I’m all for companies and individuals receiving suitable reward for their skills and talents, but I have to question it when it interferes with progress.

If you take a look at Microsoft licensing in particular, it shows how restrictive it can be for companies to simply try and work. I like Windows, but think it could be more transparent and fair. For example, if a company has an Enterprise agreement with MS which includes a number of Windows licenses, all new PCs purchased must have a Windows OS. Yes – if you have a volume license key, you must also ensure your new machines come with a license too. You can’t buy “bare metal” clients that don’t have an OS. I can’t see how this is fair. This was explained to me by a supplier and, having fallen foul of licensing before, sounded crazy-enough to be true.

Today, I have been trying to install an encryption solution in our company. The product itself has been paid for, including the client “endpoints” , but the system that these modules must run on needs to be licensed too. In essence, I need to purchase the bit that allows me to configure and manage the product I’ve already paid for. WTF?

A large part of IT is licensing now. License conformity, license checking, license renewal. This, surely, is an admin exercise. Once/if my particular issue is resolved, I can start looking at the actual technical side of the deployment – the actual IT side of this IT exercise!

Just to rub salt in my wounds, I just tried to log into our job logging software as I wrote the above. Guess what? Licenses exceeded. The communist-sounding open-source solutions are looking extremely appetising at this point in time, although a company full of users that suddenly found themselves looking at a Tux wallpaper rather than “Bliss” would react badly, no doubt!


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