Microsoft Multi-Geo add-on SKU comes to CSP

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The Multi-Geo add-on SKU is finally arriving on CSP from June 1, 2023 for users licensed with:

  • Microsoft 365
  • Office 365
  • Exchange Online
  • SharePoint Online
  • OneDrive for Business

This add-on enables customers to manage data-at-rest locations across multiple regions within a single tenant.


As a minimum, customers must purchase a quantity of Multi-Geo licenses that is equal to at least 5% of the total number of eligible M365 licenses*. So if you have 1000 eligible licenses, you must purchase at least 50 Multi-Geo licenses.

A tenant must be configured for Multi-Geo support, a process which begins automatically once ordered licenses appear in the tenant. Interestingly Microsoft state that:

the time required to configure a Tenant for Multi-Geo support varies from Tenant to Tenant, but most Tenants finish within a month after receipt of the feature licenses. Larger or more complex Tenants may require more time to complete the configuration process

so make sure you leave enough time before the functionality is needed in production. You can see more details here.

*This applies to EA and CSP.

Microsoft Defender gets App Governance included for free

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Microsoft have announced that the “App Governance add-on feature for Microsoft Defender for Cloud Apps” will, from June 1 2023, be included in Defender for Cloud Apps at no additional cost.

This means organisations licensed with:

  • Microsoft 365 E5
  • Microsoft 365 E5 Security/Compliance
  • Microsoft 365 F5
  • EMS E5

will receive access to what is currently a paid additional license free of charge. It’s not very often that Microsoft (or any software publisher) do things this way round!

Microsoft say they will either proactively cancel subscriptions or do so upon receiving a ticket, depending on the licensing channel.

Microsoft announcement is here.

Microsoft 365 Universal Print allowance

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Microsoft Universal Print is a cloud printing service that removes the need for on-premises print servers and printer drivers and makes printing from anywhere easier for users and organisations.

Previously, each user licenses with Windows E3 received 5 print jobs per month which were added to a central pool. Microsoft have now added an allowance of 100 print jobs per month for Microsoft 365 E3/E5 users:

LicenseJobs Per Month
Microsoft 365 E3, E5100
Microsoft 365 A3, A5, F3, Business Premium5
Windows 10 Enterprise E3, E5, A3, A55
Universal Print (standalone)5

If you have 1,000 M365 E3/E5 licenses, you now have 100,000 print jobs available each month. For organisations where this pooled allowance isn’t enough, additional print jobs can be purchased:

QuantityPriceEDU Discount (and Price)
500 jobs$25/mo$7.50/mo
10,000 jobs$300/mo$90/mo

The standalone license is $4 per user per month.

Learn more about Universal Print here –

Microsoft Defender Cloud Security Posture Management (CSPM)

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Microsoft have introduced another member of the Defender family – Cloud Security Posture Management (CSPM).

Certain features are available free of charge in any environment where Defender for Cloud is enabled, these include:

  • Asset discovery
  • Security recommendations & compliance with Microsoft benchmarks
  • Secure score for posture

Paid features include:

  • Attack path analysis
  • Cloud security explorer
  • Advanced threat hunting

and more.


Defender CSPM protects all workloads across multi-cloud environments but is only chargeable for Server, Database, and Storage resources including:

  • VMs
  • Storage accounts
  • OSS DBs
  • SQL PaaS
  • SQL Servers

Pricing starts from May 1, 2023 and is $15 per resource per month but there are discounts available for Defender for Cloud customers:

Current Defender for Cloud CustomerAutomatic DiscountDefender CSPM Price
Defender for Servers P225%$11.25/ Compute or Data workload / month
Defender for Containers10%$13.50/ Compute or Data workload / month
Defender for DBs / Defender for Storage5%$14.25/ Compute or Data workload / month

For more info and to see a complete list of free/paid features, head to the Microsoft site here –

Microsoft Power Automate Hosted RPA

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Power Automate has 2 new RPA (Robotic Process Automation) offerings:

  • Individual Hosted Machines
  • Hosted Machine Groups

which enable you to run Power Automate RPA in Azure to more quickly test, scale, and deploy.

Individual Hosted Machines

Currently in preview, these aim to make it quick and easy to test both attended and unattended flows without the need to set up physical machines.

Hosted Machine Group

This provides auto-scaling and auto-provisions additional bots as needed when initial capacity for unattended flow bots isn’t enough. It also provides dynamic load-balancing between different groups, ensuring one isn’t adding more VMs while another has several sitting idle.

