ARTICLES IN THE BOOK
A GUIDE TO WINDOWS VISTA
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Microsoft Software Assurance (SA) is a Microsoft maintenance program aimed at business users who use Microsoft Windows, Microsoft Office, and other server and desktop applications. The core premise behind SA is to give users the ability to spread their payments for the software over multiple years, while offering "free" upgrades to newer versions in that time period.
The full list of benefits, effective March 2006, are as follows:
Software Assurance was part of Licensing 6.0 and initially only provided upgrades, but around the Office 2003 release, more benefits were added. In March 2006, Microsoft added even more benefits, including the Windows Vista Enterprise Edition and the Windows Fundamentals for Legacy PCs.
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Those that purchased SA in 2001 for Windows XP received no upgrades during the term, but those that purchased it for Windows 2000 Server were provided an upgrade to Windows Server 2003. Those who purchased SA for Office XP received an upgrade to Office 2003.