Microsoft announced last week that they will fund studies using Gartner Groupis Total Value of Opportunity methodology in order to provide large oranizations with data to "prove the value of upgrading to Windows XP." The announced plans, detailed in a Baseline online exclusive, provide $1 million for the program to be spread over approximately 40 separate evaluations of organizations. From the Baseline article:
The program is Microsoftis way of acknowledging that there is no way corporate executives can justify a desktop operating system upgrade without some numbers to support the change. "We have to account for the value weire providing," said Rogers Weed, a corporate vice president of Windows product management.
Microsoft has been criticized recently for its new Software Assurance licensing plan, which for many companies tends to inflate the cost of Microsoft software by requiring annual payments toward future upgrades. Weed said there was no direct connection between the TVO studies program, known as the Microsoft Business Value Proposition program, and the backlash against Software Assurance. However, he said it does combat some negative perceptions generated by the controversy. "Weire in a situation where most people donit think weire providing the value that theyire paying for," Weed said.
By backing this program, Gartner is not saying that every corporation will see TVO benefits, only that this provides a rigorous approach to figuring out whether it makes sense, according to Michael Smith, one of the analysts who devised the methodology. "We donit know what the analysis will look like until itis done," he said. The results of the analysis will be different from company to company, depending on whether the features Microsoft has added to XP are important to that organization, he said
There is more information on the new Microsoft plans and the Gartner Groupis Total Value of Opportunity concept in the full Baseline story.