×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Microsoft 'Open Value Subscription' is None of the Above

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 6 years ago | from the one-step-forward-three-steps-back dept.

Microsoft 202

daveofdoom writes "This week Microsoft launched an SMB program that contains the words 'open', 'value' and 'subscription', none of which are common to Microsoft products, culture, or marketing. Digging in a bit I found myself confused not only by what the program portends to be but why it would be called 'Open Value Subscription' unless they were hoping to leverage buzzwords and concepts related to open source and SaaS (software as a service). It's such lame and dishonest branding the marketing group should be ashamed."

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

202 comments

Sure (4, Insightful)

ElMiguel (117685) | more than 6 years ago | (#21944646)

It's such lame and dishonest branding the marketing group should be ashamed.

I'm sure they will be ashamed all the way to the bank. Let's face it, Microsoft marketing does these things because they work, as proven by Microsoft's success.

Re:Sure (2)

ChrisMounce (1096567) | more than 6 years ago | (#21944738)

True. For the sake of the consumers, let's hope that such tactics work only in the short term (or is that too unrealistic?).

Define "Open" (5, Interesting)

winkydink (650484) | more than 6 years ago | (#21944782)

So, if it's not used like "Open Source", then it's a hijacking of the term? Come on. That's a pretty big stretch.

My understanding is that this program allows SMB's to become license-compliant while limiting their initial capital outlay, i.e., more pay as you go than all up front.

I really fail to understand why this CNet blogger has a bug up his butt over this.

Re:Define "Open" (2, Insightful)

Joe U (443617) | more than 6 years ago | (#21944854)

I really fail to understand why this CNet blogger has a bug up his butt over this.
This isn't even an article. It's a joke, and a pretty sad one at that.

The Prophet RMS is Suing (5, Funny)

WED Fan (911325) | more than 6 years ago | (#21945332)

So, if it's not used like "Open Source", then it's a hijacking of the term?

Microsoft's use of the word 'Open' for something that is not 'open source', even though they weren't refering to 'open source' is against the intent of the word 'open' and the Prophet Richard M. Stallman, hallowed by His name, peace be unto his greasey smelly armpits, has declared any use of the word 'open' must refer to 'open source' (making the word 'source' redundant) and therefor must also come under GPL 3, a.k.a. the Holy Words of the Prophet, may God smite the toes of the unbelievers.

RMS, the Lord is with the mites that inhabit his beard, is pursuing:

  • Any retailer who puts the sign 'Open' in their front window.
  • Any product that includes instructions about how 'open' said product.
  • Hunters and licensing agencies for 'Open' season.
  • Corporations who have benefit 'open' enrollement.

Remember, if Microsoft uses the word 'Open', we must automatically, and by the word of the Prophet, a thousand blessings on his klingons, assume they are refering to 'open source' and their own twisted interpretation.

We must also make a point to find some way to daily point out how everything Microsoft and Bill Gates does is evil, and post it to /.

Re:The Prophet RMS is Suing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21945734)

Get your religious sects right! RMS is is the prophet of Free Software, he doesn't much like Open Source.

Re:Define "Open" (-1, Troll)

JimDaGeek (983925) | more than 6 years ago | (#21945484)

I really fail to understand...
I am sure you do, working for MS.

Seriously, this is not 3rd grade math or something. MS "marketing" makes claims about "open". Uh, there is nothing "open" about this. Just another MS marketing play-on-words.

Oh, well, we shouldn't care. Right?

Please, tell me how this is "open"? After all, that is a marketing term MS used to describe this. You know, "open". So as an "SMB", I get "value" from this being an new "open" option?

I am really waiting to hear how as an "SMB", I will benefit from this "open" option. To me it just sounds like more ways for MS to confuse their smaller business customers and get them to pay more.

Re:Define "Open" (4, Insightful)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 6 years ago | (#21945792)

My God, you act as if Microsoft invented this. Auto dealers talk about "open pricing options." Real estate agents hold "open houses" all the time -- but guess what, you can't just stay there for free! Seriously, some days it's like a frickin' nursery around here. Adjust your diapers and move on.

Re:Define "Open" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21945880)

Well there are several definitions of "Open" dictionary.com has 42 definitions of for the adjective form of "Open".

Perhaps they mean "Open" as in "Open beta". The term probably means that it is available to all "SMB"s. Did you get the word "Subscription" confused with "source code"?

Put your anti-microsoft feelings aside for a second and think. You are looking for a subscription to use Microsoft's software. Do you really think that their new "Open Value Subscription" means that you can now have the source to Microsoft Office or Windows or whatever other software you are subscribing to?

Re:Define "Open" (1)

jgarra23 (1109651) | more than 6 years ago | (#21945996)

Oh come on, aren't you being a tad bit nit-picky here? I'm no MS shill but who really cares if they use the word "open" in their marketing lexicon when RMS and everyone else has been using it for decades while I can tell you, the "openness" of the "open source" community to the n00b is QUITE THE OPPOSITE.

Besides, why do you care what Microsoft puts in their ads or if their customers are getting ripped off? I've mentioned it time and time again to my friends and business contacts when they ask my advice, don't use MS products for this or that, here's an alternative that will better suit your needs, 95% of the time they end up going with Microsoft products anyway and then come running to me for help when using said product isn't as easy as they were led to believe and yet they still keep going back.

