I recently had the opportunity to talk to Eric Jewett, Sr. Marketing Manager for Software Assurance about some of the announcements we have recently made around Software Assurance.  Eric wrote up the following article to help IT Managers understand the value of Software Assurance.

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On March 13th, Microsoft launch a number of new benefits and enhancements to Software Assurance based on customer feedback, including 24x7 Problem Resolution Support, Desktop Deployment Planning Services and Virtual PC Express (early availability of part of Windows Vista Enterprise). The release was part of our commitment made when Software Assurance was first released in 2001 to continue to improve and evolve it to meet customers’ needs.

Software Assurance is Microsoft’s maintenance offering for Windows, Office applications and servers that helps customers get the most value from their Microsoft software through a broad range of benefits. Microsoft Software Assurance combines over 15 benefits, including the latest software with 24x7 support, partner services, training, and IT tools that help customers plan, deploy, use, maintain, and transition their software solutions. Enabling customers to stay current with the ever-changing IT landscape and leverage technology and resources to migrate or transition their software. With SA, companies gain more flexibility, support and tools to deploy and maintain software. IT Professionals and Information Workers increase their productivity with exclusive features and new software versions.

In early June, customers with SA on Windows will be able to deploy Windows Fundamentals for Legacy PCs on older hardware to get the security and stability of Windows XP on machines that may still be running Windows 98 or NT. In November, they will receive an exclusive version of Windows called Windows Vista Enterprise, which includes data protection, application compatibility and Mutli-Lingual Interface (MUI) functionality.

If your Volume Licensing agreement with Software Assurance started before March 13th, then you can receive even more SA phone incidents if you take advantage of a promotion to activate the 24x7 Problem Resolution Support benefit before June 30, 2006. For these customers, they will earn SA phone incidents based on their SA spend from September 15, 2005 when the SA 2006 enhancements were announced through the end of their agreement.

Premier customers with SA can even transfer their SA phone incidents into their Premier agreement to receive higher service levels and TAM coverage.

Customers must choose Software Assurance up front at the time of Software purchase. Partners often play an important role in helping customers activate and start using their benefits immediately to realize the value of their invest­ment over the term of the license agreement.

You can learn more about the benefits at http://www.microsoft.com/licensing/progams/sa or by watching webcasts about the benefits at www.sawebcasts.com.

Eric R. Jewett
Sr. Marketing Manager, Software Assurance Value

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Thanks Eric for sharing that information with us.

If you have any comments or questions, leave us a comment.