Microsoft has put the deadline for its controversial Software Assurance licensing programme back again.

The software company had been due to change the way it licenses its software on October 1, but has now given users until July 31, 2002.

This is now the date the company's various discounted upgrade schemes will be scrapped and replaced with a subscription-based licence.

The new scheme puts pressure on companies to upgrade their software faster, as Software Assurance can only be taken out on latest versions of products. The revision of the deadline follows immense pressure from user organisations.