Some days ago, Microsoft announced that the program that provided free internal-use software for Partners would cease as of 1 July 2020. This was met with significant alarm and opposition from just about every partner on the planet.
In justifying the move, Microsoft's Gavriella Schuster said, "the bill for IUR [Internal Use Rights] has become really big." Further, she noted, "I had to cut back on things that I was going to invest in this year. I had to cut back so that I could pay those bills."
"When I was doing the calculations, I was like, if we continue to grow the number of partners, and we continue to grow their usage--because they're doing awesome things with all the technology--pretty much I could only afford to pay for the use rights. And I couldn't afford any of the other services that I'm doing. So I was like, alright, that's kind of an easy decision then. I think I have to stop doing that."
Many people had pointed out that a US$110B company was desperate to recover costs from a huge number of SMEs for whom every dollar was counted, carefully.
After sustained backlash, earlier today (Australian time) the Partner team relented and announced that the plan was dead.
In that announcement, Ms Schuster wrote, "Over the last several days, we've heard from many of you about changes we were planning to make regarding benefits included with gold and silver competencies, and those in the Microsoft Action Pack. These included benefits related to internal use rights, or IUR – specifically the terms governing the use of product licenses to run partner businesses.
"I want to thank you for sharing your feedback with us and would like to provide an update on partner benefits.
"Your partnership and trust matters to us. Given your feedback, we have made the decision to roll back all planned changes related to internal use rights and competency timelines that were announced earlier this month. This means you will experience no material changes this coming fiscal year, and you will not be subject to reduced IUR licenses or increased costs related to those licenses next July as previously announced.
"We listened to you, and we have acted."
Further, she wrote, "Our decision to rescind these changes required a thorough review, and a key determining factor was the connection and trust we have with you, our partners — a valuable asset we do not take for granted. Together, we can continue to be a catalyst for digital transformation industry wide."