If you don’t deal with volume licensing of Microsoft products, you probably haven’t given much thought to the foibles of their Software Assurance offering. Anyhow, Microsoft has felt the need to enhance it as announced today:
Microsoft Corp. today announced that it will add and enhance benefits to its maintenance offering, Software Assurance (SA). The new benefits, scheduled to be available to customers in March 2006, demonstrate Microsoft’s commitment to listen to customer feedback and extend the value of SA beyond that of a typical maintenance offering, which includes only support and upgrades, to a more comprehensive offering that helps ensure customers have access to support, new version rights, technology and comprehensive resources throughout the life of their software.
There are a variety of new features, but one which caught my eye was:
Windows Vista™ Enterprise is available exclusively as a benefit of Software Assurance and is designed to help midsize and larger organizations significantly lower IT costs and improve IT efficiency.
So one of the Vista versions described by Paul Thurrott is an exclusive for Software Assurance customers.
And there’s another exclusive OS as well:
Windows Fundamentals for Legacy PCs (formerly code-named “Eiger”). For enterprise customers concerned with security and manageability of legacy PCs running legacy operating systems, but that are not in a position to replace those PCs, Microsoft is introducing Windows Fundamentals for Legacy PCs as an exclusive benefit to SA customers. Based on Windows XP Embedded with Service Pack 2, Windows Fundamentals for Legacy PCs is designed to provide a bridge solution that enables customers to get additional life out of legacy PCs while reducing security risks and improving manageability as well as providing an easy upgrade path to new PC hardware running either Windows XP or Windows Vista.