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12/1/2004
10:25 AM
Brad Shimmin
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Microsoft's Program For NetWare Users: Lip Service With A Smile

Microsoft has an 'incentive' program to lure migrating NetWare users away from Linux. If you just bought beachfront property in Nevada, this could be the deal for you.

What: Microsoft unleashes tool and support-incentive program for those switching from NetWare to Microsoft

When: Nov. 16, 2004

FUDFactor: Microsoft asserts that NetWare users might be unsure of Novell's future, and that with nothing more than some technical support and a few financial inducements, they can make the jump to Windows

FUDBust: Those wacky kids in Redmond are at it again. This time, instead of badmouthing Linux with some highly suspect ROI numbers, Microsoft is taking the high road with an Apple-esque "switch" program. The company is attempting to lure NetWare users away with a 20 percent discount on Quest's NDS Migrator, some online training, up to $600 per server in integration vouchers, online discussion forums and a free download of Windows Services for Netware (SFN).

Forget for a moment that SFN is already free, that Quest's NDS Migrator can't be purchased without a "quote," and that only registrants who buy 50 client licenses qualify for the program. The real problem is that Microsoft's incentives are available only to the first 1,000 qualified registrants before June 2005. If Microsoft were serious about this, it would offer direct discounts--not just installation subsidies--to all NetWare users. Maybe Microsoft's money is tied up in settling lawsuits with Novell.

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