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Fishing License

Just something to point people at in your organization who did not see the benefits of a FOSS solution yet. Reliance on proprietary software opens up an ugly licensing liability problem and Microsoft are actively [1] using it to harass and shake down companies.

'' ...

AWC was contacted several weeks ago by Janet Lawless, a software asset management engagement manager at Microsoft, who claimed that "a preliminary review of [AWC's software licensing] information indicates that your company may not be licensed properly." Lawless urged AWC to "understand that the potential inconsistency in licensing is an urgent matter and needs immediate attention." She wanted to send a consultant to AWC to conduct an inventory of its installed software.

Frantz was stunned. He says he always errs on the side of caution with respect to software licenses. He does regular audits and maintains extensive records of purchases, license keys and registration codes. Frantz had no doubt that he was 100% compliant. When he told Lawless that, she ratcheted up the threatening tone of her e-mail correspondence.

"Simply commenting on your licensing environment does not address our concerns in a tangible, proven manner," she wrote. "We continue to believe that Auto Warehousing may not be licensed properly. Since this is a compliance issue, I am obligated to notify an officer of Auto Warehousing of the situation and the significant risk your organization may be subject to by not resolving this situation in a timely manner."

At that point, Frantz got his corporate attorney involved. The attorney suggested that an olive branch be proffered to avoid legal action, so Frantz offered to send Lawless detailed records of all purchases of Microsoft software in the past five years. But Lawless blew that off as well. She seemed determined to get a consultant into the IT bowels of AWC.

"Thank you for your offer to send your purchase records to me," she wrote, "however our Software Asset Management (SAM) program is the only unbiased way to create an accurate baseline and resolve this matter."



[1] Actually this is a sign of stagnation and lack of growth for MSFT that they have a programme to try to squeeze the pips.

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