Wednesday, March 22, 2006

things that make you go...

so...there's been some chatter on one of the yahoo groups tonight about microsoft's just announced enhancements to software assurance, or sa as it's commonly called.

software assurance, for those who don't know, is an add-on for volume license agreements that offers upgrade protection, plus other benefits, for products for which it is bought.

of course, your friendly neighborhood happyfunboy has been one of those who questioned the value proposition of the old sa, at least as far as the upgrade benefits go.

you see...sa can be purchased for up to a 3 year term.

which means...for up to 3 years after you purchase sa for a given ms product...you get any and all major version upgrades which are released.

well...considering that ms' development cycle for major releases has been at least 4 years for quite a while...it seemed to me like most sa contracts aren't worth the blood they were signed with...at least as far as the upgrade benefits go.

case in point...

windows xp shipped in 2002.
it is now the year 2006.
windows vista...the major upgrade from windows xp...has yet to ship.

but all that's about to change!

evidently ms is looking to give a major boost to the value proposition of sa.

you can download this document to look at all the new benefits to purchasing sa, most of which go live either now...as in march 2006...or upon product release.

but...here's something that's bound to get a whole mess of microsoft's registered partners in a kerfluffle...

eweek posted an article on monday which states:

For SMBs (small and midsize businesses), as part of SA, Microsoft is now offering Microsoft Information Work Solution Services, which are prepackaged consulting engagement services delivered by Microsoft Certified Partners. Microsoft also is offering a new automated Windows Preinstallation Environment tool that includes enhanced 24/7 problem resolution support, with subscriptions to TechNet Plus and newsgroups, error reporting, and cold backups for disaster recovery.

in case you missed it...

certified partners

but...
your friendly neighborhood happyfunboy...
sitting here in the funcave...
half a mile underground...
wearing his tinfoil hat...
reads that a smidge differently.

basically...yours truly sees a convergence of a ton of recent events...

like...

best buy becoming an sbsc
best buy becoming a gold certified partner
best buy 4 business being announced

and so now i'm wondering if...

certified partner = best buy


hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm...

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