SBS 2008 Launch Tour visited our windblown and powered off (580,000+ outages) city yesterday. We had to scramble and relocate the meeting so we didn’t have to run a PowerPoint presentation via candles. It was encouraging that a descent crowd found the changed last minute gathering spot.
Can’t say anything revolutionary was learned that I hadn’t already seen from using the SBS 2008 RC code but it was nice to converse with someone from the development team and marketing team. It was also fun to throw out some suggestions to the guys who can implement them or directly influence those that can. One suggestion that got good reception was for a web based matrix in order to provide a simple guide of upgrade options based upon licenses and CALS presently owned. Bernardo Munoz, Microsoft Director of Marketing, took particular interest in surveying with raised hands how many current clients would likely upgrade during the next year. The popular estimate was that 30-40% of businesses would upgrade and the remaining market for SBS 2008 would be new purchases.
There was quite a lot of conversation over the changes to the emerging licensing non-enforcement ‘honor code’ system and how that would play out in the competitive marketplace; it should be interesting to see if everyone plays fairly. When things aren’t concrete there is uneasiness and that was revealed in spades.
We did learn that there will be a short term period in which Open Value Subscriptions might be leveraged to get a current SBS install qualified for an upgrade; however, as always the devil is in the details and we weren’t presented with those. There is a licensing boot camp coming next week from the Heartland PCM, Brad Rozen, so I hope to learn more then. My guess is that Eric Ligman will also have great and timely licensing and Open Value resources to support us during launch if they aren’t there already.
We were told that SBS 2003 R2 SKU’s will continue to be listed for sale through the end of October; so if you want to take advantage of SA rights and getting the extra software such as ISA 2006, an extra Server 2003 R2 license, Outlook 2007/Entourage, …etc and cheaper prices, the window is quickly closing to take advantage of the deal.
By the way, I would be remiss if I didn’t call attention to some nice rebates and incentives that have come in place such as the Big Easy 2.0. Brad Rozen, Heartland PCM, touched on this and as always was very well heard; he can deliver and be understood throughout a crowded room. Also Brad called the Partners’ attention to upcoming licensing boot camps including next Tuesday’s in the Cincinnati Microsoft Corporate offices. Additionally others are scheduled in other cities in the upcoming weeks.