Microsoft is quietly rolling out a new volume licensing option in Europe for customers who have between five and 250 computers.
Dubbed Multi-Year Open (MYO), the program offers customers a three-year agreement with payment spread out over the period. It has already been introduced in several European countries, including the UK, Germany and the Netherlands this month and other countries in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region are set to follow.
"Our European customers will have the MYO option first, and this will help pave the way towards the global licensing model for worldwide implementation," said a Microsoft spokesman in Europe. "This new offering has been developed in response to feedback from our small and mid-size customers."
The MYO program offers smaller customers what was already available to large customers with more than 250 computers through the Enterprise Agreement program. It offers customers the advantage of spread-out payments, standardised software and simple licence management, according to Microsoft.
The MYO program also includes Software Assurance, which is the right to install the latest version of software covered by the contract. Licences are perpetual, which means a customer can use the software indefinitely after the contract period. It is possible to extend Software Assurance for one or three years, according to Microsoft.
There are two MYO options, enterprise and volume. The enterprise option is for those wishing to standardise on Microsoft software, while customers who only want to install the software on some PCs can choose the volume option.
Available under MYO licence are Microsoft's Windows XP Professional and Office XP Professional, as well as client access licences for Windows, Exchange, Systems Management Server and SharePoint Portal Server. Pricing is based on the number of computers and the products chosen. Microsoft offers a 15 per cent discount when a customer covers all PCs with the entire product range.