Why is our Licensing so Complicated?

I often ask myself why our licensing has to be so hard to figure out.  I heard a great quote this week while I’ve been in our semi-annual training and I thought I’d share it.

We don’t have anyone that wakes up and says “How can I make <insert item here> more complicated”.

I got a real chuckle out of the statement, but it is true.  We don’t try to intentionally make things harder to license; heck, we don’t even try to make our products harder to use, we’ve actually worked hard at making both our licenses and products easier to figure out.  I can point to a lot of areas where we’ve actually made licensing easier on our customers, but I also agree that it’s not always the easiest to work through.  How do we make it easy for everyone?  That’s the tough one.  Each person or company has their own way of purchasing and even their own goals for their purchases.  So how can anyone these days make anything “one size fits all”?

As you know by now, I’m incredibly passionate about virtualization and I feel we’ve done a lot to reduce the complexity of our virtualization licensing.  We’ve tried to make things easier by providing unlimited virtualization on Windows Data Center servers, heck we even provide licensing calculators for not only the OS, but also our server applications.  Check this page out, you can actually walk through, and price out numerous VMs running our application server products like SQL, Exchange, and SharePoint.

While I agree that licensing isn’t the easiest thing on the planet, we are working at making it easier while maintaining flexibility.  To me, I see the number of licensing options as one of the major reasons our licensing becomes a challenge sometimes, but again; everyone wants choice, and with choice comes flexibility.


Until next time,


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