eWeek has a story relating that volume licensees are pushing back on Microsoft's Software Assurance program. When I was CIO for Utah, Microsoft pitched us on this and we refused to bite. Here was how I saw the value proposition: "We need money from you every year to keep our stock price up. We've been really clever at squeezing money out of you every year. So, let's save both of us a lot of hassle and you just agree to send a bushel basket of money to Redmond once a year." When sales tactics didn't float the deal, they accused us of not being in compliance on licenses. The choices were (a) prove you're in compliance or (b) just sign up for Software Assurance. We chose (a) and because we didn't have a good asset tracking system spent a lot of time and money conducting an audit which eventually showed that we actually had purchased more licenses than we needed. Funny, Microsoft didn't offer to buy them back. Go figure. The moral of the story: make sure your asset tracking system is up to date.