Microsoft isn't putting ANYONE in the poor house by using a shifty marketing department to sell their products. Is everyone who posts on this site completely sheltered from the rest of the world that they think that someone is going to close up shop because they can't afford that copy of SQL Server? Or that Debian is going to be dismantled because "Microsoft TRICKED THEM INTO BUYING WINDOWS OMFFGGGG!!%^%$&^:"

Come on, are you 12??

They can call it The Purple Haired Donkey Butt Initiative for all I care and it means the same thing.

Why don't you go back to doing the good work you do and complain about something real?

Oh, this wasn't meant specifically at parent but pretty much all the nitpicking here.

Re:Define "Open" (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 6 years ago | (#21945696)

What does this have to do with Super Mario Brothers? Oh wait, microsoft right, what does this have to do with Server Message Block?

Re:Define "Open" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21945954)

I do not think that word means what he thinks it means.

Re:Sure (2, Insightful)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 6 years ago | (#21944802)

Agreed...

It's not much different from the litany of automakers proclaiming long and loud about how they're suddenly committed to the Environment, yet behind the scenes will whine and complain (and lobby their asses off) when the the US gov't says it's going to bump gas mileage standards by some embarrassingly small increment at some future point in time.

It's all about the facade until you sign the receipt and call the product yours. Then you get to find that vast gulf between the sweet whispers of marketing promise, and the eardrum-splitting howls of post-purchase reality.

Microsoft just managed to adapt that particular sense of acumen to an otherwise somewhat objective world (technology, that is). Since the computer industry is not really too awful bound by that truth-in-advertising laws that, say, real estate and food would be (at least in the US), the folks at MSFT really don't have to care. Really - what're you gonna do, install Linux in protest? (at least that's the current attitude that I've seen some of the MSFT sales flacks carry).

/P

Re:Sure (1, Informative)

liquidpele (663430) | more than 6 years ago | (#21944816)

So.... if I submit a story claiming Bill Gates eats babies, it'll probably hit the front page huh?
Not only is this overly anti-microsoft, but it's not even a huge deal. They can call it "super-duper open wide like your mom did last night services" if they want as far as I care. What a non-story. Slashdot, you can do better!!

Re:Sure (1, Interesting)

Foofoobar (318279) | more than 6 years ago | (#21944832)

Microsoft marketing does these things because they work
They work far less often than they used to and more often have a negative backlash now. For a company that is fighting it's negative image, things like this only serve to enforce that image and make them look like monopolists.

Consumers (especially in SMB) are not that dumb and they are seeing added expense in this day and age as something their wallets cannot endure. The more you tack on an expense, the more the wonder why they shouldn't get this for free and begin to look for an alternative.

Linux picks up the customers that Microsoft shaves off with moves like this and more often than not, they tend not to lose them (as long as we aren't talking about the desktop... thats where they lose them to Apple).

Re:Sure (3, Informative)

Yalius (1024919) | more than 6 years ago | (#21945144)

"Fighting its negative image"?

That's funny, since Fortune Magazine apparently has MS rated as the 12th most admired company nationwide.

http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/mostadmired/2007/top20/index.html [cnn.com]

Re:Sure (1)

Foofoobar (318279) | more than 6 years ago | (#21945280)

Admired amongst who? The CTO's who make the decisions to not buy Vista? The developers who still complain and bitch on their forums about compatibility? The OEM's that fought to get XP back? The users that don't buy Zune or Vista?

I'd be curious to know who they polled to come up with number 12 and how they even got that far up on the list. Probably only that far on money alone.

Re:Sure (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21945540)

The CEOs who wish they could get away with the stuff that Steve and the boys get away with.

Re:Sure (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21945932)

For the 20 most admired companies overall, FORTUNE's survey asked businesspeople to vote for the companies that they admired most
Yeah a bunch of greedy, money-grubbing cocksuckers admire another bunch of greedy, money-grubbing cocksuckers. Big surprise there. You'll notice walmart is on the list too.

polarizing (1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 6 years ago | (#21946102)

"That's funny, since Fortune Magazine apparently has MS rated as the 12th most admired company nationwide."

I'm sure that classifying Hillary Clinton as one of the most admired women in the world might also be true, in spite of the fact that she is loathed by so many. This is called "Polarizing" and has nothing to do with the merits of either viewpoint.

This is the problem with XOR logic that so prevails our culture. I'm sorry, but MS is both well admired and well loathed. Because it is one (loathed / admired) doesn't mean it isn't the other as well.

Re:Sure (1)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 6 years ago | (#21944844)

Oh please. We all know Microsoft's marketing department has no shame.

Re:Sure (2, Insightful)

Grundlefleck (1110925) | more than 6 years ago | (#21945452)

Oh please. We all know Microsoft's marketing department has no shame.

Being an expert on marketing (I've seen some adverts and watched a Bill Hicks DVD) I'd say that marketers are the new lawyers.

Well, of course... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21945050)

Digging in a bit I found myself confused


And that is why you fail

  [yoda off]

Re:Sure (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21945190)

I agree. The "test" should only be how much profit you make. Everything else should not matter.

Hell, 3 cheers for MS. I hope they can get more money out of me while delivering less. Ah, "capitalism". Giving you less while you pay more.

