Microsoft Changes Licensing from Qualified Desktop to Qualified Device

Spend Matters welcomes another guest post from NPI, a spend management consultancy, focused on delivering savings in the areas of IT, telecom and transportation.

Much is changing in enterprise IT, not the least of which is the way software is being licensed. In fact, with recent changes by vendors like SAP and Oracle, it's fair to say that the software licensing world is being turned upside down. The latest vendor to shake things up is Microsoft, which has recently adjusted its licensing terminology from "Qualified Desktop" to "Qualified Device."

Microsoft's aim isn't hard to decipher. Tablet and smartphone usage in the enterprise is on the rise, yet the vendor's licensing structure has traditionally been based on desktops. Microsoft wants to capture licenses for non-desktop devices that are accessing its software, as well as prepare for a future-state IT environment where the desktop is practically obsolete.

For the Fortune 500, Microsoft's decision to move from Qualified Desktop to Qualified Device-based licenses could mean added billions in Microsoft spending. That may be good news for the vendor, but not for enterprises those need to focus on funding new IT initiatives (rather than paying more for old ones).

If you're a Microsoft customer, keep two things in mind at all times:

  • You MUST familiarize yourself with Microsoft's licensing practices. The rules are changing and those who aren't educated will overspend. If you're struggling to understand how Microsoft's licensing policies are changing, consider outside specialists that can help you navigate and mitigate the impact.
  • NEVER allow your business to be out of compliance with contract terms and conditions. Microsoft is aggressively auditing clients to capture new license revenues.

- Jon Winsett, CEO, NPI

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First Voice

  1. Paul DeGroot:

    To familiarize yourself with Microsoft licensing, here’s the most comprehensive training course, offered in Toronto and San Francisco in the next few months.

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