An independent IT planning information service based on analysis
of Microsoft technologies, roadmaps
and licensing policies.
Directions is an independent and trusted source of information and training on Microsoft licensing programs and rules. Our Microsoft licensing guides, webinars, and two-day Microsoft Licensing Boot Camps equip you with the critical knowledge you need to make smarter decisions about your company's Microsoft software investments.
|SA Benefits Trimmed|
|Friday, 20 August 2010|
A Software Assurance (SA) renewal grace period and an SA benefit that gave employees discounted Microsoft software have been eliminated. The changes may signal that Microsoft is taking a closer look at SA benefits that do little to promote SA but raise Microsoft's costs. The changes affect two elements of the SA program, the Employee Purchase Program (EPP) and the SA renewal grace period.
The EPP will expire Nov. 15, 2010. It lets an organization's employees purchase a broad range of business and consumer software and hardware (including Xbox games and Zune music players) from a Microsoft Web site. EPP overlaps with the Home Use Program (HUP), another SA benefit that continues to be available, which lets employees purchase a copy of Office for home use. The EPP offered employees a greater choice of software than the HUP, and the HUP offered less incremental value, since even without SA, Office Standard and Professional Plus users have the right to install a second copy of Microsoft application software on a portable computer.
The grace period for renewing SA has been eliminated in most volume purchasing programs, for agreements signed in 2010 or later. The grace period let customers renew SA up to 30 or 90 days (depending on the volume agreement) after their volume licensing agreements ended. Customers who want to continue SA benefits should plan renewal of their license agreements ahead of time: if they let the agreement expire, recovering their SA rights will require the purchase of new licenses, to which they must then add SA. The grace period has been eliminated for all Microsoft volume licensing programs except Open License, where a 90-day grace period continues.