Yes, we should use "capitalism" for every thing. Does it really matter that a doctor is just trying to "maximize profits"? Is it the fault of the "doctor" that you are a high-risk to value ratio? Come on now! You are certainly not a ultra-liberal commie are you?

MS should be able to profit, regardless of the reasons.

Remember, don't be a commie!!!!

Microsoft sux!!! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21944682)

Microsoft sux!!! First Post

And it;'s not even an actual lease (2, Insightful)

Animats (122034) | more than 6 years ago | (#21944686)

That's so lame. If they actually leased the software, there'd be a potential tax advantage for the buyer. But no...

Re:And it;'s not even an actual lease (3, Informative)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 6 years ago | (#21944866)

Use of property for a fixed amount of time is not a lease? The program described just that. At the end of the lease you can 1) sign up for a new term 2) buy out the lease to own the software or 3) end it all.

Please, give me your definition of lease, and then explain to me if RentACenter offers some kind of tax advantage.

One word and then some more (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21945392)

Depreciations. Businesses can deduct depreciation costs from their taxes. If you don't actually own the software, or lease it, you cannot legally offset your taxes with depreciation.

Marketers... (5, Insightful)

saihung (19097) | more than 6 years ago | (#21944694)

...wouldn't be ashamed labeling sulfuric acid "delicious baby formula." You're barking up the wrong tree with that one.

Re:Marketers... (4, Funny)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 6 years ago | (#21944822)

...wouldn't be ashamed labeling sulfuric acid "delicious baby formula." You're barking up the wrong tree with that one.

Mmmmm...Delicious babies...

Re:Marketers... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21945620)

And now you don't have to chew them!

Re:Marketers... (1)

norminator (784674) | more than 6 years ago | (#21945208)

Just wait until Google comes up with "Google Baby Formula [beta]"... I believe we'll see a Microsoft Delicious Baby Formula yet.

Re:Marketers... (1)

barzok (26681) | more than 6 years ago | (#21945708)

If baby formula tastes anything like it smells, there is no baby formula that is "delicious."

and by ashamed.... (3, Insightful)

Surt (22457) | more than 6 years ago | (#21944708)

I mean, proud.

Seriously, what is a marketing department for, if not to bamboozle people into buying your product who otherwise would not do so?

Obligatory Bill Hicks diatribe on Marketing (3, Funny)

spun (1352) | more than 6 years ago | (#21944840)

By the way if anyone here is in advertising or marketing... kill yourself.

No, no, no it's just a little thought. I'm just trying to plant seeds. Maybe one day, they'll take root - I don't know. You try, you do what you can. Kill yourself.

Seriously though, if you are, do.

Aaah, no really, there's no rationalisation for what you do and you are Satan's little helpers. Okay - kill yourself - seriously. You are the ruiner of all things good, seriously. No this is not a joke, you're going, "there's going to be a joke coming," there's no fucking joke coming. You are Satan's spawn filling the world with bile and garbage. You are fucked and you are fucking us. Kill yourself. It's the only way to save your fucking soul, kill yourself.

Planting seeds. I know all the marketing people are going, "he's doing a joke..." there's no joke here whatsoever. Suck a tail-pipe, fucking hang yourself, borrow a gun from a Yank friend - I don't care how you do it. Rid the world of your evil fucking makinations. Machi... Whatever, you know what I mean.

I know what all the marketing people are thinking right now too, "Oh, you know what Bill's doing, he's going for that anti-marketing dollar. That's a good market, he's very smart."

Oh man, I am not doing that. You fucking evil scumbags!

"Ooh, you know what Bill's doing now, he's going for the righteous indignation dollar. That's a big dollar. A lot of people are feeling that indignation. We've done research - huge market. He's doing a good thing."

Godammit, I'm not doing that, you scum-bags! Quit putting a godamm dollar sign on every fucking thing on this planet!

"Ooh, the anger dollar. Huge. Huge in times of recession. Giant market, Bill's very bright to do that."

God, I'm just caught in a fucking web.

"Ooh the trapped dollar, big dollar, huge dollar. Good market - look at our research. We see that many people feel trapped. If we play to that and then separate them into the trapped dollar..."

How do you live like that? And I bet you sleep like fucking babies at night, don't you?

"What didya do today honey?"

"Oh, we made ah, we made ah arsenic a childhood food now, goodnight." [snores] "Yeah we just said you know is your baby really too loud? You know?" [snores] "Yeah, you know the mums will love it." [snores]

Sleep like fucking children, don't ya, this is your world isn't it?

Re:Obligatory Bill Hicks diatribe on Marketing (1)

MonsterTrimble (1205334) | more than 6 years ago | (#21945940)

Thank you! Now I have to listen to Arizona Bay on my way home tonite. I thought I had kicked the Bill Hicks addiction.

Re:and by ashamed.... (1)

WaZiX (766733) | more than 6 years ago | (#21944900)

Marketing is a societal process that is needed to discern consumers' wants; focusing on a product/service to those wants, and to mould the consumers towards the products/services. Marketing is fundamental to any businesses growth. ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marketing [wikipedia.org] )

Marketing *should* be about trying to find out what consumers want in order for the company to meet their needs. You know, the whole "customer driven business" thing... Of course now it's more about making the customer *believe* you're listening to his needs, rather to actually listen to them...

Re:and by ashamed.... (1)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 6 years ago | (#21945038)

Of course now it's more about making the customer *believe* you're listening to his needs, rather to actually listen to them...

