Share

Mixed reaction to new Microsoft social pricing framework

Mixed reaction to new Microsoft social pricing framework
News

Mixed reaction to new Microsoft social pricing framework2

IT | Kirsty Weakley | 28 Jun 2012

Microsoft has changed its pricing framework for software lisences so that to qualify for its 10 per cent charity discount, organisations must receive at least 10 per cent of their income from donations.

The change comes into effect on 30 September and will mainly affect housing associations and social enterprises that rely on public sector contracts. Such organisations will instead be eligible for Microsoft’s 'public sector' framework, although Microsoft could not tell civilsociety.co.uk what level of discount this would offer organisations.

Under the current pricing structure Microsoft defines charitable organisations as “a not-for-profit charitable organisation whose aim is (a) the relief of poverty, (b) the advancement of education, (c) the advancement of social and community welfare, (d) the advancement of culture, or (e) the protection of the natural environment”. These organisation are eligible for its highest discount as an 'educational' user.

Charities with fewer than 50 computers can currently access a range of free Microsoft software products though the Charity Technology Exhange, which charges a small administrative fee.

But Keith Saunders, ICT manger at North Star Housing Group said that, when the new framework comes in, his organisation will lose its voluntary organisation status.

He was informed by his software licensing providers and to avoid the increase has opted to buy licenses for upgrading the group’s servers’ operating system, Microsoft Exchange and Office, ahead of schedule. The group paid circa £11,000 for the new licences, which Saunders said would cost “four times as much if we had waited”.

“In the longer term we are considering moving away from Microsoft and using open source options,” he added.

Social Enterprise UK welcomes changes

However not all organisations are concerned by the changes.

Microsoft spokeswoman said: “Our new discount frameworks recognise the increasing importance of the UK’s 70,000 social enterprises in driving public services. The new frameworks for social enterprises complement the discounts and free options already available to 174,000 UK charities, as well as public sector organisations and public sector mutuals.” 

Social Enterprise UK told civilsociety.co.uk that it broadly welcomed the changes as many of its members currently have to pay commercial rates.

A spokeswoman said: “While around 30 per cent of our members have a charitable structure in some way, the other 70 per cent were previously having to pay commercial rates for Microsoft software. While this didn't have a huge impact for start-ups, the effect for some of the bigger mutuals and social enterprises spinning out of the public sector was potentially very significant.

“Especially as those organisations were previously able to access the public sector licensing; so, for those organisations (and the government's mutuals agenda), and for our more general social enterprise membership, this is very good news.”

She added that the umbrella body had spoken to some its members who were also charities and that no concerns had been raised so far.

 

 

Annie Cla
Project Co-ordinator
Starter Packs Angus
4 Jul 2012

Quite agree about other providers, however, I have found that Open Office is not always compatible with other agencies' versions of Office, which are constantly updated, so I have had difficulty opening and sending documents. This unfortunately means that we are stuck with whatever ties in with local authority, referring agencies and funders. If you know of anything completely compatible with Microsoft's main provision, I would be glad to hear about it.

Leo Hart
IT Manager
DCFR
30 Jun 2012

Strangely the NGO and/or Non-profit sector forgets the alternatives. OpenOffice or Libre Office and an email/agenda alternative like Desknow, Zarafa or Zimbra are much, much cheaper. Put in place at "my" organization, more then 3000 end users are active.
With respect to our sponsors and donors. I have a responsibility to them not giving their donations to the Microsoft company.

Comments

[Cancel] | Reply to:

Close »

Community Standards

The civilsociety.co.uk community and comments board is intended as a platform for informed and civilised debate.

We hope to encourage a broad range of views, however, there are standards that we expect commentators to uphold. We reserve the right to delete or amend any comments that do not adhere to these standards.

We welcome:

  • Robust but respectful debate
  • Strongly held opinions
  • Intelligent relevant discussion
  • The sharing of relevant experiences
  • New participants

We will not publish:

  • Rude, threatening, offensive, obscene or abusive language, or links to such material
  • Links to commercial organisations or spam postings. The comments board is not an advertising platform
  • The posting of contact details for yourself or others
  • Comments intended for malicious purpose or mindless abuse
  • Comments purporting to be from another person or organisation under false pretences
  • Gratuitous criticism, commentary or self-promotion
  • Any material which breaches copyright or privacy laws, or could be considered libellous
  • The use of the comments board for the pursuit or extension of personal disputes

Be aware:

  • Views expressed on the comments board are left at users’ discretion and are in no way views held or supported by Civil Society Media
  • Comments left by others may not be accurate, do not rely on them as fact
  • You may be misunderstood - sarcasm and humour can easily be taken out of context, try to be clear

Please:

  • Enjoy the opportunity to express your opinion and respect the right of others to express theirs
  • Confine your remarks to issues rather than personalities

Together we can keep our community a polite, respectful and intelligent platform for discussion.

Free eNews

Macmillan's voluntary income soars by £34.1m

31 Jul 2014

Macmillan Cancer Support raised £186.9m in 2013 – an increase of £34.1m on the previous year, according...

Half of hospices in England saw NHS funding cut or frozen this year

31 Jul 2014

Half of hospices in England have had their statutory funding from the NHS either cut or frozen this year,...

Syria and Haiyan appeals boost Oxfam income by 6 per cent

30 Jul 2014

Oxfam’s total income rose by more than £21m to £389m in the year to March 2014, according to its annual...

Savile charity to challenge victim compensation scheme

31 Jul 2014

The Jimmy Savile Charitable Trust has been granted permission to appeal against the agreed system of compensation...

Cranfield Trust endorses stricter rules for new charities

31 Jul 2014

The Cranfield Trust has added its voice to the view that there are too many charities, recommending to...

Charity Commission to meet Society Network Foundation trustees this week

30 Jul 2014

The Charity Commission is meeting with the trustees of Society Network Foundation this week in an attempt...

Online donations forms are too long and cost charities donations, finds report

28 Jul 2014

One third of leading charity websites require potential donors to complete more than 20 actions before...

Greenpeace video removed from YouTube following copyright claim

14 Jul 2014

A campaign video by Greenpeace against Lego’s relationship with Shell has been subject to a copyright...

Oxfam advert removed after appearing before extremist videos

10 Jul 2014

Oxfam has removed one of its adverts from YouTube after it was shown on channels showing content from...

Join the discussion

 Twitter button

@CSFinance