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August 8, 2006

Microsoft reparations for volume licence customers hit by product delays?

Posted by David Hunter at 9:08 PM ET.

Peter Galli at eWeek has a shocker – Microsoft to Pay Reparations for Vista, Office Delays:

Microsoft is working on a new reparations strategy, known internally as a customer incentive program, for those customers with volume licensing programs who will be negatively affected by the delay in the release of Windows Vista and Office 2007.

Most enterprises buy volume licensing agreements from Microsoft, along with Software Assurance, which guarantees them the rights to all upgrades for any product covered by the agreement while it is in force.

But even if Microsoft sticks to its current timetable for the delivery of Vista and Office 2007, the delays mean that some customers who bought Software Assurance and who would have qualified for those upgrades if they had shipped as originally expected will not get them before their contracts expire.

This was always the hidden sword hanging over the Vista and Office delays and the article describes how Microsoft is putting a plan together to encourage the customers who got stiffed to renew their contracts. The plan is supposed to roll out in Fall 2006.

And speaking of incentives, Microsoft is also puzzling out the long anticipated plan for holiday PC buyers who won’t be able to get Vista:

Microsoft is also believed to be working on a separate program with OEMs and system builders for a “technical guarantee” for Vista.

This program will likely feature coupons providing consumers and businesses who buy systems with Windows XP during the rest of 2006 some kind of upgrade to Vista once that operating system launches in January 2007.

Fair enough, but rather predictable. Back in March when the Vista delay first hit, James Governor mentioned a novel idea of providing a Vista coupon with every Xbox 360 sold for the holidays:

This Christmas could see ludicrous numbers of kids waking up to an Xbox, especially if their parents are thinking they just got a bargain on the next PC…

Now that Zune is also on the menu, the same could apply there.

Update 8/15: When Is a Reparation Not a Reparation?

Filed under Argo, General Business, Licensing, Microsoft, OS - Client, Office, Office 2007, Windows Vista, Xbox, Zune

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2 Responses to “Microsoft reparations for volume licence customers hit by product delays?”

  1. Here come the Vista coupon rumors -- Microsoft News Tracker Says:

    [...] We were just speculating on Tuesday as to what Microsoft would do to help out the PC makers this holiday shopping season while they twiddle their thumbs waiting for Vista. Well, according to David Tzeng, Celia Lin, and Steve Shen of Digitimes, it’s going to be the usual upgrade coupon deal: Microsoft and the world’s leading PC vendors have reached an agreement to promote the long-awaited Vista OS by offering PC buyers worldwide a free upgrade coupon, as a way of encouraging them to buy a Vista-capable PC as early as possible, according to market sources, citing information leaked from Taiwan-based PC makers. [...]

  2. Windows 7 coming in 2010 -- Microsoft News Tracker Says:

    [...] This is all to the good, but we’ve heard the regular delivery story from Microsoft many times over recent years. It looks like yet another attempt to appease business customers who have been repeatedly burned by product delays on their Software Assurance contracts. As for the “iterative” aspect, presumably it is to avoid the Vista catastrophe of promising more than can be delivered. [...]

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