Sadly, most companies seem to be doing that today.

Re:and by ashamed.... (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 6 years ago | (#21945176)

The whole problem with marketing is in the first sentence. Ideally, one would mold product to consumers, rather than the other way around.

Beer advertisers should be ashamed (4, Funny)

WaltBusterkeys (1156557) | more than 6 years ago | (#21944726)

I saw a commercial for beer on TV that featured a hunk in a hot tub surrounded by beautiful women. I tried drinking their product and I found myself fat, alone, and depressed at home watching reruns. The marketing department should be ashamed! Their product doesn't actually cause the things the marketing department suggests it does!

Re:Beer advertisers should be ashamed (3, Funny)

sharkey (16670) | more than 6 years ago | (#21944966)

You're doing it wrong. YOU are supposed to provide large amounts of beer to the beautiful women; so that THEY think your fat, lonely and depressed self looks like the hunk on TV.

So what? OpenDNS isn't open either. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21944750)

Open is like bio, green and other feel-good words. It means that someone wants you to believe that there is more to something than there really is. In this case, and in the case of OpenDNS, they want to hide the for-profit nature of the business behind the impression of participation. It's double plus good. Shame is a forgotten concept.

Re:So what? OpenDNS isn't open either. (1)

PrescriptionWarning (932687) | more than 6 years ago | (#21945170)

They should have called it "Extreme Value Subscription"... oh wait, its not 1999 anymore

Re:So what? OpenDNS isn't open either. (1)

BrentH (1154987) | more than 6 years ago | (#21945836)

Ahhhhh, the nineties. 'Extreme Value 98' or 'Super Subscription 2000'. Wait, wait wait! 'Extreme Super Value Subscription 2000'! Then again, Microsoft is still very much a nineties software company. "Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium Edition". Note how many words in there are everyday words by the way, only marketing departments can come up AND SELL such crap...

From the people who brought you (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21944754)

Windows Genuine Advantage! Because the advantage it brings is genuine and is most definitely not anything like false advertising.

Oblig Pratchett (Soul Music) (1)

SterlingSylver (1122973) | more than 6 years ago | (#21946114)

Windows Genuine Advantage DID concern Windows, though. One for three isn't bad...

(actually, it's 33%, but don't tell anyone)

The Author Makes Assumptions... (5, Insightful)

Real World Stuff (561780) | more than 6 years ago | (#21944756)

that this was to be tied somehow to F/OSS-like models.

From what I read on the MSDN site, there is no reference to any type of development, but more of a partner services sale structure.
It appears Dave Rosenberg is forcing a nefarious connection to support a column he wrote back in the summer of 2006.

Open doesn't mean Open Source (4, Insightful)

Joe U (443617) | more than 6 years ago | (#21944762)

Honestly, learn to read. Just because they use the word Open in the title doesn't mean it's OSS.

It doesn't pretend to be open source, it doesn't mention open source anywhere in the press release. It's a licensing model for resellers.

Re:Open doesn't mean Open Source (2, Insightful)

Bigjeff5 (1143585) | more than 6 years ago | (#21944912)

It's what is known as a "Buzzword".

Just putting Open in the title associates it with such good things as OSS, open business practices, etc.

It makes you think that they are being honest and, well, 'Open'. Or that it is Open to all.

Open is a very hot word right now. Value has always been a hot word, and in some specific situations Subscription can be a hot word. Open is the big buzzword in here, and it is there to associate their product with things like Open Source products, which are very hot right now.

It's a common, sneaky, and boarderline dishonest (you can usually find something that could technically be called 'open' in any product). It's there to fool you, like any buzzword.

The key here is that in any sense that makes any difference, it's not 'Open', there's no new 'Value', and it's not really a 'Subscription' service.

In otherwords, it's 100% pure marketing BS to rip people off.

Re:Open doesn't mean Open Source (1)

Joe U (443617) | more than 6 years ago | (#21944940)

Just putting Open in the title associates it with such good things as OSS, open business practices, etc.
Bullshit, it's a type of an Open ended lease.

A rental agreement that obliges the lessee (the person making periodic lease payments) to purchase the leased asset at the end of the agreement. Also called a "finance lease".

Re:Open doesn't mean Open Source (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21945566)

Bullshit, it's a type of an Open ended lease.
Translation: you will look like the goatse guy time they are done with you. Like many real estate adds saying a place needs some "TLC" generally means it needs major repair or bulldozed and started over with empty lot. Guess Microsoft been wanting to get in on the sub-prime market too. Wonder if they will set up something for investors to finance this for them and then sell off leases in package deals for purported "net present value" to other investors.

Re:Open doesn't mean Open Source (3, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 6 years ago | (#21945034)

Open isn't exactly new as a buzzword in the computing world. In 1991, DIGITAL implemented the (open) POSIX specification on VMS and branded it as OpenVMS. Back then, 'open source' wasn't a term that anyone had heard of. The GNU people had been doing Free Software for a good years, but the term 'open source' did not become popular until around 1998, and gained acceptance in part because open standards were already a buzzword.

Re:Open doesn't mean Open Source (1)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 6 years ago | (#21945088)

Open is a very hot word right now. Value has always been a hot word, and in some specific situations Subscription can be a hot word. Open is the big buzzword in here, and it is there to associate their product with things like Open Source products, which are very hot right now.

