Microsoft audited far more customers on software licensing than its rivals managed during 2012 - and Redmond is expected to turn the screws further over the next two years. Redmond’s compliance troops swooped on 51 per cent of enterprises and partners polled for the 2012 Software Pricing and Licensing Survey by IDC and sponsored …
Re: Licence server
My company's IT folks do just that -- they have an inventory tool that enumerates the software installed on each PC, so they know (plus or minus one or two) which PCs have what software on them. They seem to have a pretty good handle on the Microsoft products they have (and a good relationship with Microsoft regarding the licenses, from what I hear)
Maybe Microsoft sees that we have hard data to back up our claims and seeks greener, less well documented, pastures in which to graze?
CLAs Up %15
Now we are going to come round and use the thumb screws to make sure you pay.
I've been audited
3 times by Microsoft at 3 different companies (all SMEs). Each time the process has been the same and to be fair relatively painless. I would imagine if an organisation was fairly well organised with regard to managing their licencing assets and their hardware and software deployment processes that the audits could be a very simple report running exercise, it wasn't much more with us and we certainly could stand to be more organised in that regard.
Also I've never had to cough up for licences I didn't need, only ones that should have been purchased and had been overlooked.
Perhaps the issue here is more about the licencing compliance agency that gets involved rather than the MS audit process itself.
Re: I've been audited
Using a tool like BMC's ADDM can take a lot of pain out of audits and give you something to bargain with. I work directly with companies doing inventory management on their enterprise software and can say it's no easy task, even when you have the hard data.
A lot of companies go to great lengths to make their software licencing conditions fairly complex and obscure. Based on X number of cores, running Y process and Z disk size. Or tucking it away in distributed databases with non-unified credentials.
Then there's companies like Microsoft who will completely change the terms of their licences every now and then in an attempt to make it more difficult to discover. I'm sure it should be illegal to modify licencing terms on software that is already purchased but this seems to be common practice in enterprise and enterprises pay up!
The last place I worked one day Microsoft came abseiling through the roof and told everyone if they didn't each pay £1m they would all be shot. Everyone was shot but I managed to escape down a ravine.
Either you admit MS are murdering extortionists, or you have lied to us.
When did you stop beating your wife?
Re: So, Nom^3...
i haven't started beating her yet
Re: So, Nom^3...i haven't started beating her yet
The beatings shall continue, until the morale improves.
WRT 'wife beating', be very careful of assuming all females are not capable of defending themselves. A certain guy named 'Bobbitt' found out the hard way.
Oh, shit, the hard way, John Bobbitt!!!!!!!!
I better get my coat.
and in reality......
Ummm, yeah. There is no way on gods earth that MS audits this many companies. I know cause I worked for them for a long time. Account teams have to have a damn good justification in place before they can request an audit of their customer. This 'report' has been created by some two bit company trying to make money off scaring customers that an audit is just around the corner.
And in answer to some questions.....
These are not actual audits. When you sign a Volume License Agreement, you give MS the right to audit you. Your choice. You sign a VLA to get cheaper licensing, but in return, as VL programs are essentially trust based, you agree that MS can audit your licensing. Interestingly MS can, under the contractual terms, insist on customers paying 'FPP' i.e ‘box product’ pricing for any licensing shortfall. This is not something that I have ever seen happen. These ‘reviews’ are almost always done by mutual consent. Sometimes grudging mutual consent, but very rarely does the ‘audit clause’ has to be legally invoked.
However, lots of customers do end up paying for licenses after going through a ‘SAM review’. Now, these are big, in many cases global companies. They hire clever IT people and can afford excellent lawyers. So do you think that they are paying all this licensing $$ just to keep MS quiet....or do you, perhaps, think that they have actually deployed loads of software they have not actually paid for……….?
