when the cost of technology outweighs the value

The cost of technology is frustrating to the business. Hell, it’s frustrating to other technologists! As a disclaimer, I am by no means a Microsoft hater. I like Windows products. I use them at work and often at home.

In my company we use Altiris as our desktop deployment solution. We buy systems from Lenovo/IBM. These systems come with an OEM version of Windows.

We just learned this week that that OEM version is not transferable in our deployment architecture (or any imaging architecture). We now have to repurchase pretty much every copy of Windows that we have. Woot! And people wonder why I refuse to spend my personal money on Microsoft stuff…

Microsoft reps have really wanted to get us to move to an enterprise contract which is basically a high end software assurance deal. But we don’t want to pay Microsoft for the belief that someday they will come out with a product we want to deploy. Software assurances of the past have been a joke. A 3 year deal doesn’t necessarily pay back anything. It took Microsoft 5 years to come out with a new SQL version. The time between XP and Vista was over 3 years. The time between Windows Server 2003 to 2008 has been over 3 years.

Microsoft does add a lot of things to the software assurance deals, but almost all of them have no value to us. In the past decade, our IT teams have no used those services much at all, and we don’t see any real reason to; they have little value to us. It is far cheaper to purchase (and repurchase!) Microsoft licenses outside of an assurance agreement.

And that’s not to even say the products Microsoft offers are ones we want to deploy. Vista adoption in the enterprise is far lower than XP was. And even if one wants to argue that number, there are many companies that have zero plans to adopt Vista, whereas at least with XP most planned to move to it. Business users don’t need fancy graphics and 2GB RAM requirements. Home users use the OS more than business users.

Yes, there is a trend that computing is moving closer to the cloud. Yes, it feels like Microsoft is getting more desparate to cash in as much as they can before that move starts gaining momentum. But will Microsoft’s own action hasten their own fears? Kinda like wanting to hold water in your hand but knowing it will seep out, and seep out faster if you hold it harder.