Microsoft cloud licensing changes coming October 2022


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Back in May 2022, Microsoft announced a range of upcoming changes to licensing in cloud environments and now, September 2022, we have more details.

Flexible Virtualization

This new benefit will allow customers with Software Assurance or subscription licenses to use their existing licenses to install and run on any (but not Listed Provider) infrastructure – whether it’s dedicated or shared.

Windows Server virtual cores

Customers will be able to license Windows Server by virtual core on 3rd party infrastructure. There will, of course (!), be a per VM minimum. The Microsoft announcements don’t mention Listed Providers for this element so it seems this new licensing option may be available with Amazon, Google, and AliBaba.

Desktop virtualization

Microsoft 365 E3/E5/F3 users without a primary device with a Qualifying Operating System (QoS) will be able to virtualize Windows 10/11 on 3rd-party infrastructure (but not Listed Providers) without needing the VDA add-on.

Cloud Solution Provider – Hoster

This new variant of the CSP program replaces the QMTH (Qualified Multi-Tenant Hosting) program. It will enable hosting partners to pre-build hosted desktop & server environments for customers and either provide the licenses or use customer provided licenses – giving greater flexibility for organizations. Customers will need to show proof-of-license for BYOL scenarios – verification of which I assume will be done by the partner. Initially it will only be available for Direct partners but Microsoft “look forward to expanding program eligibility over time“.

Microsoft state these will go live from October 1st so we should see them added to the Product Terms on that date too. I’ll of course be updating on that asap 😊

Check out the Microsoft post here.

Server & Cloud Enrollment


Microsoft make yet another change to their licensing programs, aimed at making it easier for organizations to license what they need.

The Server & Cloud Enrollment (SCE) is related to an EA (Enterprise Agreement) offers four components:

  • Core Infrastructure
  • Application Platform
  • Developer Platform
  • Windows Azure

Customers can choose any of these components individually or group them as needed. When choosing any of the first three components, customers will also have access to Windows Azure at the best pricing available.

How to get started

To enroll in an SCE, customers make an enterprise-wide commitment to one or more components.  This means committing to full Software Assurance coverage across the installed base of an SCE component and in the case of System Center, committing to full System Center coverage on their Windows Server installed base through Core Infrastructure Suites (CIS).

Benefits include:

  • 15% off L+SA products and 5% off SA products, as well as 5% off Azure when another component is included.
  • New subscription-based licensing options are available alongside perpetual licenses.  This gives customers access to more flexibility when they need to retire workloads, consolidate, or migrate to the cloud.
  • Core Infrastructure Suite (CIS) committed customers receive incremental rights to use System Center to manage Azure virtual machines and resources at no additional cost.
  • Microsoft Premier Service’s customers may also qualify for unlimited problem resolution support for SQL Server, Windows Server and System Center, BizTalk Server and SharePoint Server.
  • All the benefits of Software Assurance (SA).  This includes access to License Mobility for many of our applications, which enables even more seamless migrations to the cloud.

The SCE makes it easier for customers to standardise on MS technologies, easier for customers to migrate to the Cloud and simplifies the licensing involved.

More info is available in the datasheet here:

Server and Cloud Enrollment Datasheet and FAQ

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