Licensing & pricing

To use either of these hosted options, users require:

  • Power Automate per user plan w/attended RPA add-on or
  • Power Automate per flow plan

as a base license and then you can purchase the Hosted RPA add-on which includes:

  • Hosted machine
  • Unattended desktop flows
  • 5,000 AI Builder credits per month

and costs £162.10 per bot per month.

If you’re using Hosted Machine Groups, you need to assign 1 x Hosted RPA add-on for each bot you want to run in parallel. I’m not currently sure how this works in relation to the auto-scaling feature…do you have to have licenses available for the maximum number of bots you’re willing to run (something you can set as an admin) or is there a “pay in arrears” option where you’re billed monthly?

Furthermore, I imagine there will be additional Azure costs although I’m yet to confirm that.

Further Reading


Individual Hosted Machines

Hosted Machine Groups


Microsoft financial results Q2 FY23

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Microsoft’s financial results for the 2nd quarter of FY23 (Oct – Dec 22) don’t make the usual pretty reading this time.

Revenue was $52.7 billion – an increase of just 2%

Net income was $16.4 billion – a decrease of 12%

That’s the first decrease for a long time, showing even Microsoft are not immune to the impacts of rising costs and global recessions. However, it’s not all doom and gloom:

Productivity & Business Processes

Revenue = $17 billion…up 7%

  • Office 365 Commercial revenue up 11%
  • LinkedIn revenue up 10%
  • Dynamics 365 revenue up 21%

All increases but quite a bit lower than we’re used to from previous quarters. Office Commercial (i.e. on-premises) has dropped 30% as customers continue to move to the cloud.

Intelligent Cloud

Revenue = $21.5 billion…up 18%

  • Azure = 31% up

In most scenarios, 31% growth is good, great even…but not for Azure after a couple of years of 50%+ growth! Although the most recent quarters dipped just below that 50% marker, this quarter still represents a significant drop. Microsoft do mention higher energy costs as a factor in the decreased margin.

Earnings call

There are now 12,000 Azure Arc customers, a 100% increase in 12 months.

45,000+ Power Automate customers – a 50% increase over last year.

Satya Nadella mentions new functionality to build workflows from natural language prompts…that would be really useful for me!

280 million Monthly Active Users (MAU) for Teams

Teams Phone added over 5 million PSTN seats in the last 12 months and is the market leader

Microsoft Security is now over $20 billion and Nadella states they’re taking market share in all the major categories. He also states that a customer has consolidated from 10 security vendors down to just Microsoft – this is something I often advise that organisations explore.

EMS is now at 241 million seats.

Overall, LOTS of mentions of AI from Satya Nadella (as expected) and a real focus on the future with AI, Platforms, Viva, E5 and more. The expectations for future growth and advances seem to more than outweigh the slight disappointment of these results.

You can se the Microsoft details here.

More Microsoft price increases coming April 2023

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Picking up where they left off in 2022, Microsoft have announced today (Jan 5, 2023) further price increases that will take effect from April 1, 2023.

Microsoft cloud products will be increased as follows:

GBP – up 9%

DKK, EUR, and NOK – up 11%

SEK – up 15%

I’m looking to clarify if these are the same as, or additional to, the “price harmonisation” increases that were announced a few months ago.

Microsoft announcement here.

Post on other price increases here.

Sign up to my monthly Microsoft newsletter here.

Microsoft EU Data Boundary Service

What is it?

The EU Data Boundary is a geographical area within which Microsoft has committed to store and process customer data for the majority of their online services. This is aimed at addressing concerns around data processing/location and GDPR, held both by customers and organisations such as the European Union.

It is comprised of countries in the EU:

and EFTA:

For my fellow Brits, notice the United Kingdom isn’t included #Brexit

Currently, datacentres in the following countries are being used:

although Microsoft may add additional datacentres within the EU/EFTA over time.

How it works


Regional resources deployed within an EU Data Boundary region will be in-scope. For non-regional services, there is info here on how these can be configured within the EU Data Boundary. Note, not all services have yet been re-architected to allow this.

Dynamics 365 & Power Platform

This is based on the location of your billing address and, this, tenancy.

Microsoft 365

If you have a billing address within the EU/EFTA, you’re in scope…unless you have purchased the Multi-Geo capabilities add-on license.

Which products are in-scope?

According to the January 2023 Product Terms, the EU Data Boundary can apply to these products/services:

The Product Terms also lists half a dozen scenarios where data may still go outside the EU Data Boundary, these being:

  • Remote access by MS employees
  • Customer-initiated transfers
  • Protecting customers
  • Replication of Azure AD directory data
  • Network transit
  • Service-specific transfers

More info

Microsoft EU Data Boundary page

Configure non-regional Azure services

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