back to article ValueLicensing tries to smack down Microsoft defenses in license reselling spat

Microsoft's tussle with ValueLicensing over perpetual licensing terms has taken another turn after the software reseller asked the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) to strike out parts of Redmond's amended defense. ValueLicensing is suing Microsoft for £270 million ($342 million) in damages for alleged anticompetitive behavior …

  1. JulieM Silver badge


    Why, in 2023, is anyone still paying for software -- let alone putting up with stupid vendor-imposed limits on what they are allowed to do with it?

    Everything you need is already available, for no cost; and with permission not only to make as many copies as you like, but to alter it as you think fit.

    1. TonyJ

      Re: Mugs

      "...Why, in 2023, is anyone still paying for software -- let alone putting up with stupid vendor-imposed limits on what they are allowed to do with it?

      Everything you need is already available, for no cost; and with permission not only to make as many copies as you like, but to alter it as you think fit..."

      Sorry, but this is such an oversimplified view of the world.

      For an individual, then sure - there is almost always something available.

      However, for a corporation, free to use is rarely free to deploy, manage, or support. On top of that, they will usually be using something that is industry-standard. And you want that company to be around in a few years' time as well (especially where it's business-critical).

      There is a perfectly usable, free, alternative to Microsoft Office, that people can get along with fine at home* but there's also reasons why it's never kicked MS's dominance out in the corporate world: the rest of said corporate world already use it and you want compatibility with what they're sending over/you're sending over. There are untold numbers of plugins and add-ons that are in use by some of the other huge corporate vendors, etc etc.

      And finally not everyone has the skills - or even the desire - to alter software.

      And of course - by paying, you have someone you can hold to the fire when things go wrong, as well as someone to shout at. When that someone is an individual doing it in their spare time, you lose that ability. Again that may not mean a lot at home, but it means something in business.

      *Yes I know some businesses use it - that wasn't really the point I was making though. It's largely horses for courses but free to procure rarely equates to free to support/use in business.

      1. I could be a dog really Bronze badge

        Re: Mugs

        You missed out that MS has a wide range of "good enough*" software, all "sort of" glued together to look like it's integrated, and thanks to proven illegal practices in the past has effectively killed off competition in several key areas.

        While it is possible to ditch OfficeMS 3652 and use alternatives, in practical terms it's a LOT of work as you'd have to build/integrate a lot of what MS has already done for you. And you can guarantee that you'd be on a perpetual upgrade treadmill as MS repeatedly alters it's openproprietary file formats so as to break whatever alternatives might look like getting too popular. So thanks to proven illegal practices of the past, they've cemented a position where all big corporates use MS, therefore anyone dealing with them has to use MS, hence most businesses use MS, hence no-one can easily use anything else.

        Of course, if a few government size users turned around and said "Office Open XML isn't adequate as a standard until you show an independent test/verification suite and that your software passes" then the problem with supposedly open but actually proprietary file formats isn't going away.

        * Even "good enough" is questionable for some stuff.

    2. Andy The Hat Silver badge

      Re: Mugs

      Free software ...

      "Oh, my £100m company has an issue with it's free software that throws an error, I'll just phone the free support line and get then to raise the issue with the obviously free developer."

      I see nothing wrong with that as a completely sustainable system of "slaveryware" - or perhaps you'd prefer to throw them a half-gnawed bone occasionally and only call it "serfdomware"?

    3. IGotOut Silver badge

      Re: Mugs

      "Everything you need is already available, for no cost; "

      That has to be the most stupid, I'll informed, and frankly absurd statement I've read on the internet, well, at least this week.

      Have you EVER used a software that isn't based around work you can do from Starbucks?

      Seriously go into any large industrial, medical or even a large tech company, and name the free version of every single bit of software they use.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      For many, it isn’t available

      For those thinking common Linux distros are a viable corporate solution for endpoints, even with the very latest components (incl. explicit sync patches) using XWayland on GNOME/KDE with an NVIDIA card is still likely to give an epileptic person a seizure, yet distributions are still gearing up to dump Xorg. Then there's the lack of stable hardware accelerated video encoding support on Firefox, Chromium and all the rinky dink Electron apps people make video calls in our new WFH era. This is also before we take into account the lack of proper MDM and/or desktop profile policy support (e.g. like what Sabayon offered for GNOME 2) in the newer iterations of both GNOME and KDE desktop environments.

      As a businessman, when you’re already at the point where you’re trusting Microsoft with control over your desktops/laptops and the documents you create, send and receive, it becomes really easy to justify paying them for the rest, so that you know in a serious pinch that paying a few hundred pounds at worst for a business-critical break fix case will get your business out the hole. The number of cases likely to be raised vs. the cost of equivalent support subscriptions to get equivalent coverage means Microsoft’s propositions still appear to win out on paper in many situations too.

      In server environments running as virtual machines to provide public-facing services, Linux will always win the day, hands down because it’s so ridiculously well-optimised for that scenario that people would be stupid not to use it. But when it comes to desktops/laptops, with exception to very specific use cases, it’s missing a lot of very basic functionality to cover common corporate use cases, with no sign of the issues being resolved any time soon (though being a Fedora lover, as soon as that changes, I’ll know!)

  2. Peter-Waterman1

    Its a great model

    The licensing model for Microsoft is excellent business; they dominate the market and dictate how customers must run their infrastructure. What their poor, unfortunate customers don't realise is when they swap that perpetual licence for a heavily discounted subscription, they also give up the right to take said perpetual licence to any cloud other than Azure. So they better like Azure; otherwise, they are going to have to re-licence their entire Windows/SQL estate to go somewhere else.

    1. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: Its a great model

      The company I work for has switched almost exclusively to cloud and subscription from MS.

      The on premise service was bad to begin with and now it's almost unusable. That is not hyperbole. I am constantly missing notices and getting very delayed email and messages. The system also does not like that I have accounts across different domains. Does not like it at all. Anything on One Drive has become Schrodinger's cat.

      The list just goes on from there.

      How anyone thinks MS is fit for purpose is beyond belief. This house of cards WILL utterly collapse one day. And sooner than most people think.

      1. Danny 14

        Re: Its a great model

        we have found the exact opposite. autopilot and intune for deployment, sure the gpo to intune policy was a little backward in respect to powerhell (sic) scripts but we are more flexible now. 2FA is much better with the online services now, we still have veeam backup and restore. Onedrive and sharepoint work seamlessly with our ipads and interactive screens too. Cost is about the same but flexibility and admin is easier.

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