Microsoft License

My customer provides our team with laptops configured with a bunch of expensive software. They negotiate with vendors to get software site licenses for their employees and contractors. This works out good for me. I get to use licensed expensive software. And my own company does not have to foot the bill for such software.

I just got a message that our customer is renegotiating their licenses with Microsoft. They fully intended to go forward to upgrade to Office 2007, Windows 7, and Exchange 2010. However the current agreement with Microsoft is ending.

One downside to the end of the agreement is that the Microsoft Home Use Program is ending. That means that low or no cost Microsoft software that employees have for home use is no longer valid. They must uninstall the Microsoft products they have at home.

I get the feeling that the customer is no longer going to have such software for employees to use at home. The customer recommended their employees try some free alternatives such as Open Office or Google Docs. This looks like a fail for Microsoft.

What is Microsoft doing? Are they gouging our customer on the Home Use Program? This only looks bad to the many employees who work for my customer. It looks bad to me as well.