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Microsoft The Almighty Buck Businesses

Microsoft Steeply Raising Enterprise Licensing Fees 571

hypnosec writes "Microsoft is trying to make up for below expected earnings following Windows 8's and Surface RT's lack luster adoption rates by increasing the prices of its products between 8 and 400 per cent. Trying to make more out of its enterprise customers who are tied under its Software Assurance payment model, Microsoft has increased user CALs pricing 15 per cent; SharePoint 2013 pricing by 38 per cent; Lync Server 2013 pricing by 400 per cent; and Project 2013 Server CAL by 21 per cent."
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Microsoft Steeply Raising Enterprise Licensing Fees

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 04, 2012 @01:06AM (#42176251)

    Microsoft method: Milk them for every cent.
    Linux method: Free is free. Nobody can hold a gun to your head under the GPL.

  • by jsepeta ( 412566 ) on Tuesday December 04, 2012 @01:06AM (#42176253) Homepage
    corporations are more responsive than ever to finding and deploying alternatives to Microsoft software. let's hope this spurs more open source development.
  • by asmkm22 ( 1902712 ) on Tuesday December 04, 2012 @01:16AM (#42176293)

    I'm a Microsoft guy through and through, when it comes to the enterprise. These licensing costs are just getting really difficult to justify. I know there's some open source replacement available, but it's not all very coherently tied together the way MS stuff is. I'd love to be able to move away though.

  • by denis-The-menace ( 471988 ) on Tuesday December 04, 2012 @01:21AM (#42176315)

    in the 80s various flavors of UNIX locked their customers' data in expensive licensing deals.

    then one day, windows NT came out and showed a cheaper way. around the same time Linux also came but only a few saw Windows as just another trap.

    Now we have a prophecy realized.

  • Very good decision (Score:0, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 04, 2012 @01:30AM (#42176353)

    Cities are moving back to Microsoft products after failed Linux experiments. This is the best time to raise the prices as much as possible.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 04, 2012 @02:46AM (#42176683)

    My response to Microsoft dick move. SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY. Medical institutions have no plan B.

  • by MightyMartian ( 840721 ) on Tuesday December 04, 2012 @02:47AM (#42176687) Journal

    I've been working with my rep for major upgrades of Server and Exchange. I'm not seeing how any of this is cherry picked. CALs are being hiked in price. We've abandoned the idea of moving to server 2010 RDP CALs because the costs are just too difficult to justify. We will also be retaining our Server 2003 DCs at our branches until EOL. Not an ideal situation, but we can't currently justify the costs.

  • by richlv ( 778496 ) on Tuesday December 04, 2012 @02:55AM (#42176733)

    zomg, not confluence. while jira is mostly ok, confluence is PAIN.
    - it's just totally messed up in opera.
    - there is no way edit wiki text in latest versions.
    - assuming wiki text representation exists at all... plugins you can get for it seem to expose plain html.
    - it doesn't seem to have any concept of styles, it gives an illusion of styles when you edit content, then drops to hardcoded formatting.

    i was seriously disappointed by it a couple of weeks ago. even inserting a simple table in opera was a disaster.

    i'll go with most other wikis instead of confl.

  • by sdnoob ( 917382 ) on Tuesday December 04, 2012 @03:15AM (#42176781)

    i'd be the last to defend ballmer, but that quarterly (4/12 to 6/12) "loss" was due to writing down the $6+ billion acquisition of aquantive.... which was stupidly bought (at a grossly overvalued price) while uncle bill was still in charge.

    without the writedown on the books, they would have made MORE than during the same quarter the year prior.

  • Stupid (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Charliemopps ( 1157495 ) on Tuesday December 04, 2012 @03:16AM (#42176785)

    Microsoft are fucking idiots. Every enterprise customer they have already wants to get away from them, but the cost of migration is just too steep. What they did here was change that... even if the new rates still keep the cost bellow some threshold that would make it easier to migrate to something else, what they've really done is say to all their customers "We will price gouge you in the middle of a recession" and you can bet every IS/IT department in the country is going to be having meetings regarding just how quickly it'll really take to get out from under the chains of .NET

    The android desktop OS is coming... we all know it. It'll be free and Google will have hordes of experts ready to fly out to your site and help you migrate... then what Microsoft?

  • by wvmarle ( 1070040 ) on Tuesday December 04, 2012 @03:16AM (#42176787)

    Euhm well yes and no. As much as I'd like to see Dr Evil go, I'd even rather see Dr Evil lose their evilness, be cut down to size, and play nicely along with the rest.

    MS is a big company, it's never a good thing to see a big company fail, and not just because of the collateral damage it causes. MS going bankrupt (unlikely to happen any time soon considering how much assets they have, but just imagining) would, in short, be a disaster for this world. It would mean no more updates for Windows, and virus/malware writers would have the time of there life. There are no easy alternatives - Linux while a great alternative is by no means an easy switch, when you consider the taking along of all the user's existing data files and applications, many of which don't have a Linux version. OS-X is even worse as it requires complete change of hardware.

