Microsoft has started to offer free software licensing for the so-called "cold servers", or networking computers that are kept off until they are needed. This new feature, part of Microsoft's Software Assurance licensing program, was introduced a few days ago as part of an effor to add more benefits to Microsoft's licensing program.
Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft began offering customers its Software Assurance licensing program several years ago as a way for companies to be able to pay for software over time, rather than pay for costly upgrades, and also receive technical support services.
But facing competition from Linux, the operating system that can be copied and modified freely, Microsoft has started new incentives for customers as a good chunk of contracts come up for renewal this year. Linux is popular among businesses seeking cheaper ways to set up corporate server networks.