A Democratic senator prepares to introduce new draft legislation that could have significant implications for Microsoft and other major software vendors.
As reported by Bloomberg (opens in new tab)given access to the documentation, the proposal would establish new terms under which software makers are allowed to sell to buyers in the federal government.
In particular, the legislation would prescribe a level of interoperability between competing services and oblige suppliers to move from a per-employee pricing structure to unlimited licenses.
Software pricing structures
A spokesman for Senator Gary Peters, who wrote the bill, says the final draft has yet to be finalized and may be subject to change. However, the overall goal remains the same: to protect the federal government from unnecessary overruns productivity, collaborationERP and other types of software.
In an effort to rectify this problem, Congress has already enacted new rules governing the oversight of software use and purchases by federal agencies. But the new bill would take protection one step further, targeting the licensing models where governments often go wrong.
By requiring suppliers to switch from a per-seat model to unrestricted licensing, the bill would protect agencies from the kinds of fines they incur when usage limits are exceeded, and remove blockages caused by a lack of interoperability between competing services.
While the bill still has to go through Congress when the draft is ready, Bloomberg speculates that sponsoring Senator Peters, who heads the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee, will increase the odds of success.
GadgetMasti Pro asked Microsoft, SAP, Oracle and Zoom – all of which are said to provide software (opens in new tab) to the Federal Government – for comment on the Peters proposal.