Microsoft licensing woes

Good commentary on Microsoft (and software, in general) licensing this past week in the WSJ – “Microsoft Software Licensing, Audits Confound CIOs“.

I have been through two of these “true-up” audits with Microsoft and it’s a major frustration and “flustration”. For one thing, Microsoft’s volume licensing makes it extremely easy to install their software with little constraints or oversight, and for another, most organizations do not have automated software accounting and metering solutions in place. Add to that the many, many versions of Windows products which may carry their own SKU/price and licensing tenets, and IT managers may find that they take a major hit to their budget of hundreds of thousands of dollars, or more. As the WSJ says, “the onus is ultimately on the CIO to ensure that the company is licensed correctly”.

On a related note, I just priced my first SQL Server installation since the spring debut of SQL Server 2012 and the June 30th change in the licensing model from counting processors to counting cores. And the model explicitly addresses VMs now. Ouch!


CDW has an online webinar here that explains both the new release and new licensing structure.