Microsoft Director of Business & Sales Operations - Eric Ligman

Eric Ligman, Microsoft Director of Business & Sales Operations Blog

You’re asking the wrong question… And it may be costing you money.

A question we get asked is, “Why should a Small Business consider buying Microsoft software through the various Volume Licensing Programs, such as Open License, instead of just buying their software through Retail Box product?”  This question makes a general assumption, that retail boxed product is the “right” way to purchase software for a business and that Volume Licensing must prove itself as a viable option, that is fundamentally flawed from the beginning.

In reality, the question you really should be asking is, “Why WOULD a Small Business buy software via Retail Boxed software instead of Open License?”  By choosing retail boxed software for your business, you are probably paying more, getting less, and creating a paper-tracking burden for your company that you do not need to do.  Now who thinks that makes good business sense????

Instead of typing the entire description of this here without visuals, we have posted the explanation (including visuals) of the above in a document called, “Open vs. Retail Print Version,” in the MS Small Biz Shared Documents section of the MS Small Business Community SharePoint Site ( or you can also hear me explain it verbally (along with visuals) in the replay of the December 9th, “Understanding MS Licensing To Save Money,” session which is posted in the LiveMeetings section of the MS Small Business Community SharePoint Site (

Save money, get more, and protect your software investments just by understanding this topic.  I think you will find that the short amount of time it takes to go through the Open Vs. Retail Print Version document or the December 9th replay of the Understanding MS Licensing session to be more than worth it.  (And that is the feedback we have been receiving from others who have already done so). 

Have a wonderful day,

Eric Ligman

Small Business Development Manager – U.S. Central Region

This posting is provided “AS IS” with no warranties, and confers no rights