Microsoft’s New Volume Agreement Isn’t As Short And Simple As Advertised

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by | October 23, 2014

Microsoft debuted a new volume licensing agreement earlier this year, touting it as a simplified — and much shorter — version of the software giant’s existing agreements.

It’s called the Microsoft Products and Services Agreement (MPSA) and, according to Microsoft, it’s just 8 pages long, compared to 37 pages for the Select Plus agreement it’s replacing.

Microsoft said it was able to chop lots of bulk from the MPSA by using simpler language and cutting out duplication. Having a shorter agreement would make things simpler for customers to understand, Microsoft said when it rolled out the MPSA in the U.S. in July.

But two Microsoft licensing experts — who’ve built careers around decoding the complex minutiae of Microsoft licensing — told CRN this week the MPSA is much longer than 8 pages when other associated documents are factored into the tally.

The MPSA also includes links to webpages on the Microsoft site, which include detailed information about the agreement and can run several pages long, they said.

When these linked pages are taken into account, the actual length of the MPSA agreement is “quite close” to that of Select Plus, Tim Hegedus, senior analyst at Miro Consulting, a Woodbridge, N.J.-based firm that helps Microsoft customers with licensing matters, told CRN.



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