Brian Madden makes some valid points in the linked article that Microsoft is relying on the Office brand to sell the Surface. If this is Microsoft’s thinking then the Surface is doomed from the outset. The issue is that the current version of Office is not suitable for the touch interface as anyone who has used it virtually on a iPad will a test to. Microsoft will most likely state that this the reason that they are providing the keyboard with the Surface but if the keyboard is required and the pricing is near an ultrabook, then why wouldn’t one just buy an ultrabook. One of the points in Madden’s article is that Office will come for free on the RT version of the Surface. However, call me skeptical, but I doubt that Office will be free to the enterprise because nothing is ever free from Microsoft.
Very little compelling reason to by this over an iPad at this price. Also, why would I purchase a Surface over an actual ultrabook.
Microsoft (M$), Your Licensing of Office on Virtual Desktop Is Downright Greed
One of my endeavors at work is to implement virtual desktops(VDI) in several scenarios, one of which entails providing a VDI to physicians. On the VDI would be Windows 7 and Office 2010 plus all the other clinical apps they normally access. Based upon recent conversations I have had with Microsoft (M$), they have clearly stated that every device upon which Office is accessed needs to have a license. So let me get this straight with the following situation:
- Number of Physicians with VDI = 200
- Number of Thin Clients = 500
- Number of Thin Clients & VDI in Use at One Time = 200
- Number of Licenses for Office = 500
Essentially, Microsoft (M$) makes you pay for an Office license for every device in your organization although only a portion of the devices will ever be used at a give time. In the above scenario, Microsoft (M$) is charging for 300 extra licenses which could equate to extra $12,000/year depending on your organizations enterprise agreement.
I thought there was no way that Microsoft would be this greedy and surely this was a mistake by the Licensing Specialist I was working with to get a better understanding. So much for giving Microsoft (M$) the benefit of the doubt as I came across the following slide from a partner slide deck this weekend which confirms this stance on Office licensing in a virtual environment.