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Software Licensing Is Only Mildy Confusing

Microsoft's software licensing is pretty simple if you pay retail: One package, one license. But for the majority of you who buy software at any level beyond that who seek to maximize savings and get the most use of your software with the most inexpensive licensing scheme, the process can be described with one word: byzantine.

Redmond reporter Herb Torrens cites a report from Directions on Microsoft analysts who describe the process as "so complicated that it is virtually impossible to understand compliance issues." Licensing physical machines is already difficult, but add virtual machines and you could be way out of licensing compliance without knowing it if you're just a bit careless.

The article concludes with a comment from Microsoft, who state that they've made some effort to reduce the licensing plans "from 74 to nine." Those nine ways to license Microsoft software means a bit of confusion still exists. We'll believe it has become simpler when there's no longer a need for a Microsoft Partner certification devoted to licensing issues.

Are you responsible for wading through your licensing options, or do you leave those decisions up to the pros? And has implementing a virtualized environment made the process even more or less complicated? Tell us here or via e-mail.

Posted by Michael Domingo on 09/10/2009 at 11:59 AM

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