Huh? How do you jump from your first use of "Open" (which predates Open Source, BTW) with this statement? Do you really think putting Open in the title is an attempt to say they have something that's open source? I think that says more about how YOU think than other people think..

Re:Open doesn't mean Open Source (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21945094)

right, but one suspects they are using the word "open" specifically to cast confusion on the existing use of it to mean open source, which is a pretty childish thing for a multi-billion dollar company to waste their time on.

Re:Open doesn't mean Open Source (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21945156)

the word Open in the title doesn't mean it's OSS
TFA mentions the possible confusion about OSS, but main his point, namely that this program isn't "Open", is still valid. After all, what is "open" about it? It's a license you sign into. It's terms do not appear to be flexible, changeable, or open-ended.

The overall point about Microsoft abusing the word "open" in naming this new license is valid, even if the allusions to trying to co-opt the term "open source" are spurious.

Re:Open doesn't mean Open Source (1)

ILongForDarkness (1134931) | more than 6 years ago | (#21945554)

I think it is "open" in that you can install the most recent version of the software when it comes out, or a previous version

"value" as in cheaper than a normal purchase, and much better than buying the current version and having another one come out next year that you regret not waiting for

"subscription" doesn't need explanation.

This might be broading the customers that can opt in for the program, but we've had something pretty similar for years in my industry (healthcare). I think they changed the name of our program to something like Health Select or something. Anyways same "stuff" different wrapping. In our case it is going to screw us around a bit. Because our current licensing doesn't exist anymore, we can't roll over our current software on to a new 3 year lease. So we have to buy everything again at the full rate. They still are giving us around a 50% discount so I guess I can't complain too bad, I just wish marketing guys would drink some of the Kool-Aid sometimes rather than having to use the hot spin words of the year all the time, and trying to sell the same crap with a different name. It's not a new GUI, it is a "enhanced user experience".

Re:Open doesn't mean Open Source (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21946026)

This article is completely insane. First off Microsoft Open Value is not a new licensing program, its been around for years as the counterpart to Microsoft Open Business.

"Open" does not have any reference to OSS, it is refering to the fact that the licensing program is "Open to nearly everyone because it requires a very small minimum purchase amount to qualify for a volume license (with Microsoft its five licenses, which even CALs count as). "Value" is referencing its a dispersed payment to lower initial capital outlay, as opposed to "Open Business" which is a pay completely up front program.

For someone familar with the industry to write tripe like this they must have their head completely up their throne, or they're trying to be intentionaly deceptive. Almost every other software vendor who offers volume licensing has similar programs with similar nomenclature, calling the low initial purchase programs either "Open" Licensing or "Transactional" Licensing.

not news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21944786)

Microsoft comes up with yet another licensing system to confuse buyers, news at eleven.

Not as bad as it seems, but not for everyone. (5, Insightful)

silverhalide (584408) | more than 6 years ago | (#21944820)

Consider this case. Say you're a company that needs to invest in 200 copies of a high-end piece of software that costs $5000 a seat. You're now looking down the mouth of a $1,000,000 bill that needs to be paid off in 30 days. This can be upsetting to your accounting folks. Now consider the lease option. Microsoft basically lets you finance your software licenses at a cost of something on the order of $10,000 a month, which is much more palatable for your accountants to manage throughout the year. Best part is, if you hire an additional 50 workers, you can just bump up the lease instead of paying out another increment of $250k.

Also, sometimes leasing things works out more favorably than owning in accounting.

This type of licensing makes no sense for personal use or small quantities of licenses, but on a large scale, there are potential benefits for customers over paying the full price up front.

Re:Not as bad as it seems, but not for everyone. (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 6 years ago | (#21944996)

Consider this case. Say you're a company that needs to invest in 200 copies of a high-end piece of software that costs $5000 a seat. You're now looking down the mouth of a $1,000,000 bill that needs to be paid off in 30 days

Wouldn't a company of the size and type to need such expensive software be spending that much in a couple week's payroll? I am serious here.

People griped about the cost of Adobe's new software too, but I think the target market would call that as being paid by a long weekend's project and pay for itself in productivity increases within a month.

Re:Not as bad as it seems, but not for everyone. (1)

Otter (3800) | more than 6 years ago | (#21945256)

Wouldn't a company of the size and type to need such expensive software be spending that much in a couple week's payroll? I am serious here.

Perhaps, but a couple of weeks' payroll isn't a trivial amount!!! What seems odd, though, is that Microsoft doesn't really have much expensive software. This program seems more appropriate to a CAD vendor than to Excel and PowerPoint.

At any rate, the column is witless. I'm accustomed to teenagers who genuinely can't imagine that everyone doesn't use and pay for computers exactly like they do, but you'd think that someone claiming to be a CEO had would have more of a clue.

Re:Not as bad as it seems, but not for everyone. (1)

CambodiaSam (1153015) | more than 6 years ago | (#21945064)

Exactly. I'm the unfortunate soul tasked as the Primary Contact for our MS Gold Partnership. We use the Service Provider License Agreement (SPLA) to do the same thing but for hosting apps as a third party. If it weren't for that legal annoyance in their EULA, we would probably purchase the licenses even with the up front cost. There's little incentive for us to upgrade apps based on MS propaganda or some "3 year lifespan", and that's where the real savings kick in.