And Andy McRoid. I do not believe you. I think that you have either got your facts wrong or are lying for dramatic effect. Either way, as a sys admin you are too junior to deal with a SAM review. Sys Admins generally cause software asset management issues through trying (and failing) to be clever around licensing. The issues they cause are almost always rectified at CIO/CTO level so I find it highly unlikely that you ‘agreed to pay 50 quid to make the problem go away’. You sure you are not getting a little confused with the BSA? Or maybe your story is actually a complete fabrication?
Re: and in reality......
Assumptions are the enemy of everyone. Why do you assume that Andy McRoid is too junior when you don't know the structure of the organisation in question? Here, I am the Sys admin and I am the person who has responsibility for licensing. Assuming there is a CIO or CTO is just that, an assumption based on your preconceptions of how all businesses run - they don't all run in that way.
Re: and in reality......
You sign the POs for Software at your company? Nah, thought not.......your boss does. Or your bosses boss.
Re: and in reality......
I do. We're a small setup..
Re: and in reality......
Erm, why does know it all AC only refer to VLA, surely these audits apply to SPLA too hence part of your assertion is pure bunkum?
Microsoft has audited a number of SMEs I have as clients, with the only justification being "you have signed up for a Microsoft Open License for this one Microsoft product, that gives us the legal right to audit every piece of Microsoft software on your network."
I was informed in each case – in no uncertain terms – that this was standard practice and that I could expect this every single year until the sum totality of the licensing for these locations was on a volume licensed SA agreement and every single system that might ever potentially have Windows, RDP into Windows, use a file stored on a Windows server or otherwise interact with another PC on the network that has Windows (or SQL, Exchange or any other Microsoft application) had SA licences and CALs.
So don't give me "Microsoft has to have a damned good justification" bullshit. Microsoft's justification is that we are using OEM and/or retail licences on our systems instead of paying a subscription. That's all the justification they require.
It's harassment bordering on extortion. End of.
Never seen a SAM audit request before, but we've been asked to do one (And we are Microsoft Silver Partners!), and at least one of our clients have also received one, in the last month.
..take the "Install now and contemplate licensing later" approach.
Not just on the Server products but also on the desktop OS and Office suites too, because they 'can get away with it' With so many KeyGen utlities being available, it makes it easier to get a system up and running "illegaly"
MS are just doing due diligence, a little like those questionable characters who knock on your door and demand proof of a TV license, however the revenues that MS can recover are probably quite good. After all, no comapny ever wants to be named and shamed or possibly shitlisted over a few MS licence costs
Re: Some SMBs...
don't have to even keygen. Just reusing volume license keys beyond the number you've paid for. Or even on older software versions reusing a single installation key. And it doesn't have to be malicious just a slip of the memory when in a rush to do things.
I think Spiceworks can handle comparing licenced software against what you think your've purchased and report shortfall, but I've never used that bit of it.
Microsoft licence cops kick in TWICE as many customers' doors as rivals
I used to kick in customers' doors, but then I took an arrow to the knee
Not just SMBs
I have been told by a very senior guy at a large UK bank that 'we will pay you what we want for software and you will never dare audit us'. He knew damn well that they were not licensed properly. I will not discuss the outcome other than to note his assertion was not actually correct. It made me wonder what the bank in question would have said had I suggested that I just paid 10% of what I actually owed off my credit card bill and told them to go stuff themselves for the rest of the money. I doubt they would have liked that.
I'm waiting for that SAM audit. We got a letter about 2 weeks ago saying they would contact us shortly and we would have 2 weeks to comply. Not heard anything from them yet and if they don't hurry up I'll be on Xmas holiday for 3 weeks.
Microsoft is calling the audits Software Asset Management (SAM)
Can this new Microsoft Sam say "honestly, the wasteman crotch goes soi soi soi soi soi soi soi"?
We don't have licences, so there's nothing to audit and ...
besides, we get all our software from the stores down the road, or PirateBay et al.
A techie from the Plod (called Cong An - Peoples Police) arrives but they give everyone a few days notice so all our affairs are in order.
