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Microsoft no longer offers a Technology Guarantee on our products. Customers can purchase a SQL 2000 License (L), SQL 2000 License with Software Assurance (LSA) or renewal on Software Assurance (SA) for existing SA on existing products. If the customer purchases just the L, they would not get the next release of the product (in this case SQL 2005). If the customer then wanted SQL 2005, they would purchase the full L for SQL 2005 again when it becomes available. If they purchase SQL 2000 with LSA today, they would get SQL 2000 now and future releases of SQL during the term of the SA agreement (typically 3yrs). In this case, they should get SQL 2005 since it is due out at the end of this year. SA is usually a 3 year deal with an average cost of 30% of an L per year.
Illustration A: Let’s say an L for SQL costs $1000. SA would be $300 per year. In a 3 year agreement, the total cost would be $1900. Depending on the type of agreement, the costs can be annualized over the three year period or paid in one up-front lump sum.
Illustration B: Let’s say you buy the L for SQL 2000, cost is $1000 today, and you purchase without SA. At release of SQL 2005 you would pay another $1200 for license (there is expected to be a price increase with the release of SQL 2005). Total investment would be $2200
So not only does SA offer you access to newer releases of the products, it provides additional support. For more information on all SA Benefits, please go to: http://www.microsoft.com/licensing/programs/sa/default.mspx.
For additional information on how to purchase SQL, visit the following site: http://www.microsoft.com/sql/howtobuy/.