Microsoft later this year plans to raise the bar on a popular software trial program in response to reports that some partners have been illegally selling its software. The Action Pack allows Microsoft's Registered level partners to obtain up to 10 licenses for Microsoft desktop applications and operating systems, and single server licenses with up to 10 Client Access Licenses (CALs). The Action Pack is intended for internal business testing and evaluation and also includes technical demonstration and marketing materials. However, some Microsoft partners have been breaking the rules by selling the Action Pack software to customers, according to solution providers.
When partners sell Action Pack software in violation of their licensing agreement, it can harm other partners' businesses, says Alex Pearson, president of IS Systems, a San Antonio, Texas-based solution provider. "When I go in to see a client that has been sold an Action Pack, they're not interested in purchasing the legal licenses due to the fact that the price is so much more than the Action Pack," said Pearson.