Microsoft announced it has changed its Office XP licensing plan, giving business users additional time to upgrade their licensing agreements.
The extension date according to Microsoft is now, February 28, 2002. Customers with current licenses such as Windows 2000 Professional, Office XP, Windows 2000 server and the .Net enterprise servers now have until February 28, 2002 to sign up for Microsoft's Software Assurance program. For customers who need to upgrade licenses for older versions of Office products have the additional five months to pay the Upgrade Advantage program. The Upgrade Advantage gives consumers an upgrade to the current license and extends their Software Assurance program for two years.
While companies using Office 95, 97 and 2000 need to make upgrade decisions before the February 28 deadline, they don't have to actually deploy the product by that date. Under the Software Assurance program users must have a license to upgrade to the current version of the product, now Office XP, or pay significant costs to get that license.
If customers join Upgrade Advantage before February 28, they have to pay a full retail price of $292 per user, per year, and receive the rights to an Office XP Professional upgrade and up to two years of Software Assurance. If the purchase is made after the February 28 deadline, companies will have to buy new Office XP licenses for $454. The optional Software Assurance is another $131 per user, per year.
It is reported that Microsoft is offering a reduced price for Office XP until October 1, 2001.
Note: Microsoft said that the extensions in the licensing agreements will affect Open and Select customers, covering five-plus seats per office and 250-plus seats per office respectively. The extension will not cover Enterprise Agreement or Enterprise Agreement subscription customers due to the fact that those agreements already have the Software Assurance benefit.