Downgrade Rights Complicate Microsoft Licensing Compliance

- Versions, Editions and Downgrades Key to Microsoft Licensing
KIRKLAND, Washington, Jan. 29, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Customers licensed for the current version and edition of a Microsoft product often need to use an earlier version or different edition of that product instead. The licensing rules governing such substitutions, called downgrade rights, can be complicated and unintuitive. As a result, customers trying to exercise their downgrade rights frequently put their organizations out-of-compliance with their Microsoft license agreements [].
According to Rob Horwitz, a licensing expert at Directions on Microsoft [], an independent IT planning and information service focused exclusively on Microsoft technologies, downgrade rights can vary widely according to the particular Microsoft product line, including the particular version and edition purchased, and where the license was acquired, including Microsoft's retail, OEM, and Large Account Reseller channels. Horwitz warns "Organizations that do not understand Microsoft's downgrade rights and other her rules associated with product versions and editions can trigger expensive compliance issues or waste resources on unnecessary license purchases."
The fundamentals of Microsoft downgrade rights are explained in a new Directions on Microsoft licensing guide "Understanding Microsoft Downgrade Rights []". The report provides clear explanations of key concepts and terms software asset managers must understand to properly exercise their Microsoft downgrade rights. It also explains how to avoid the most common mistakes related to downgrading Microsoft software.
A copy of the full report is available: Understanding Microsoft Downgrade Rights []
Directions on Microsoft is an independent IT planning and information service focused exclusively on Microsoft technologies, roadmaps and licensing since 1992. Directions is best known for its Microsoft Enterprise Software Roadmaps [] and Microsoft Licensing Guides []. Their two-day Microsoft Licensing Boot Camp [] teaches Microsoft customers how to effectively license Microsoft products such as Windows Server, Exchange, SharePoint, SQL Server, and Office as well as maximize the ROI on their Microsoft Enterprise and Select agreements.
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