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"I'm sure we have fine print we don't need. We're not saints," says the Microsoft CEO

Ballmer admits to licensing complexities

Microsoft boss Steve Ballmer has responded to widespread criticisms regarding the company’s convoluted licensing practice.

Speaking at a Q&A session following his lecture to the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), Ballmer was asked if Microsoft would simplify its licensing options to customers. The question generated a round of applause.

In turn, Ballmer acknowledged the confusing nature of its own licensing options, but said that its scatter approach was in place to offer customers the best value.

He claimed that, with a finely detailed list of lisencing options, “customers always find an approach which pays us less money.”

“Every time you simplify something, you lose something that people used to save money,” he added, as quoted by ITPro.

Ballmer stressed that his goal was to simplify the licensing agreement without infringing on price points. To that end he said that he didn’t expect the company to simplify its licensing deals anytime soon.

“Our shareholders want simplicity without a price decrease,” he said.

The Microsoft chief also admitted that Microsoft’s licences feature a number of “gotchas” in the fine print.

“I’m sure we have fine print we don’t need. We’re not saints,” he said.

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