Goodbye Microsoft

Whenever Microsoft are changing their licensing rules then it means that a number of customers says “Goodbye Microsoft”. And the changes Microsoft did as of June 1st is no difference. Yesterday I had a customer contact me because they had received an email with the following message:

On June 1, 2010, Microsoft will begin requiring a Business Ready Enhancement Plan when making additional license purchases on supported versions of Microsoft Dynamics NAV and Microsoft Dynamics AX.

My customer had received this from their old Dynamics and was ready to say goodbye, not only to Dynamics, but to Microsoft in total. And I must say that when I first read this, then I was also way up there thinking “oh no!”, if they suddenly was starting to say that all customers had to change their current Module Based License (MBL – where you pay for each module/granule) to the Business Ready License (BRL – where you pay for each user in a basic or advanced edition).

After investigating the changes to the Dynamics licensing then I found out that it is actually not THAT bad. The thing is that the Business Ready Enhancement Plan is just the name of the enhancement plan valid for both MBL and BRL licenses.

But it is bad enough: From June 1st 2010 only customers with an active enhancement plan will be able to buy additional users and modules for their Navision or Axapta.

Microsoft have been running campaigns to get current owners of Dynamics to sign up with the enhancement plans since February 1st. where the customers could sign up without paying the additional fees you normally must pay if you didn’t have an active plan for your license for a period. But this campaign finished on May 30th.

So if you didn’t take on this offer from Microsoft before, then you must pay the full enhancement plan if you want to add new modules or users to your existing license. And that can actually become a very expensive affair. You have to pay the full enhancement fee for the whole period, plus a “punishment fee” for not having the plan.

Is it fair?

I do understand that Microsoft is doing this, they want to pressure all customers to buy the enhancement plans. And if they were doing this change for all new customers then I would say that it would be fair.

But that is not the case. Microsoft are suddenly saying to customers “If you do not pay, then you can not expand your current Dynamics ERP solution. You cannot add new users!” – it’s almost like putting a gun to their head. Until now the customers was not able to get new versions, but they knew that they had a great and stable product which they could continue to use for many years. And the have always been able to buy additional users or modules without problems.

In fact I don’t understand how Microsoft is actually allowed to do this change to existing customers. This cannot be legal!

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