown tactics are ditching them for other products which have much friendly terms and conditions. They have reached a pain point with Adobe and are beginning to leave.

        As far as switching OSes, the main issue is whether you can use something else than the ‘standard’ Windows software. For many the answer is yes but not all. For support, I have not looked at the fees for RedHat, SUSE, or Ubuntu to know if they are competitive with various Windows licenses. (I suspect they are.)

    • #1954559 Reply

      wavy
      AskWoody Plus

      Well on the bright side this will leave a niche for private IT consultancies in the market.

      The article mentioned FastTrack which has not made it to Wikipedia yet. From a quick glance it seems to be some sort of self help concept. Can someone give the elevator description?

      I am wondering just how helpful Software Assurance ever was, their online help has gone from poor to cra&&y.

      🍻

      Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.
    • #1954892 Reply

      NetDef
      AskWoody_MVP

      If you spend more than a quarter million on Volume Licensing per year, this is actually a potential step up for on demand service with less restrictions on when and how often it’s used.

      If you spend less, it’s a slap in the face for moderate size businesses.

      For the SMB market (my customers) it’s a very obvious tactic to reduce the attractiveness of Volume Licenses with the intent to drive them into Microsoft 365 annual subscriptions. Granted the support for Microsoft 365 for the very small business is actually pretty good (says the person who’s only had to call them twice, both times with great results.)

      But the fact is, for anyone wanting permanent seats to their software, the writing is on the wall that in the near future, businesses will be required to pay an annual fee.

      Adobe and AutoDesk are already doing this, Microsoft is right on their heels.

      ~ Group "Weekend" ~

    • #1955580 Reply

      Fred
      AskWoody Plus

      Software care, health care, insurance, assurance. Pay or you’ll be doomed.

      It all looks like a ransom, a bit.

      Or is this too political?

      PGP-ID=0x(askforit)

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #1956011 Reply

        anonymous

        Just a good old fashion land grab from the Railroad Tycoons of the PC and the Cyberspace Era and really it has been, these last 40 years, the new gilded age of Technology Trusts.

        They broke up Big Oil and Ma Bell but they gave up on that constant vigilance necessary to keeping that from happening all over again. And thus we get to relive that once again and who knows when folks will have had enough of that to get up off of their lazy boys and put an end to that once again. Will that require voting with one’s wallet and to a lesser degree some proper enforcement of laws already on the books. Fair competition has been skewed for more than 4 decades now and that’s the problem once again.

    Please follow the -Lounge Rules- no personal attacks, no swearing, and politics/religion are relegated to the Rants forum.

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