The University Record, August 14, 2000

Microsoft, U expand software agreement

By Wanda Monroe
Office of the Chief Information Officer

Last December, the University entered into a multi-year licensing agreement that offers Microsoft software products to faculty, staff and students at significantly reduced costs. The agreement allows the use of a specific and popular set of Microsoft products for all computers—at work and at home—including operating systems and Microsoft Office. In addition, members of the University community may upgrade their covered Microsoft product licenses to the latest version at either no additional charge or deeply discounted prices throughout the life of the agreement, providing a significant savings.

The Microsoft Custom Enterprise Agreement covers upgrade licenses for the Windows operating system. While University units are required to purchase an original Windows operating system license when a new central processing unit (CPU) is purchased, all future upgrades during the life of the machine and during the term of the agreement are covered without further charges.

If a purchaser of a new computer chooses to use Microsoft Office, the original license for that product is already covered; therefore, University members should not purchase additional Microsoft Office software with their new computing hardware. During the period of the agreement, all upgrade licenses to the Office suite of products are included.

Individual faculty and staff (as well as students) no longer need to pay retail prices to license personally owned machines that they use for any work or school related purpose. Students who wish to purchase Microsoft Office and take advantage of this Agreement must purchase a CD containing the software from Computer Showcase for $33. This compares to approximately $175 under the previous agreement. Faculty and staff also may choose to purchase Microsoft Office from the Showcase if they desire a CD containing the software; or they may obtain the software from their systems administrator without additional charge by either downloading the software from a server or being provided a CD by the unit. Once they obtain the software, University personnel are permitted to install copies on office, home and mobile computers as needed without paying for a license agreement for each machine.

The Custom Enterprise Agreement provides a perpetual license (products do not have to be returned at the end of the contract term) for all the following Microsoft products:

  • Microsoft Office Professional for Windows (Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Access)

  • Office ‘98 for the Macintosh (Word, Excel and PowerPoint)

  • All Windows operating system upgrades

  • FrontPage and Visual Studio for Windows

    In addition, University members are licensed for all BackOffice Client Access Licenses (CALs). This arrangement includes CALs for all NT servers. A Client Access License is required for every CPU and for every Microsoft server to which it connects, within the University. This agreement provides the University with the adequate number of licenses for all of its servers and client machines.

    Schools, colleges and administrative units are realizing savings through the agreement, which allows them to install Microsoft software on all University-owned machines. They also may take advantage of a limited number of NT, SQL and Exchange Enterprise Server Licenses that may be obtained from the Software Licensing and Distribution group ( at a greatly reduced cost. Units may obtain server licenses for $30 for an NT Enterprise Server License and $100 each for either an SQL Enterprise Server License or an Exchange Enterprise Server License. (Before the agreement, each server required a separate license at costs of $338.71 for an NT Enterprise Server License, $627.48 for the Exchange Enterprise Server License and $1524.16 for SQL Enterprise Server License.) Some campus units have experienced a 93 percent savings on server licenses alone.

    The Microsoft Custom Enterprise Agreement licenses the listed set of products for all equipment owned by the University regardless of its physical location. This includes all lab CPUs and student computing sites.

    Prior to the agreement, each school, college or administrative unit was individually responsible for purchasing licensed Microsoft products. The annual license fee is being paid to Microsoft by the Office of the Chief Information Officer, which in turn is recovering the necessary funds from University units and from students. Josť-Marie Griffiths, University Chief Information Officer, recently sent a message to deans, directors and department heads describing the agreement in detail and defining the cost recovery method. “I have worked closely with the Provost’s Office to reach what we believe is an equitable cost recovery method,” said Griffiths. “We are pleased to offer such substantial savings to the University.”

    The distribution of the license fee is based on a rough estimate of the number of University-owned workstations used by faculty and certain categories of staff that include: Instructional, Primary, Professional & Administrative (P&A), P&A Allied Health, Office and Health Care Associates. The model also takes into account the actual number of PCs in public access computing sites and libraries. Students are paying a portion of the license fee when they purchase the software CD.

    “The new license will provide savings for essentially all of our faculty, staff, students and operating units,” said Associate Provost Paul N. Courant. “We buy many thousands of copies of the covered software every year. The new license makes the process both simpler and less expensive, and returns the savings to the users, where they belong.”