On my trip to Redmond and in the meeting with Steve Ballmer, I wanted to ask him a question about licensing. He wouldn’t allow me, but I felt I needed to blog on why I am so upset.
First, have you ever tried to understand Microsoft licensing? No, really. Besides the knee jerk comment, "Yeah, I understand, just pay money."
When you buy an "Enterprise Agreement" (EA) with Microsoft, you get a bunch of stuff. You get the Enterprise Editions of software that you will use and pay the requisite CALs (Client Access Licenses). This EA costs a LOT of money. When my client bought the EA, they were told that they needed to get Software Assurance (SA) to ensure that they could upgrade WITHOUT cost to the next version. Fine, wallet comes out again and SA is bought.
Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 (MOSS) comes out and my client gets the bits for the next version. We go to lunch with our Microsoft reps to let them know that we will be upgrading and to ask them some questions about other things. During the conversation the MS rep pulls out a document that lists the features of MOSS vs SPS 2003 and the licensing structure of each. What to our surprise, the MOSS we are implementing isn’t the same MOSS that Microsoft thinks we are implementing. No, we want ENTERPRISE features and hey, that costs EXTRA. What happened to our EA with SA? The whole point of buying those packages is so that we don’t have to worry about EXTRA costs. Microsoft says EA doesn’t apply to SharePoint because there is only ONE version. The ENTERPRISE FEATURES are EXTRA features and require MORE money. How much more? $25 each. Not just 25 dollars *more*…you have to buy the REGULAR license at $75 each and then $100 each for the ENTERPRISE stuff (Search, BDC, Excel Services, etc). That’s $175 per person where it should have been FREE!! Multiply that times 100,000 users.
You hurt me with $75…you INSULT me with $175. OK…I’ll stop frothing at the mouth now…..