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The Register: MS Plays Volume Licensing Upgrade Card Against Naked PCs

Aug 28, 2002, 00:00 (13 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by John Lettice)

"Businesses wanting to deploy standard configurations across a number of machines frequently take out one of Microsoft's volume licensing programs, set up their own standard distribution then use it to hose whatever OS the PCs they bought came with. Frequently they are under the impression that this involves them paying for two Microsoft operating systems, and sometimes they'll buy (if they can) machines with no OS instead, in order to avoid wasting money in this way.

"However, it appears that the people who thought they'd been buying two licences per machine are largely mistaken, and the ones who thought they'd been saving money have actually been stealing Microsoft's. Just you wait for the audit, all you dirty software pirates running the IT departments of major corporations.

"The key factor we should all surely have been aware of, but which has escaped quite a number of us until now, is that: 'Full operating system licenses are not available through any Microsoft Volume Licensing Program, Fact.' So people who thought they were buying full operating systems via Microsoft volume licensing programs have actually been buying upgrades, and as Microsoft points out in a mailing unearthed by Linux and Main, 'Some customers believe they can acquire full operating system licenses through their Microsoft Volume Licensing Program Myth...'"

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