Wow, can't say I'm upset to see the end of 2009! Having been in business since 1999 I've seen some ups and downs (think California, technology, early 2000's...ouch!) and am happy that with business maturity comes a certain tolerance to economy and business shifts...but I'm ready for this year to be over!
What's in store for licensing in 2010? I think we will continue to see a lot of acquisitions occur this year - which means eventual changes to volume licensing agreements. Be sure to keep an eye on mergers, acquisitions and divestitures to see which of your software licenses are impacted. It typically takes at least a year for any changes to volume licensing agreements but it might have a big impact on your maintenance decisions.
For Microsoft users there will be several new releases this year in Office, SharePoint and SQL Server to name a few. SQL Server is also being purported to have a couple of new editions and changes to some of the licensing terms (in particular SQL Enterprise and SQL Datacenter edition). Be sure to keep a close eye on these, especially if you have a virtualized model.
SaaS will continue to feel it's way and don't be surprised to hear more about the Microsoft Enterprise Subscription agreement...an agreement that has long existed but (in my opinion...as is all of this blog) wasn't priced well for most businesses.
Also, for those renewing Microsoft agreements there are some changes to your terms and conditions that you might not be aware of...the loss of the 30 day "grace" period on renewing of Software Assurance and an increase to 90 days for notice of change of reseller (hint, this determines who gets paid for your purchases and impacts any incentives resellers will offer to you - be sure to handle this on a timely basis if changing. You don't want the reseller you're "firing" to get paid for the renewal you do next month.)
What do you expect to see happen with software in 2010? Any licensing trends you know are happening or changes to PURs?