Earlier today I was asked a question by a channel partner that I thought I would share with all of you in case you have found yourself in the same scenario (and those of you who sell SBS will). This topic has come up many times before and applies in many situations, so this may be a repeat for some.
If you look at the “How To Buy” page for SBS 2003:
http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2003/sbs/howtobuy/pricing.mspx, you will see part# T72-00020 listed under the Retail/FPP License column for Windows Small Business Server Edition and it has an Estimated Retail Price of $599 with (5) Client Access Licenses. Just next to that column, you will see Part # T72-00117 which is the Open License Business column for Windows Small Business Server 2003 Standard Edition and it has an Estimated Retail Price of $521 with (5) Client Access Licenses. Now for the question…
QUESTION: “If the Open License Business Edition costs $521 and has (5) Client Access Licenses and the Retail Box Edition costs $599 and has (5) Client Access Licenses, why would I ever sell my customer the Retail Boxed version?”
ANSWER: Good question. Let’s look at the facts:
1) The customer qualifies for either one since SBS Server by itself fulfills the (5) license minimum for Open License Business (and then the customer would be eligible to order all of their Microsoft software at the Open License discounted pricing without meeting any requirements afterwards as an added bonus)
2) The Open License Business license gives the customer more licensing rights than the Retail Boxed License
3) The Retail License has a paper End-User License Agreement (EULA) which they would need to keep track of since if they lost the EULA, they would no longer have proof of ownership to run the software; whereas, the Open License EULA is electronic and stored for them and therefore could never be lost.
4) Yes, there are counterfeit & mis-channeled software products out there and those are found mostly in the Retail Box and OEM channels, so there is the possibility of encountering “pirated” software depending on who you purchase from if you chose the Retail Boxed item. Through Open License, once you order through your reseller, your license agreement is generated by Microsoft so your odds of receiving “pirated” software from Microsoft is 0%.
5) You can order Open License software from any reseller, just like Retail Box.
6) If you order the SBS Server through the Open License Value Program, the cost of the product is spread out over three years instead of having to pay the full amount up front with the Retail Box SKU.
So to answer the question… Why would you sell your customer a Retail Box version that costs them an additional $78 and provides them with so much less than the Open License version? I have no idea. When you look at the facts, I would think that the Open License SKU (Part # T72-00117) would be the obvious choice.
Thank you and have a wonderful day,
Microsoft U.S. Senior Manager
Small Business Community Engagement