Microsoft's Vista Enterprise licensing changes mean some businesses will adopt something else. Could it be Linux? The answer is surprising. Microsoft made radical changes to Windows licensing with Vista. Businesses could buy earlier versions on new PCs or through volume licensing. The majority of businesses choose to buy through OEMs, which accounts for more than 80 percent of Windows client revenue.
With Vista, the Enterprise version can only be purchased through volume licensing and Software Assurance, which adds the price plus X to the software's cost. The potential cost increase is significant. On top of the license cost, "You'll pay at least $90 for SA on Vista for three years, plus you have to upgrade Vista Business on new machines to Enterprise edition, which takes extra time and money," said Paul DeGroot, lead desktop strategies analyst for Directions on Microsoft.