As end-users think about renewing their Microsoft Software Assurance contracts, VARs are still sceptical about the benefits of the controversial programme.
Although Microsoft has said it will add further elements to the scheme, some of the customers that signed up first and are now coming to the end of their contracts are considering whether to continue.
"Customers are asking me what Microsoft will be releasing in the next three years. They have Software Assurance renewals to consider, and want to know what they are going to get," said David Simpson, sales director at VAR Softcat.
Mark Buckley, licensing marketing manager at Microsoft UK, told CRN that further improvements could be expected over the next few months.
"We are willing to discuss the release of upgrades with our customers," he said. "We will continue to enhance the programme, based on customer feedback."
In September, Microsoft added training credits to its licensing to help users understand the products. Other benefits are that employees have the right to use the software at home, and certain standby servers do not need additional licences.
However, Mike Lawrence, managing director of VAR Bentpenny, said: "The extras are not relevant to the vast majority of businesses."
Lawrence added that most businesses are already familiar with the parts of the software they need. "The training is just not very attractive," he claimed.
Microsoft has assigned only 10,000 training credits for its European customer base since it introduced them a year ago.
Tony Price, managing director of online VAR WStore, said what customers really value is an easy way to understand the various licensing options.
"The whole area of licensing and software is very complex. Helping customers understand it makes it easier to sell products," he said.
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