About Us

An independent source of objective facts about Microsoft enterprise technologies, product roadmaps, and licensing policies since 1992.

Directions on Microsoft (Directions) is an independent IT planning information and advisory service focused exclusively on Microsoft since 1992.

Directions supports the office of the CIO with deep intelligence and informed advice about Microsoft enterprise technologies, roadmaps, and licensing policies. We track down the hard-to-find facts and answer the fundamental questions so you can focus your attention on more strategic activities such as building business cases, architecting new solutions, budgeting for licenses, and planning migrations.

As a Directions member, you know more about Microsoft enterprise technologies, where they're headed, and the best way to purchase them than the typical Microsoft representative or reseller. You have the clarity and confidence about your decisions that comes from access to information prepared by impartial experts that's complete, clear, and accurate.

Directions enables you to efficiently answer questions such as:

  • What products does Microsoft offer for a particular task?
  • Which products will likely get further Microsoft investment?
  • What are the main improvements planned for the next version of a product?
  • When will Microsoft support end for a product version?
  • What licenses do I need to buy and what's the best way to purchase them?

Explore our site, view our demos, review our analyst bios and member feedback. Or download the pdf of our service overview to read later. You'll get a sense of what thousands of IT decision makers worldwide have known since 1992: Directions is a must-have tool for any organization that wants to be proactive about its Microsoft strategy and aggressive about controlling its Microsoft spend.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Information & Services Does Directions Provide?

Directions provides information in print/web, real-time instruction, and in-person advisory services. Our services include:

Roadmaps. All-in-one-place references that summarize essential facts about Microsoft enterprise products and cloud services, including code names, release dates, new features, key use scenarios, and support deadlines. Roadmaps help answer:

  • What products does Microsoft offer for a particular task?
  • Which products will likely get further Microsoft investment?
  • What are the main improvements planned for the next version of a product?
  • When will Microsoft support end for a product version?

View demos of the Directions Roadmaps.

New Technology Evaluation Reports. In-depth research reports drill down into key Microsoft technologies and initiatives so you understand the technical significance and strategic underpinnings that can affect your business. These reports help you quickly answer fundamental questions such as:

  • What is this technology and why should I care?
  • How is it different than what I’m already using?
  • What do I need to know that Microsoft isn’t telling me?
  • What does it cost and how is it licensed?

View a demo of Directions Reports.

Webinars. Monthly interactive webinars consist of a 20-minute presentation by a subject matter expert followed by a question-and-answer period. Our Webinar service will quickly give you clarity about new Microsoft technologies and activities that could impact your business.

Directions webinars help you:

  • Bring you and your team up to speed on new and emerging Microsoft technologies.
  • Understand recent shifts in Microsoft enterprise software roadmaps.
  • Learn how to effectively license Microsoft infrastructure technologies.

View a demo of Directions Webinars.

Licensing Reference Set. A wiki of current Microsoft licensing rules equips you with the critical knowledge you need to determine which Microsoft licenses your organization needs to buy and the best way to purchase them. Use it to quickly zero in on answers to your Microsoft licensing questions with minimal effort, such as:

  • Which licenses do I really need to buy?
  • What is the best way to purchase the licenses I need?
  • When should I buy Software Assurance?
  • What would be useful to know before I sign a volume license agreement?

View a demo of the Directions Licensing Reference Set.

Licensing Boot Camps. Directions Licensing Boot Camps are intensive, multi-day workshops that demystify Microsoft licensing programs and rules. Our team of independent licensing experts train IT planners and purchasing professionals how to intelligently evaluate your Microsoft licensing options and maximize the return on your organizations' Microsoft software investments. Participants learn:

  • Key Microsoft licensing concepts, terminology, and models.
  • How to evaluate Enterprise Agreements.
  • Server and CAL models for the major products, such as Windows Server and SQL Server.
  • How to design solutions in a way that minimizes licensing costs.

Register to attend a Licensing Boot Camp.

Contract Negotiation Support. Directions has negotiated 1000+ agreements on behalf of organizations of all sizes and in most industries and geographies around the world. Our team includes former Microsoft licensing business desk executives who have worked at the highest levels of the Microsoft EA negotiation machine. They bring a proven, step-by-step process and institutional understanding of how Microsoft thinks and negotiates to your side of the table. Use them to:

  • Maximize the discounts and concessions on your next EA renewal.
  • Minimize the financial impact of a Microsoft audit.
  • Renegotiate your agreement after a major acquisition, merger, or divestiture.

Learn more about EA Negotiation Support.

Other Advisory Services. Informed advice from our team of Microsoft experts help you elevate your Microsoft strategy and optimize your Microsoft technology investments. Directions Advisory Services include:

What Differentiates Directions from Other Sources of Information?

Understanding Microsoft isn't easy. Microsoft inundates you with marketing hype, the industry press buries you sound bites, and bloggers flood you with opinions. None are entirely reliable and none give you the complete picture.

Directions on Microsoft is unique. We make it relatively painless to keep up with shifts in Microsoft technologies, roadmaps, and licensing policies. We do the painstaking research to separate the substance from the hype, so you get information that's accurate, impartial, and complete. You benefit from:

Timely insight. Directionsdelivers more information about Microsoft, sooner, than any IT analyst firm or media sources. How? Our analyst team is in regular contact with Microsoft managers. Many of our experts are former Microsoft engineers or licensing executives with close personal contacts throughout the organization. We alert our customers to shifts in Microsoft strategy and policy while there's still time to do something about it.

Exclusive focus.
Keeping tabs on Microsoft is a full-time job. Microsoft technologies, roadmaps, and licensing policies never stop changing and the pace of this change keeps accelerating. Directions is the only independent organization in the world devoted exclusively to tracking Microsoft. We've been doing it for nearly three decades. No one understands Microsoft better than we do.

Unmatched expertise. Each of our analysts has an average of 20+ years of industry experience and brings a specialization in a different area of the Microsoft enterprise technology stack. Our analysts attend dozens of conferences, talk with Microsoft customers and partners, tear apart hundreds of user manuals and SDKs, and meet with Microsoft technologists and managers on a regular basis. It's a painstaking process that allows us to help you spot the new Microsoft technologies and shifts in strategy that merit your attention—and avoid those that don't.

Independent and impartial. We are an independent company. Our customer base includes Microsoft largest customers. Microsoft is not an investor in our company. Microsoft does not underwrite any of our research. Microsoft does not purchase any advertising in our publications (we carry no advertising). Microsoft does not exert any editorial control.

When Do I Need Directions?

Directions on Microsoft is designed for people responsible for their organization’s Microsoft technology investments. You need Directions if:

You plan, build, or manage systems that use Microsoft products and services. Directions delivers hard-to-find details you need to extract maximum value from your Microsoft purchases.

You evaluate new technology and/or advise clients about technology directions. Directions helps you spot new Microsoft technologies that merit your attention—and avoid those that don’t.

You manage your organization's Microsoft licensing agreements. Directions helps you to understand the best way to purchase the licenses you need and how to stay compliant without overbuying.

What is Directions' Privacy Policy?

We will not make your information available to anyone else at any time. For a complete description of Directions' privacy policy, please click here.

What are Directions' Member Use Rights?

For Directions' member use rights, please click here.