(From Financial Mail)
Byline: Sasha Planting and Marina Bidoli
Information technology END OF THE MIDAS YEARS Power shifts from vendors to buyers as the technology sector loses its lustre Nothing will ever be the same in the IT industry.
Take Microsoft, the world's largest software company, which has backed down on the controversial software licensing policy it adopted in August (Technology & Communications July 26). The policy, which meant higher software prices for some customers and all customers paying in advance for future releases, angered loyal Microsoft users. Some sought cheaper alternatives such as Linux. Microsoft now promises that the licensing policy will be simplified but will not add to customer's costs. At the same time Microsoft has altered its marketing strategy to emphasise the cost-saving advantages of its XP operating system and suite of software rather than the products' latest "cool" features. It will even pay independent research group Gartner to do a study to prove this. "We are in tough economic times, when people want payback on investments," says Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. These are unprecedented steps for a …