Software vendors and their partners with whom I have dealt have the attitude that because they own software, the world owes them a living. An example of this can be seen in the negotiations between M$ and IBM over licensing terms that M$ used to dish out:
“Because of the great discrepancies revealed in the recent software audit, we are of the strong belief that IBM and Microsoft need to complete the audit to Microsoft’s‘ satisfaction before returning to business as usual and licensing additional software products to IBM. Unforumately, due to the current timing, this could lead to a delay in our ability to conclude the Wmdows 95 agreement. In addition. I understand that there are still some outstanding issues in the licensing terms for Windows 95…
I would rather propose the following. First, we agree to stop the audit completely and you pay us in addition to what you paid us aheady and the $4.2M discovered in the WINDOWS audit, a settlement amount of $25 M. This will include all possible interest charges and penalties we might usess. If you agree, we would not insist on the further audits or audit MS—DOS extensions as described above.“ and the attitude of M$ to other platforms:
“The day we need to panic, is the day when an application written to a Mac Java VM (or NC) can do everything that a native Windows application can do. We are not there yet, and God forbid that any of us ever live to see that day.
…All of our technologies and innovations will be optimized for Windows.“
That was the “good old days” of monopoly software.
Today, more buyers of software services are demanding a better deal. They are demanding lower prices, reasonable prices and verifiable prices. The old days of counting every PC in the building are gone. The CIA wants software vendors to be more like Amazon, charging for service actually rendered and with flexible licensing matching the changing conditions of the organization.
“Rather than stick with traditional all-you-can-eat deals known as “enterprise licensing agreements,” the CIA wants to buy software services on a “metered,” pay-as-you-go basis, Ira “Gus” Hunt, the agency’s top technology officer, told an industry conference.”
CIA to Software Vendors: A Revolution Is Coming
Of course, I recommend Debian GNU/Linux in-house so most of the licensing issues are gone as soon as you acquire the software. It’s the right way to do IT.