For example, we have a lot of very happy Office 2000 users out there that would scream if we forced them to change. If our market was demanding the latest and greatest every time it came out, it would be different. So in our case, it would make a lot more sense to purchase licenses if we were allowed.

So what? (4, Insightful)

AlXtreme (223728) | more than 6 years ago | (#21944858)

It's such lame and dishonest branding the marketing group should be ashamed.

If every lame and dishonest practice of marketing groups were to be published on /. we'd be under an avalanche.

This isn't news for nerds. This isn't stuff that matters. Total nitwits are paid to come up with this crap, imho it doesn't deserve any additional coverage.

That's not going to do it... (3, Informative)

ahoehn (301327) | more than 6 years ago | (#21944870)

It's such lame and dishonest branding the marketing group should be ashamed.
As someone who writes advertisements for a living, let me assure that it will take far more than being accused of lameness and dishonesty to shame a marketing group.

Actually, lameness and dishonesty are generally marks of distinction in the advertising world. In fact, just the other day my creative director was telling me, "What is this crap?! It's neither lame nor dishonest!"

Seriously though, you can't expect anything beyond the most vague truthiness from marketing. Even the FTC's guidelines [ftc.gov] for truth in advertising are brilliantly open for interpretation.

While I'm all for a good Microsoft Bashing Session, just about every marketing department everywhere could be pinned for this type of "deceptive" practice.

Re:That's not going to do it... (2, Funny)

bcattwoo (737354) | more than 6 years ago | (#21946160)

Seriously though, you can't expect anything beyond the most vague truthiness from marketing. Even the FTC's guidelines [ftc.gov] for truth in advertising are brilliantly open for interpretation.

There you go trying to insinuate that the FTC has anything to do with OSS.

MS marketing can be scarier than horror films. (1)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | more than 6 years ago | (#21944874)

"It's such lame and dishonest branding the marketing group should be ashamed."

That makes me laugh. I agree, of course. There are a LOT of technical companies with marketing companies that are out of touch with the reality of their business, and don't even seem to want to be in touch.

If you want to be a little scared, you can watch horror films. But if you want to be really, really deeply frightened, hang around some Microsoft marketing efforts. There are people who have turned themselves into drones. The go about their day robotically, not even realizing that what they do has no positive effect, or maybe any effect at all. They seem to think they have jobs, but actually they are locked into some forgotten corporate warp.

Re:MS marketing can be scarier than horror films. (1)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | more than 6 years ago | (#21945362)

Those who doubt that other companies also have marketing departments that are detached from reality can order an Intel Bunny People doll bag [intelapacstore.com] to carry their Intel Bunny People(tm) dolls.

Re:MS marketing can be scarier than horror films. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21945794)

That's so cool! I'm buying two.

I didn't know there were Intel Bunny People. I'm getting the entire set as an after Christmas gift for my daughter.

In related news (1)

Sciros (986030) | more than 6 years ago | (#21944882)

Nintendo launched an SMB program leveraging the buzzwords "platform," "galaxy", and "adventure." And "b00zar."

Sorry that's just the first thing that came to mind when I saw "SMB" and I *still* haven't bothered to find out what it actually stands for in the context of TFA.

Re:In related news (1)

just_another_sean (919159) | more than 6 years ago | (#21945378)

...came to mind when I saw "SMB" and I *still* haven't bothered to find out what it actually stands for in the context of TFA.
SMB = Small/Medium Business.

Well (5, Funny)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 6 years ago | (#21944886)

The first suggestion was "Anal-rape ball-and-chain vendor-lockin" but that just didn't have the same ring. The focus groups suggested only about a quarter of the current customer base would buy into the project with that name.

Re:Well (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21945878)

Actually if it was called "Anal-rape ball-and-chain vendor-lockin" this would have never made it to /. Now if they changed it to " Open -Anal-rape ball-and-chain vendor-lockin" then that's front page material.

Microsoft does use Subscription all the time (4, Informative)

JudasBlue (409332) | more than 6 years ago | (#21944918)

Microsoft has referred to their MSDN stuff as a subscription, or at least used to. I dunno, I weened myself off the redmond teat a long time ago and no longer have to deal with their crappy products.

And now that I think about it, Value is a pretty normal thing to put in the name of something. So that leaves us with Open, and if you read what the thing actually is, a slightly flexible account without exact license numbers on it, that actually makes some sense.

In other words, this is a pretty normal product name, a guy going off in a post for no reason to abuse Microsoft when there are plenty of GOOD reasons to abuse Microsoft, and an editor who really, really can't tell what is news.

Re:Microsoft does use Subscription all the time (1)

Nebu (566313) | more than 6 years ago | (#21945026)

Microsoft has referred to their MSDN stuff as a subscription, or at least used to. I dunno, I weened myself off the redmond teat a long time ago and no longer have to deal with their crappy products.

And now that I think about it, Value is a pretty normal thing to put in the name of something. So that leaves us with Open, and if you read what the thing actually is, a slightly flexible account without exact license numbers on it, that actually makes some sense.

In other words, this is a pretty normal product name, a guy going off in a post for no reason to abuse Microsoft when there are plenty of GOOD reasons to abuse Microsoft, and an editor who really, really can't tell what is news.

