As Support For Windows XP Ends, A Majority Of PCs Still Run The Aging OS


As the clock ticks down to the end of Windows XP support, a majority of business machines are still running the aging operating system, suggests a new Softchoice-led study.

Sixty-two percent of desktops and laptops continue to operate on Windows XP or older operating systems, according to aggregate data gathered from over 620,000 PC’s of hundreds of Softchoice clients. Just 38 percent of surveyed machines were running a newer OS, including Windows 7 and to a lesser extent, Vista.

Although this is an improvement from last year (a previous Softchoice study showed that as of August 2011, 71% of PC’s still ran XP), the new numbers indicate two thirds of North American businesses are running an OS that will soon be obsolete, as Microsoft plans to cease support for XP as of April 2014.

In November, Softchoice will kick off its latest Discovery Series, an informative seminar hosted by our team of Microsoft experts where we’ll explore the business challenges of upgrading – and the real value of Windows 8.

[Read more…]

Significant Microsoft Pricing & Licensing Changes Are Coming December 1st, 2012

In the last couple of weeks, Microsoft has discreetly made significantly changes both in terms of licensing and pricing that will go into effect on December 1st.

Since Microsoft is not pushing communications of many of these changes directly to end customers, the supporting info is limited and requires walking through MS pricelists, updated Product Use Rights (PUR), and Partner FAQs.  Below are some of the highlights coming in December.

I highly recommend you touch base with your Softchoice Account Manager and dedicated Softchoice Microsoft Specialist to better understand how these changes will impact your organization along with developing options to best mitigate additional & unforeseen costs.

All Microsoft Server-CAL Products Affected  (Documented in Partner FAQ and will be visible on December price-list available November 1st)

  • All User CAL costs are increasing 15%
  • Device CAL costs remain the same

Microsoft believes it is time to take these steps with respect to the user CALs. The market has changed in the last decade and users are working from many different devices today. Here are the three primary drivers of increased value for customers in the user CAL. [Read more…]

Modern Tools For Modern Application Development








Let’s face it. It’s never been more challenging to deliver modern software that end-users want to use, wherever and whenever they want. The consumerization of IT means end-users have bigger ideas and higher expectations than ever. They’re showing up to work with their own tablets, mobile devices and laptops, and they are demanding to interact with business applications on every platform.

Through investments in development infrastructure such as Application Lifecycle Management (ALM), organizations will meet the challenge of delivering modern apps.

[Read more…]

Confused about Companion Device Licensing? Softchoice can help.

The Windows team at Microsoft made a subtle but impactful announcement on April 18th that took some time to acquire traction in the blogosphere. The announcement: The introduction of the Companion Device License (CDL). 

Microsoft subject matter experts at Softchoice are preparing a variety of resources and information for you on this new development to help shed light on what this means. We’ll be digesting what the impact of the CDL will be and how you & your organizations can make preparations in future blog posts.

In the meantime, here’s our review of the basics…

[Read more…]

SQL EAP Licensing changes now in effect (long term benefits still remain)


Customers who Signed By to April 1st Saw Advantages in EAP Agreement Terms

In a recent survey conducted by Softchoice in March, nearly 70% of customers surveyed had either never heard of an EAP Agreement (Enrollment Application Platform Agreement) or expressed specific interest in learning more. Surprisingly, only 15% of customers were currently leveraging EAP advantages in their organization.

As of April 1st, significant changes took effect with regards to the minimum number of processors required for an initial EAP and not everyone took advantage.

Prior to April 1st, Microsoft outlined a 6 processor requirement to enroll in an EAP and after April 1st, the new EAP requires a 50 core minimum (12.5 processors at an average of 4 cores per processor). This change effectively doubles the amount of processors running SQL needed to get into the enrollment.

If your organization was one of the many who took advantage of an EAP before the licensing changes of SQL 2012 took effect on April 1st, well done!  The decision will yield benefits for years to come.  But what if you didn’t act in time?  SQL 2012 packs many reasons why customers should look to switch or upgrade.  The EAP is still the best purchasing vehicle for customer running SQL and should be investigated in most circumstances.

Although we’ve outlined the benefits of an EAP several times with content provided in our SQL 2012 Licensing Field Guide and via our blog in postings like this, here’s a quick recap on how working with an EAP through Softchoice can help you navigate the SQL licensing waters.

What is it? [Read more…]

SQL 2012 (Denali): Microsoft outlines upcoming licensing changes

News from Microsoft HQ in Redmond WA yesterday regarding future changes to SQL licensing for their partners and customers. SQL 2012 (formerly codenamed Denali) is scheduled for launch in the first half of next year.  Keeping informed and ahead of the curve in managing and proactively planning licensing options is more critical than ever in third party hosting & virtualizing heavy environments. Stay tuned to future posts in the Navigator for additional details.

We reviewed the preliminary info on this and compiled some high level changes to be aware of:

  • SQL Datacenter & Workgroup licenses will be retired
  • A new version of SQL…SQL BI (Business Intelligence)
  • The Server + CAL model of licensing will only be available for the BI and Standard version of SQL
  • SQL Processor licensing will move to a Core-Based model
  • SQL 2012 offers increased ease of switching between on-premise and cloud deployments
  • Licensing transitions are built out in SQL 2012 to help customers move to the new models

Software Assurance is the best way to protect SQL customers’ investments.  Enrollments for Application Platform (EAPs) will continue to offer the best value, including discounts up to 40% on new Enterprise and BI editions of SQL.  Upon initial analysis, customers running processors with 4 or less cores will have a minimum price impact.

Revisit the Softchoice Navigator Blog for more information on these SQL changes including:

  • Technical & Licensing In-Depth posts
  • Informational one pagers, FAQs and other resources
  • Customer Facing Webinars

For more detailed information on SQL 2012 licensing changesread the FAQ or Data Sheet.