Continued from page 1
Now, with impending release of Windows XP and release of Office XP, it has, believe it or not, got even more confusing.
Take a deep breath and see if you can follow this. We purchased some 500 copies of Office 95, which we upgraded to Office 97, then upgraded to Office 2000. We looked carefully at Office XP and quickly decided we did not want to install it on any of our systems. We are happy with Office 2000.
However, we might want to upgrade to version of Office following that, or even one after that (Microsoft seems to be releasing a new version every couple of years). In past, we would simply pay an upgrade fee to go from wherever we were to new version.
No more. Now, we have to purchase what is basically upgrade insurance by a particular deadline (it was September but this seems to have been moved to February). We also have to pay to upgrade everything to Office XP at same time. If we do not do this, we will wind up paying over 200% more if we decide to upgrade at some point in future.
Okay, so Microsoft is forcing us to pay now for a product which we may or may not want in future. Personally, I believe they know that Office XP is not a product which most people want - in fact, I don't know of any system manager anywhere who is even considering upgrading to new version. Why not? The user interface is significantly different (requiring retraining), performance is poor (requires more hardware to operate) and benefits TO THE USER are completely nonexistent.
It gets worse. We have decided to go ahead and get upgrade insurance and upgrade our product on paper. However, we definitely do not want to install Office XP on any machine at any time. Thus, we simply want to make purchase to retain our rights to upgrades in future.
We are allowed to install older versions as much as we want under terms of license agreements as long as we purchase enough licenses of new version to cover it all. So we went to purchase Office XP Professional, then found ourselves in an interesting position.
We originally bought Professional edition because we wanted Publisher. Unfortunately, Microsoft has decided to remove Publisher from Office XP Professional (in fact, they have also removed Frontpage - no huge loss considering that Frontpage XP is not an improvement over 2000).
This introduced lots of confusion into picture. After much study and hours of phone discussions with Microsoft, we determined that we could install Office Professional 2000 with Publisher for each of Office Professional XP licenses that we purchased. If, however, we did upgrade to Office Professional XP, then we would need to purchase one additional Publisher license per machine.
It would be so much easier if we could just purchase 500 licenses for Word, 500 for Excel and 500 for Publisher. We would be happy to purchase a maintenance agreement for whole mix. We don't need Access or PowerPoint, yet due to way Microsoft has it all structured we have to purchase licenses for them. Sigh.
Now I have to go figure out how to upgrade and license my Windows NT and Windows 2000 machines. It's enough to make me look into mirror to see if I have any more gray hairs.
Richard Lowe Jr. is the webmaster of Internet Tips And Secrets at http://www.internet-tips.net - Visit our website any time to read over 1,000 complete FREE articles about how to improve your internet profits, enjoyment and knowledge.