    Secondly, MS as a big company is one of the few that can actually form viable competition against Google and Apple. Competition that's badly needed to keep those two in check.

    And finally as a big company with all the money and brainpower that they have, they do have the potential to come with many innovations. The Surface is a good example of this, from the looks of it, it's a very nice device. Too bad their management can't make it really shine: too expensive, unappealing software.

  • by yuhong ( 1378501 ) <[moc.liamtoh] [ta] [683_oabgnohuy]> on Tuesday December 04, 2012 @03:23AM (#42176817) Homepage

    On the other hand, some of the other changes are a result of edition consolidation. See original article: []

  • by mindwhip ( 894744 ) on Tuesday December 04, 2012 @03:43AM (#42176899)

    vendor lock in? try version lock in...

    We are still using XP and Office 2003 at my work on the standard desktop build as the cost of switching up and migrating legacy stuff (Office/vba and some very old in-house 16 bit/windows 3.1 era programs) is too high

  • by SmallFurryCreature ( 593017 ) on Tuesday December 04, 2012 @03:46AM (#42176911) Journal

    Enterprise is MS cash cow and cows are milked and cows that protest to loudly are killed for fun, meat and an example to other cows.

    The farmer does not care what the cow thinks of him, the opinion of cattle is worthless. Their enterprise customer have shown over decades to be completely incapable of independent thought so why should they change now? Oh, this price increase is the straw that broke the camels back? Breaking a back only works in animals that have a back bone. Cattle does not. The reason you can overwork donkeys and cows and dogs is because they are dumb animals that are easily domesticated. A smart animal would resist long before you overload it. Enterprise customers have not resisted. In fact, they resist every which way they can to any attempt to set themselves free or at least not be under complete and total control of their Microsoft master. Just go ahead, ask for a Linux desktop at a large Enterprise business like say Shell just to come up with a name. Can't be done. These slaves don't just accept the whip, they buy it for their master, oil it so it gives optimal whipping power and turn in anyone who tries to set them free or introduce laws trying to limit the amount of whipping that can be done.

    And you think these Enterprise customers can be alienated? Same with the OEM's. They could have EASILY done a Linux machine by now. They didn't. And nothing MS will do will change that. They are OEM's, not Apple or a (the old) Nokia, they sell cheap clones with a generic OS and make their money from crapware. They don't have the willpower, brains, imagination to do anything else. Oh they might protest a bit, just like a cow might kick and kill a farmer but just as the cow will then just stand there and wait to be killed, the OEM's will throw a hissy fit and then assume the position again to be shafted by their beloved master.

    Ballmer is a lot of things but one thing he really is, is a good sales manager. He knows just how much to squeeze the market for. And don't worry, any Enterprise that balks about a 400% price increase will get a special discount, just for them of say a 10% discount, now ain't you a special little cow! Any MS rep gives their big customers massive discounts. Just all big Enterprises give their loyal customers a big discount and NONE of them ever figure out that if THEY only give discounts that are less then the previous price increase, someone else might do the same to them.

  • by Patch86 ( 1465427 ) on Tuesday December 04, 2012 @04:32AM (#42177035)

    Normally I'd reply with some dry cynicism, but actually I have noticed a bit of a sea change in my company recently (my company being a big UK national). We're just kicking off a project to implement a big MS software suite (SharePoint and peripheries, as an upgrade). The Architecture guys are dead set on the MS solution, which is no surprise (and the right choice, considering our ecosystem and our appetite for change at this exact moment). But what is a surprise is how much push back we've had from Procurement (who are not techies). They've been pushing us, HARD, to source alternatives and do a full tendering process.

    I doubt it will come to anything, but it's the first time I've ever seen anyone with clout from outside of the IT department pushing against a Microsoft solution. If they have truly wised up and started to look at software sourcing with a bit more of a hard nose, future projects could be very interesting indeed.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 04, 2012 @04:37AM (#42177055)

    When you say 'best products' and microsoft together, I have to stop. Its just not true. In a few instances their products are easier to use (although it can be argued that easy comes from years of familiarity), but when you said best, I had to stop. About 10 years ago, I had to support a microsoft based system. It was very important on this system that the time be correct. Lawyers would regularly subpoena records, unions, bosses and employees were very interested in correct database timestamps. Yet microsofts NTP protocol was very broken and the time would drift quite badly from machine to machine. Microsoft had no resolution, and suggested 3rd party applications. Considering the company I worked for bought at least $3 million in microsoft products annually, you would think they would be helpful. And you would be wrong. I've heard people complain for years about open source software and that there is "no one to choke" when bad things happen. Well, I know that you are no better off with microsoft. I KNOW! When their license says 'no warranty either express or implied', that's what they mean, and that's the way things turn out. If I make it sound like life and death, that's good, because that's what it was: an emergency 911 centre. And their software was in use, and broken most of the time. Don't say microsoft and better to me. Don't do it. Its a bold faced lie.

