I know I’m going to pay for this downstream, but I signed my company up for the Microsoft Partner Program a few weeks ago and just received the first installment of software packages, including Microsoft Office, Visio, Project, Small Business Server, Server 2003, SQL Server, Exchange Server, Sharepoint and many other Microsoft packages. Most of these come with 10-user licenses.
Purchasing these individually at retail would run up a cost of at least $20,000 (my estimate, not Microsoft’s). The cost for the yearly subscription to the partner program?
Why would any company willingly give away their product like this? Because Microsoft wants to reel you in. Once you’re hooked, and have established your working environment around Microsoft products, it is very, very hard to do a corporate paradigm shift to anything else. Well, they hooked me. It’s not like we weren’t already a Microsoft house, but this is a deal that was too good to pass up. I’m not going to worry about any future ramifications that might result from this decision.
And in that respect, Microsoft acts just like the cocaine dealer who gives 5 free samples to every new customer.