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10 Key Licensing, Pricing Changes For Vista, Office 2007

Microsoft has instituted at least 10 pricing and licensing changes for Windows Vista and Office 2007 that solution providers and end users should heed before taking the plunge, experts say.

As the Redmond, Wash., software giant prepares to ship its next-generation "Longhorn" wave of desktop products on Jan. 30, licensing expert PCMS IT Advisor Group of Cincinnati spotlighted key pricing and licensing changes that will impact enterprise and SMB customers that buy Enterprise Agreements, Select Agreements and Open Value contracts.

Although the most significant changes are on the enterprise side, Microsoft has announced major new options for Enterprise Agreement and Open Value customers, a new Office 2007 offering, a new Exchange Enterprise client access license (CAL), a new desktop product available only with a Software Assurance subscription, and new electronic Volume Activation 2.0 requirements in which software must be activated through Microsoft online.

Last month, PCMS IT Advisor announced its License Acquisition Strategy Services Offer (LASSO), a program that finds, identifies and confirms which software assets are being used on customer sites and clarifies the customer's licensing and version status.

Matt Scherocman, vice president of consulting at PCMS IT Advisor, noted that while each customer's situation is unique, there are 10 pricing and licensing moves that will impact all Vista and/or Office 2007 customers. They include the following:

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