  • by Dr_Barnowl ( 709838 ) on Tuesday December 04, 2012 @05:02AM (#42177131)

    You can get Windows 7 at my place of work when your computer is due for replacement ... so far, we've all opted to keep XP, because ICT have decided to leverage the new features of 7 to prevent people running any software that isn't on the "Approved" list. To get software on the "Approved" list if it isn't already, it costs about three weeks of my wages. We did a quick audit in development, and decided that the $250,000 of "approval" costs we'd have to pay to get all the extra packages we use to do our day jobs wasn't worth the switch to the new OS.

  • by FaxeTheCat ( 1394763 ) on Tuesday December 04, 2012 @05:30AM (#42177207)
    The company I work for tried the "independent thought" version for a long time. Resisting using Microsoft tools (apart from a minimal AD and XP on the PCs).
    Until it was obvious that the collaboration environment was simply not there and hurting our business in a really bad way.
    Then they went out and researched the offerings available (yes, they did real research).
    Guess what? In the collaboration environment, only Microsoft could deliver. The price tag was huge (by my standards anyway). The implementation was not without problems, but in the end we got there. The full package with Exchange, Lync, SharePoint. Now it works like a dream.
    The reason management went with it? It gives us value for the money. Return on investment. And that is what management want. Whether it is IT or any other part of the business. Return on investment.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 04, 2012 @05:35AM (#42177229)

    Ain't that the truth. I have a friend that runs his warehouse distributor business's website on nopCommerce version 1.9 on top of SQL Server, and IIS. He complains constantly that his site is 'slow' (it's the database, trust me), and that he wants to do cool stuff like he sees on other sites but the software limits him. Why does he stick with such a piece of shit? His daughter has been administrating it for years cargo cult style and it's the only thing she knows. Switching costs basically mean hiring a real webmaster. Yeah. Right.But I guess according to the GP, the Microsoft stack (of shit) must just be 'better'. Give me a friggin' break.

  • by JaredOfEuropa ( 526365 ) on Tuesday December 04, 2012 @07:34AM (#42177729) Journal

    Anyway, it's only after the purchase has been made and the consultants are gone that people realize just how much SharePoint sucks.

    The consultants leave at some point? When does that ever happen? That's another problem with Sharepoint: the cost to implement is high, but the cost to roll it out across the business and maintain it functionally as well as operationally, is unbelievable. This is a consultant's dream if you want your contract renewed for the forseeable future. (yes, I'm living the nightmare). Not to mention all the crap you have to deal with when you find, as a large organisation, that SP scales very poorly.

    But at some point the extra cost will get noticed, and even the PHB might concede that we're indeed better off with Drupal, Confluence, Mediawiki and a good document management system.

  • Ha ha ha (Score:5, Interesting)

    by slashmydots ( 2189826 ) on Tuesday December 04, 2012 @10:06AM (#42178539)
    We saw this coming and bought 100% of our replacement servers and OSes and CALs and Exchange and Exchange CALs on Nov 30th. We're migrating from 4 older servers down to 2 so this just made up speed up and buy em at the last second instead of waiting 2 more weeks. Take that, Microsoft.
    Also, others' claims above aren't far off about companies actually switching. We NEED certain MS-only enterprise apps but at $453 a piece for Office Pro Plus OLP, guess who's testing Libre Office Base with our Access databases this week.
  • by Dr. Evil ( 3501 ) on Tuesday December 04, 2012 @12:44PM (#42180507)

    If you're not tryign them, you're not really looking.

    OpenGroupware is a nonstarter.

    "2009-05-17 18:02: OGo Website The OGo website is outdated, we are working on a fix. It will take a while :-) Please join us in one of the mailing lists to discuss OGo and ask any questions you might have."

    Zimbra is pay-for-premium features, with prices similar to hosted Exchange. []. Zafara has a similar model. []

    I don't mind paying, but I don't want to pay the same for a work-alike drop in replacement from a small company when Microsoft's *hosted* solution is price-competitive.

    Citadel is okay. But IMHO, not comperable to Exchange.

    Kolab is on my list of things to try out, but I'm not optimistic. It seems that stable Outlook connectors are proprietary and cost $13.95/seat or $60/year depending on who you buy them from. Otherwise lots of alpha and beta clients []

    Dollar for dollar, none of these have any advantages over Exchange. Kolab has promise, it doesn't pretend to be an Exchange drop-in replacement, but a FOSS stack alternative. Are you using it in production?

The trouble with the rat-race is that even if you win, you're still a rat. -- Lily Tomlin