WE BRIEFLY mentioned in another article from the seaside of Catalonia that there's a number of medium sized PC firms here who are not very happy at all about the way Microsoft is handling Office 2003. Basically, their beef goes a lot like this. When an initial two year term for an Office 2003 licence expires, system builders know that the software still isn't theirs, and you have to stop using it.
Microsoft refuses to set terms and conditions for longer than two years, but upgrades during this two year period are supposed to be free. If you're not keen to take these terms and conditions, you have to pay full retail price for the software. And for users of 50 or more but less, say than 500, you have to go for this option.
It's really an extension of the subscription model we wrote about here at the INQ just after we opened for business in March 2001. The lure is that people are being sold the deal on free upgrades while the initial two year period is being covered, but upgrades for, say Longhorn, won't be covered because it will be delayed. Anyone who has signed up for this scheme, like some system builders here, are gasping at the sheer chutzpah of the scheme. But they might have to explain what's going on to people above the level of chief information officer in the organization.
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News source: The Inq