A client of mine recently received an email from Microsoft requesting a Licensing Assessment. At first I was skeptical that it was legitimate but now believe that it is.
The email requests that my client "conduct a Software Licenses Assessment for all Microsoft Products in use throughout your business". They provide a tool to accomplish this and suggest that it should take 3-5 business days to adequately complete.
I wrote back asking about what Microsoft saw as our legal requirements in this case. I was cited this link:
and especially the following from section 6:
“You agree that Microsoft and its affiliates may collect and use technical information gathered as part of the product support services provided to you, if any, related to the Software. Microsoft may use this information solely to improve our products or to provide customized services or technologies to you and will not disclose this information in a form that personally identifies you.”
I'm not a lawyer but I do understand the English language fairly well. I'm not seeing how section 6 gives Microsoft the right to demand information from my client. First, the collection is granted as part of "product support services". We're not requesting any such support. Secondly, while Microsoft may have the right to collect the data, I see that as very different from demanding that we provide the data.
To be clear, I believe that my client has stayed within Microsoft's licensing rules. I'm fairly insistent about that with my clients. My concerns have to do with the uncompensated time my client will have to spend to provide documentation and any potential technical violations of which we're presently unaware. The subtleties of the licensing rules can be difficult to follow.
I downloaded the tools and have run the main one, but it is not at all clear what path Microsoft wants us to take.
I'm curious to know what other Experts think of this and what they have done with such a request from Microsoft. Such information would be greatly appreciated.