It’s almost the end of Microsoft’s financial year and typically things quieten down, but there is one interesting change this month:
SQL Server Standard can now use Distributed Availability Groups (AG*), a feature which has been an Enterprise only feature up until now. However, it is limited by the fact that the DAG may only synchronise with Azure.
Apparently, they’ve changed the Cloud for Healthcare licensing model from per-user to per-tenant. The “User Subscription License” option has been replaced but none of the other terms have been changed, so it still refers to add-on SLs etc. and doesn’t mention that it’s per-tenant anywhere other than the change summary. It makes sense as the other clouds are per-tenant…but we need all the info!
Microsoft Endpoint Manager Remote Help add-on has been added. Eligible pre-requisites are Microsoft 365 E3/E5/F1/F3, Enterprise Mobility + Security E3/E5, and Microsoft Intune.
System Center 2022 has been added.
“Dynamics 365 Customer Voice and Digital Messaging” added.
Windows 11 Pro (per Device) is now available via CSP.
Microsoft Bookings added to Student Use Benefit for O365 A3 & A5.
Another relatively quiet month in Feb 22 but there are a couple of things to note:
Microsoft have added a number of education and government SKUs to the eligible SKUs for a range of add-on licenses. This includes Office 365 A1 being an eligible pre-requisite for Business Voice and bringing the Privacy Management SKUs to government.
The Azure “Hosting Exception” is now called the “Azure Customer Solution”
A couple of decent additions this month – new products across EXP (Employee Experience) and Security as well as (some) clarity around support offerings.
Viva new products
Microsoft Viva Insights & Viva Insights Capacity SKUs were added. Not only do we get a new product but we also get a new licensing piece to watch out for…the idea of additional capacity SKUs for Viva Insights analytics. I go into more depth here.
A growing security portfolio
2 x Privacy Management SKUs added – “Risk” and “Subject Rights Request”, furthering increasing Microsoft’s security position. It does, however, look like there was some confusion between “Office 365” and “Microsoft 365” for the pre-requisite licenses as they list “Microsoft 365 E1” which doesn’t exist…yet!
Microsoft have added a range of information about their support offerings including Unified Support and Premier Support, as well as some of the additional services that are available to purchase. Making this information publicly available will be a big benefit for customers and partners alike, as it hasn’t always been easy to know what was included etc.
A change that snuck past me initially in July is that Microsoft 365 Apps for Enterprise (formerly Office 365 ProPlus) is no longer classed as an “Enterprise Product” and is now an “Enterprise Online Service”. This means it is no longer required to be purchased enterprise-wide.
After all the excitement of the price increases and CSP changes during August, the actual Product Terms changes this month are minimal.
Various terms have been clarified including Online Services step-ups and Azure Virtual Desktop. Also a statement that the Glossary terms apply.
Windows Get Genuine licenses appear to have been removed.
A mid-month update saw a new version of the Data ProtectionAddendum, the “Microsoft Products and Services Data Protection Addendum” (formerly called the “Microsoft Online Services Data Protection Addendum“) published. This also means that a variety of data collection related updates were made throughout the Product Terms.
There was a pretty big change this month as Microsoft removed a key requirement for “From SA” licenses. These allow organisations that have on-premises licenses with Software Assurance (SA) to migrate to Microsoft 365 at a reduced price – taking into account the investment in SA.
Back in early 2020, Microsoft added a clause that customers had to retain their existing on-premises licenses throughout the “From SA” subscription period. This presented a barrier for organisations in Europe looking to engage in the 2nd-hand software market and re-sell their (now unwanted) on-premises licenses.
However, in June 2021 Microsoft said:
For customers who choose to purchase “From SA” licenses, we removed the requirement that customer retain the corresponding Qualifying Licenses throughout its From SA license subscription period
It’s a very interesting move from Microsoft and I am keen to see what related announcements we might see at their Inspire conference in July.
Further changes include:
Windows 10 Enterprise/E3 has been removed as a pre-requisite for the M365 F5 add-on SKUs.
Remote Work Starter Plan added to CSP <– This seems to have launched in Japan in August 2020 and looks to be basically a “Teams+OneDrive” SKU
Customers with Microsoft Project Plan 1/3/5 are only permitted to use Universal Resource Scheduling to schedule Project and Task tables within the context of a project