Mod parent up. Microsoft has lots of subscription services, and has been going for SaaS for quite some time now. What the heck do you think that "Live" initiative (Xbox Live, Windows Live, MSN Live, Office Live, etc.) is all about? Someone who claims subscriptions are unusual for Microsoft is clearly too ignorant of Microsoft's services to make any informed criticism of those services.

"open" (1)

nguy (1207026) | more than 6 years ago | (#21944938)

This is "open" in the sense of "it is an open question how much value, if any, you get out of the subscription".

They can't (2, Funny)

DynaSoar (714234) | more than 6 years ago | (#21944976)

> "It's such lame and dishonest branding the marketing group should be ashamed."

The two subspecies that are parasitic on businesses, marketoids and attournasaurus, are able to function in large part because they *don't* feel shame. Their conscience has been eaten away by malignant greedanoma. The same could be said of many politicians, but politics and business are symbiotic with each other. They gang up to prey on the vast herds of sheeple that, contrary to nature's way, continually run *towards* the predators, and attract their attention by throwing money at them for any reason the predators invent.

Welcome to Earth. Loonie bin to the universe.

Move along, there's nothing to see here! (5, Informative)

ocbwilg (259828) | more than 6 years ago | (#21945060)

I'm guessing that the submitter is a Linux guy looking to make some anti-Microsoft noise on a slow news day. Why?

Digging in a bit I found myself confused not only by what the program portends to be but why it would be called it 'Open Value Subscription' unless they were hoping to leverage buzzwords and concepts related to open source and SaaS (software as a service).

It's not an attempt to trade on buzzwords and concepts related to Open Source and SaaS. Microsoft has used the term "Open" for years in their licensing programs (at least a decade that I'm aware of).

For years there have been three main categories of volume licenses. They are "Open" (for small businesses who only buy a handful of licenses at a time), "Select" (for large businesses with higher purchasing requirements) and "Enterprise" (for the largest organizations). As you move up the tiers the per-license cost gets lower and the associated benefits increase. For example, if you have an Open license you are expected to buy a license before deploying software. With the higher level agreements you are required to perform a regular "true-up" where you audit the number of licenses in use, compare that count to the number of licenses you own, and then buy enough to cover the gap. At the highest level you are only required to true-up annually. As you can imagine, this makes it a lot more difficult for the BSA to come in and claim that you're using unlicensed software.

The "Value" part of the name refers to features that are included with the volume license plans, and the actual "Value" increases as you move up the tiers. "Value" benefits can include a set number of Microsoft Consulting hours per year, a number of "free" support incidents, and a number of units of training on Microsoft products. Some even include vouchers for Microsoft certification exams.

The "Subscription" part of the name refers to the fact that you are paying an annual licensing fee. This used to be simply called Software Assurance, but nobody was buying it. Instead they started bundling more benefits and called it what it is, an annual subscription.

So there's no mystery there, and certainly nobody trying to trade on the good names of "Open Source" and "SaaS."

I just love how people who know nothing about Microsoft other than "I'm supposed to hate them" are always jumping to the most nefarious conclusions based on the most flimsy and innocuous of evidence.

Mod parent up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21945338)

Good God, knowledge _and_ experience. What are you doing on /.?

Calm down, folks... This isn't new (1)

bitrot42 (523887) | more than 6 years ago | (#21945072)

Microsoft's use of the word "Open" for licensing is nothing new. There has been an "Open License" program for years. It simply means that it is open to small businesses that don't qualify for the enterprise licensing deals. (All that's new is the "Subscription" part, which has some interesting and troubling ramifications.)

If you are going to be outraged, you need to go back in time a few years...

What are the facts here? (1)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 6 years ago | (#21945140)

While nobody reasonable party derives happiness from confusion, I would like Microsoft to understand that it (Microsoft) is entitled to its own opinions but not it's own "facts." Just wanted to make that absolutely clear.

Re:What are the facts here? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21946132)

While nobody reasonable party derives happiness . . . blah, blah, blah . . . Just wanted to make that absolutely clear

Absolutely clear as mud. Thanks!!

Front page? Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21945142)

Blogger confused by MS naming, and it gets on Slashdot? What am I missing here besides the irrational need to bash all things MS?

Seriously MS does all sorts of crap that is worthy of scorn. What the heck is this taking up space for?

SMB? Please define! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21945264)

The summary uses the acronym "SMB", which is used in TFA [cnet.com], and is also used on the linked Microsoft blog [msdn.com]. At no point does anyone define this term or give enough contextual clues for it to be obvious.

After thinking about it for a minute, I figured out that it must mean "small and medium business [wikipedia.org]", but given that SMB has many definitions [wikipedia.org], especially in the tech field, would it have been so difficult to just expand the acronym and explain the context? Instead of "...launched a SMB program..." why not "...launched a new licensing program targeted at small and medium-sized businesses..." Yes, it requires a few more words, but we're no longer in an age of trying to squeeze a certain amount of information onto sheets of physical paper.

I understand the need for acronyms and tech-lingo in specialized discussions (I'm a geek, after all)... but when reporting it doesn't hurt to provide context!

Re:SMB? Please define! (4, Insightful)

Not The Real Me (538784) | more than 6 years ago | (#21945616)

The summary uses the acronym "SMB", which is used in TFA...At no point does anyone define this term or give enough contextual clues for it to be obvious...it must mean "small and medium business"...

