Microsoft’s Licensing 6.0 Redefines Enterprise Reseller Roles, According to IDC

FRAMINGHAM, MA – JUNE 4, 2001 – Microsoft has put a clear "software as a service" stamp on its licensing strategy with the release of Licensing 6.0. This strategy, which takes effect in October, lowers the bar for participation in enterprisewide software license agreements, implements a more direct model for fulfillment, establishes a new agent sales model, and puts an end to an array of popular upgrade options. IDC believes it also redefines enterprise reseller roles.


"Microsoft’s Licensing 6.0 strategy is lowering the threshold for companies that can participate in its licensing program from 500 to 250 desktops," said Steve McHale, research vice president for IDC’s Software Partnering and Alliances program. "The implications of this on resellers that target the middle market are large, as Microsoft’s strategy to lock more users into its products encroaches on their territory."

According to IDC, Microsoft is going after the 250+ account base with its own sales force and in partnership with large account resellers, which will be designated enterprise software advisors. Microsoft is making this move because most of its partners don’t have real licensing expertise, and instead rely on distributors to help them unravel the myriad programs of all of their vendor partners.

Because Microsoft is making major changes to the way its software is sold and fulfilled, IDC believes channel players that provide marginal value better get ready to change their business models quickly. "The current initiative affects midsize accounts, but Microsoft is sending a clear message about what constitutes value, and other software vendors are likely to follow suit in the near future, which will likely affect accounts large and small," McHale said.

IDC’s bulletin Microsoft Redefines Enterprise Reseller Roles with Licensing 6.0 (IDC #B24717) analyzes the impact of Microsoft’s changes to its volume licensing programs. It also examines how this launch will redefine the roles of enterprise resellers. To purchase this bulletin, contact Cheryl Toffel at 1-800-343-4952, extension 4389, or at

About IDC

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