Is Microsoft MDOP slowing down virtualization adoption?

As most readers know, Microsoft offers Application Virtualization (formerly SoftGrid) and soon Enterprise Desktop Virtualization (formerly Kidaro Managed Workspaces) only through a special bundle called Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP).

The offering is peculiar because the MDOP is only available for those customers which agree to buy the Microsoft Software Assurance: a 3-years deal which allows to receive the newest version of a certain product without paying the software as brand new.

Obviously the Software Assurance comes as a premium service which some customers are not happy to pay.

Over the last two years collected a number of complains about the way MDOP is offered, and a superficial search on the Internet will return enough clarifications that a SMB company with no more than 50 desktops can’t consider the Software Assurance as the right option to go.

A further confirmation comes from CRN which publishes the testimonials of a couple of system integrators:

“The majority of my customers are not at all happy with Microsoft regarding the Software Assurance requirement on MDOP and Windows Vista Enterprise Centralized Desktop licensing (VECD),” said Chris Ward, senior solutions architect at GreenPages Technology Solutions, Kittery, Me.

“I understand that Microsoft is trying to add value to Software Assurance. But it’s a shame that really useful products are going that way, because SA isn’t right for all customers, particularly SMBs,” Sobel said.

“Microsoft is trailing VMware [in virtualization], so for them to take their useful innovations and make them not completely available to the whole potential marketplace to me is an unfortunate choice,” Sobel added.

How many Application Virtualization license could be sold without the Software Assurance lock-in?