Microsoft Tests Partners' Licensing Knowledge

Microsoft recently launched a contest for channel partners that puts an entertaining spin on the complex task of dealing with Microsoft's software licensing agreements. The Microsoft Licensing Quiz includes background training materials and guides partners through a series of multiple choice questions related to common misconceptions about Microsoft's volume licensing agreements and what they cover. […]

Microsoft recently launched a contest for channel partners that puts an entertaining spin on the complex task of dealing with Microsoft's software licensing agreements.

The Microsoft Licensing Quiz includes background training materials and guides partners through a series of multiple choice questions related to common misconceptions about Microsoft's volume licensing agreements and what they cover.

For example, one question states that all of Microsoft's volume licensing agreements cover Windows desktop upgrades only, and that a "underlying qualified full" Windows desktop license must be in place before the customer can exercise the volume licensing agreement to upgrade the Windows license.

Other questions highlight the fact that it's cheaper to buy a full Windows license pre-installed on an OEM PC than it is to buy it through retail, and that Microsoft doesn't allow OEM licenses to be transferred to other PCs, even if the original PC has been retired.

While the quiz shows that Microsoft is aware that some of its partners are confused over its licensing terms, David Schrag, president of Schrag Inc., a Brighton, Mass.-based Small Business Specialist, doesn't see it as a move on the vendor's part to simplify its licensing approach.

"For years, Microsoft's response to questions and complaints about complex or illogical licensing terms has been to create more educational materials explaining the status quo, rather than to make any real moves toward simplification," said Schrag.

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Micorsoft, Partner, Microsoft Partners, Voulme, Licensing, Knowledge