We have some MS stuff, but all the companies in town share a pile of disks and they are switched from business to business in time for Plod to see them. They also check out satellite dishes are pointing in the direction of a VN satellite, which means we have to get the dish man in to realign the antennae on our favourite satellites. And all our passworded screen savers say Linux.
The various levels of government use copy software, but MS is banned from inspecting them as they contain 'State Secrets'.
Re: We don't have licences, so there's nothing to audit and ...
Actually, I'm toying with the idea to report the outfit I'm building myself in a few months. Anonymously, of course.
I *want* them to go all the way legal to get inside and inspect - because there won't be a single piece of MS software around (it's all OSX and Linux based, and we won't use MS Office).
You see, it's the cheapest way to get publicity :)
lots of SAM requests going on
We have been through the SAM process, its not an audit as you provide the information and they did not visit site, but its defiantly not optional.
For the most part I was painless, boxed retail or OEM software was easy peasy. Provided list of keys from our database plus scan/pics of a sample of the certificates. We now only by retail boxed products, to hell with downgrade options or SA subscriptions if they don’t simplify licensing.
It was the e-licensing that was a nightmar, initially it was all passed, then when MS couldn't find enough faults they started pciking holes. MS didn’t even know what we had, even though it was there on the their portal. We had to go back and find all the invoices. Some of those are subscriptions are over 12 years old and even though we had paid every SA renewal and never let them lapse in that time we lost the right to that software, because we didnt have that origonal invoice.
And the MSDN licensing was so complex as to make you go blind, this took us 9 months to get through. MS said “you are not licensed correctly!”, “okay what should we buy?” we reply, “you buy some more stuff, then we will tell you if its right” MS replied gruffly. “Oh really, why can’t you tell me the SKU and then we’ll go get it from our reseller?”
If you get a SAM request, and everyone with an e-license, partner agreement, technet, MSDN, will then you have my sympathy. This is just a sales tool and they won't let you go until you have paid something thats clearly a % target of your total installed estate.
Roll on year end
31.12.12 My last Windows box (which IS licenced) goes out of the door. Hallelujah !
No more worrying about licences. No more bills from Bill & his muckers. No more completely obscure undocumented crashes. No more support.m$.com No more 350Mb of drivers, 340mb of which is the 'help and consumables support program' (née spyware)
Nope, Linux ain't Windows and you need a few skills and a bit of patience. It might not run everything out of the box. What you can't, you can usually emulate if need be. Some stuff you can even do with out, if you are honest... My nice little Canon scanner had to go. Very nice. But Windoze only driver. No great loss though. There are plenty more out there.
Nope, it ain't nirvana. It's just another OS. Yes it has problems & bugs. Show me an OS that hasn't ???
I was worried about moving, but it was worth every cent, and with a little careful planning it was easy - get staff using open oource stuff like Firefox/Thunderbird etc on Windows beforehand eases the transition.
Best of all was the satisfaction from getting out from under the straightjacket of M$. AWESOME !!!!!
And having seen a friend just get her new shiny WIn 8 Laptop blitzed by duff drivers today, and wasting a day of work plus losing shed loads of stuff, I'm glad we are gone.
Re: Roll on year end
Which scanner was it that didn't work?
This might be of use:
HP scanners have worked well for me on ubuntu.
Re: Roll on year end
You should write a white paper or blog about the process.
That way when people who are afraid of moving from MS will get some ideas about how to break free.
There has to come a tipping/breaking point for these guys - especially when W8 is being forced down their throats.
Re: Roll on year end
Good idea to get your staff used to working with Firefox and Thunderbird on WindblowZE first.
Hopefully, you figured out which distro you were bolting to, and determined if the office suite was either Libre Office, or Open Office; and installed its WindblowZE equivalent, for the same reason.
Getting the staff familiar with the apps you are going to use before a platform ditch is much easier on everybody. Change in smaller, manageable steps is the way to go.
