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eWeek: Microsoft roils the waters with licensing changes; Windows customers looking closer at Linux

Dec 21, 2000, 16:59 (22 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Peter Galli)

"The discontinuation of these programs "is a thinly disguised ploy by Microsoft to boost revenue by driving clients to buy volume licenses for the more expensive Windows 2000 Professional product or to force customers into entering a volume agreement for their future Windows 95 and 98 needs before the end of June 2001," said Dan Kusnetzky, an analyst at International Data Corp."

"The strategy could well blow up in Microsoft's face and is "fraught with peril," Kusnetzky added. It could also result in many clients seriously considering alternative platforms like Linux and BSD, he said. IDC, which has some 2,000 desktops running Windows 95, is currently examining upgrading its future desktop applications. The latest Microsoft move "may accelerate a move by us to a platform other than Windows 2000 Professional," Kusnetzky said.

"Bill Stapelfeldt, director of technology at Bayshore National Bank in La Porte, Texas, which has several hundred desktops running Windows 95 and 98, said he was angered by the move, which now leaves users less choice. ... "I would probably rather buy additional Windows 98 or ME licenses at the full retail price than be forced to buy a volume license for 2000," said Stapelfeldt. "And, in that scenario, Linux could then also become a very compelling alternative."

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