I agree with your points and the lack of defining what SMB means had me perplexed as well. I usually associate SMB with the Samba project (server message block). The problem is that the submitter and the author of the original article are both techno-dweebs. They therefore assume that everyone is clairvoyant, knows everything that they know and are capable of reading their minds. In a perfect world, Slashdot would've rejected the submission for failing to clarify what "SMB" means.

zomg (1)

idontgno (624372) | more than 6 years ago | (#21945298)

Marketing? Dishonest?

I'm shocked, shocked.

Sigh.

"Open" is the "turbo" of the 2000s. Marketing latches onto "hot" memes like walleyes hitting jigs in spring. They can't help it. It's instinctive.

Objective (or subjective) truthfulness or applicability is irrelevant. If you can hand-wave and retrofit a coherent explanation onto the appropriation of a piece of mindshare, all the better. But that's optional.

I guess the real story here is that a /. submitter is insufficiently jaded for the real world. And the editors are credulous and unassuming, innocent as the driven snow.

Value? (0, Troll)

HangingChad (677530) | more than 6 years ago | (#21945314)

meaning that customers acquire their software licenses from a Microsoft Reseller, who in turn, acquires the licensing from a Microsoft Volume Licensing Distributor.

First we have seven layers of Vista licensing hell, now we have circle jerk licensing. You buy your license from some guy selling them out of the back of his car in an alley, then he gets them from another distributor who packages volume licenses...where's the value in that for the customer?

And if somewhere in that chain your licenses aren't legit, of course MS isn't going to hold you responsible. No BSA audits for you...oh, wait, you'd still be subject to those. But if you could prove you didn't know the licenses were bogus they might waive all the fines! Wo-ho! Lucky you!

Pretty soon they're going to need to offer a certification in MSBS just to manage enterprise licensing.

Re:Value? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21945768)

Here here...as one who sells this stuff everyday, I can tell you that the recent changes make things even harder than they were...and they were no picnic.

Microsoft is now making is so incredibly hard for resellers to manage licensing that it takes 5 hoops to jump through what 2 would accomplish pre-change.

If only these people complaining would see the 150 page MS Sales Tool Kit that I have to rifle through to get sku numbers.. it really should not be this hard. How about CALS or SA? You do need to go to school to make it all make sense...

And yes, Open Value has been around for many years and nothing, absolutely nothing to do with Open Source in any way.

Re:Value? (1)

Kalriath (849904) | more than 6 years ago | (#21946196)

And if somewhere in that chain your licenses aren't legit, of course MS isn't going to hold you responsible. No BSA audits for you...oh, wait, you'd still be subject to those. But if you could prove you didn't know the licenses were bogus they might waive all the fines! Wo-ho! Lucky you!
Actually, you're missing the only good thing about the Genuine Advantage program - if you dob in the bastard that sold you the dodgy licenses, they give you free legit replacements for any pirated ones you got.

this is Igoa7sex (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21945406)

If you answered 40,000 wor4stations to say 7here have Mr. Raymond's

Ha ha (1)

blueZ3 (744446) | more than 6 years ago | (#21945478)

You said "marketing group" and "ashamed" - those almost never go together. Everyone knows that marketing has no shame.

Re:Ha ha (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21945752)

You said "marketing group" and "ashamed" - those almost never go together. Everyone knows that marketing has no shame.
They are not above using shame though. Especially when marketing charity, political decisions, etc. Basically, any requested "service" by their Johns, errr, customers.

Once you get through the hate (0, Redundant)

Orig_Club_Soda (983823) | more than 6 years ago | (#21945908)

Basically, MS is offering small business a way to reduce ***up front costs***. For a ***small business*** pirating software is more appealing than buying it. You guys need to take off the hate goggles once in a while.

It also has a component for resellers - which is revenue source for small businesses...

Marketing has messed up technology & the Inter (1)

FromTheAir (938543) | more than 6 years ago | (#21945942)

I think the marketing department(s) have rendered technology inefficient and destroyed consistency and clarity in naming conventions and created confusion Microsoft is a good example. Is it Office XP or Office 2002? We are often asking which one came first? This includes processor naming as well, so we can include Intel. What is wrong with using the year it was designed and manufactured?

Of course we also see what marketing has done to the Internet consuming bandwidth and messing up efficient design and TV where it influences reporting and promotes more fiction and propaganda.

What we really need to do with marketing is keep it simple, as a consumer I want to know the features and benefits, the quality of the material and the price and the warranty which indicates how long the product is engineered to last, often to the day. Then I can calculate the actual benefit and value it will provide and if the cost justifies the purchase.

What we don't need in marketing is ego manipulation, plays on emotions, and empty meaningless marketing words that create an illusion or appearance with nothing behind it.

I want to know did you use stainless steel or plastic, did you pollute the environment?

I am looking to buy from companies that are smart and efficient, producing quality. In the long run quality is actually cheaper than the cheap stuff because it lasts longer, and it is up to the consumer to realize this, be able to determine it, and pay for quality and quit buying the cheap stuff.

What we need to implement is a new system, I have one that will work, that we can look up any product see exactly what is made with and how, the material cost and even the profit margin. The more efficient the manufacturer the lower the profit margin.

In fact should we just have a central database of all products where I can type in what I am looking for and then compare? The only reason to have any type of marketing is simply to let us know when something new comes into existence or some improvement.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...