Icon appropriate for your year end celebration!
And who does MS share their findings with?
because if you cough up to Microsoft then it is likely you will need to cough up to (for example) anti virus software companies, who now have proof (because Microsoft gave it to them) that your company has been expanding without buying licenses for software.
You know what? You were a mug to use Microsoft software in the first place. Deal with it.
I guarantee you that those very-same mugs will numbly hand over cash and buy Windows 8 licenses.
I thought ms came after business that used retail copies
in business settings.
I was worried that usinf, say, 80 retail computers in a business would require paying a business license against those machines. What is the story?
Re: "business license"
There's no such thing.
If you have paid for a full license (not a home/student, educational, academic, trial one) then you can use the software wherever you want.
MS..... sounds like a nasty nerve degeneration issue.
My nerve grew to the point that Microsoft and their idiot software and their lying and bullshit, well THEIR software that I licensed, is used with disdain and reluctance....
Log into that monthly and do all the updates and then back to Linux.......
Microsoft is like anal sex with sand. Linux is like life without Microsoft.
Re: MS..... sounds like a nasty nerve degeneration issue.
"Microsoft is like anal sex with sand. Linux is like life without Microsoft."
Now if RMS came out with a quote like this I might take him more seriously!
Re: Microsoft is like anal sex with sand. Linux is like life without Microsoft.
I have people walking by my office, wondering what in hell was so dammed funny; one of them my boss.
I just sent her the link to your post; I wonder how she will react.
Wait...... What was that, hysterical laughter.
OOps, she just appeared at my door, waving her finger at me, snarling: "You naughty boy!!!!!!!"
I guess with Windows 8 being the runaway "success" touted by Microsoft its just a coincidence they need to beef up revenues as much as they possible can this quarter.
Microsoft are obviously looking to make sure they scrape back every penny from their business customers because they know there wont be much money coming from them in the way of Windows 8 purchases in the next couple of years
Dear Microsoft Licensing,
2013 is going to be a lovely year of showing people how Samba 4, Openfiler, KVM and more are done. Step by step. With pictures.
Audit Victim [number redacted].
No Microsoft for my company
In a few years time (at best). I am going to start a company. No Microsoft for me. Just *BSD and Some handy distro of Linux.
The reason being is that it is cheaper to hire a programmer and a admin to do what is needed then to licence a software from Microsoft. As software from Microsoft is expensive, works poorly and is a security threat overall.
I rather want to put money into staff then into software licences.
Re: No Microsoft for my company
If that feat would be pulled off by Koreans, it would put one HELLUVA dent in ms' ransom licensing.
Why let them in? They tried for years - every time they phoned or emailed, I said I was too busy. Went on for literally years and eventually they gave up.
This article is bullshit
There is no way that anyone has "kicked down the doors" of over half of businesses in the states or anywhere. It's just not realistic.
There's a lot of confusion here between:
1. a nice friendly phone call along the lines of 'we might be able to help you check if your licenses are all happy, would you like to talk to us about that' - which can be easily fobbed off if you can't be bothered with them or you could have a little meeting with them where you can give them whatever information you want. It is this procedure that the statistics refer to.
2. Much less common, a court order giving permission to enter business premises for the purposes of an audit, which requires reasonable cause. Even then there probably won't be any kicking involved (I hope the author was being metaphorical but it doesn't help to instil unnecessary FUD). Usually legitimate businesses open the door for visitors. In such cases, if it is found that licenses are severely lacking then it is the directors of the business who will end up in court. If you can show due diligence then you will probably be let off with a warning or a small fine.
In my experience the guys who do the audits are actually quire reasonable, they will probably want to take away your computers but they do take into account factors such as 'that machine has been decommissioned and will be disposed of soon' and 'that's a box I brought in from home' (in that case they didn't touch it).
This is based on knowledge and experience of how it works in the UK. In other countries YMMV.
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