Microsoft's oft-delayed product roadmap may have created a perfect storm against software upgrade contract renewals. If so, Microsoft could take a major hit on the bottom line in fiscal 2008 and 2009.
In a report to be published today, Forrester Research sees a series of customer hurricanes coming Microsoft's way. If they strike, they could wash away many Software Assurance contracts. Software Assurance is the discounted upgrade option available with Open, Open Value and Select volume licensing contracts.
Forrester surveyed IT procurement professionals from companies with 3,000 or more employees. Eighty-six percent said that their Software Assurance contract would expire in 2007. If these 46 IT professionals are indicative, Microsoft has a lot of money on the line, and for some time ahead as the contracts typically are two-to-three years long.