Power Platform Licensing Guide

There’s an updated (February 2024) Power Platform Licensing Guide. The main change is the addition of Copilot Studio in Copilot for Microsoft 365; if you’re licensed for Copilot for Microsoft 365 then you can create, manage, and publish plugins from Copilot Studio to Copilot for Microsoft 365. Find this new guide here: https://bit.ly/4byhCfu.

Microsoft 365 plan comparison documents

There are updated (February 2024) Microsoft 365 plan comparison documents where Power Virtual Agents is replaced by Copilot Studio.

These useful documents tell you which (of the many) different components are included in which Office 365/Microsoft 365 plan, and there’s a table for SMB customers (https://bit.ly/4bm9crn), one for Enterprise customers (https://bit.ly/3HQRFtG), one for Education customers (https://bit.ly/3OwHkH8) and still more for EEA customers – one for SMB (https://bit.ly/3SpfihV) and the final one for Enterprise (https://bit.ly/42tUo5O).

Changes to From SA licences

Microsoft announce changes to the availability of From SA licences. These licences debuted in the August 2014 Product List and were a cost-effective way for a customer with users licensed with traditional desktop licences with SA to move to the cloud, with, for example, an Office 365 E3 From SA User SL costing less than a full Office 365 E3 User SL.

The changes don’t affect customers who have bought From SA licences – they’ll be able to continue to renew these licences, but from 1 February, 2024 no new licences may be purchased, either by existing or new From SA customer.

Now, as users are moved to cloud licences, full User SLs must be purchased for them. There is a concession that remains: each user who used a device licensed with SA for Windows, Core/Enterprise CAL Suite and Office Professional Plus before being assigned a Microsoft 365 E3/E5 User SL may continue to install a local copy of Office Professional Plus.

Find the adjusted Product Terms text here: https://bit.ly/2OFt7vB, and Microsoft’s announcement here: https://bit.ly/3w4RN6x.

Microsoft Mesh is generally available

Microsoft announce that Microsoft Mesh is now generally available, allowing you to join a Teams meeting as an Avatar within a 3D space. Features are available to everyone licensed with a Microsoft 365 Business Basic/Standard/Premium, Microsoft 365 E3/E5 or Office 365 E1/E3/E5 licence, with the creation of customised 3D spaces requiring a Teams Premium licence. Find the announcement here: https://bit.ly/3u0k917.

Microsoft Entra ID Governance licensing

Microsoft Entra ID Governance is an identity governance solution to help organisations strengthen security and more easily meet compliance and regulatory requirements. There are (of course) multiple ways for customers to acquire the licences for this solution, and this article does a good job in explaining the options: https://bit.ly/3SzAIu6.

Exchange Server 2019 CUs and end of Mainstream Support

Exchange Server 2019 reached end of Mainstream Support on 9 January, 2024 which means that you wouldn’t normally expect any non-security updates to be released after that date. However, there are still two more Cumulative Updates planned – find out more from the Exchange Team here: https://bit.ly/3On7goF,

Azure Spring Apps Enterprise plan now eligible for Azure Savings Plan discounts

Microsoft announce that the Azure Spring Apps Enterprise plan is now eligible for Azure Savings Plan discounts. Customers able to commit to a 1-year Azure Savings Plan can expect savings of 20%, and 47% for a 3-year Plan, compared to Pay-As-You-Go costs.

You can find the announcement here: https://bit.ly/3vTXfck, and a reminder of how Azure Savings Plans work on our blog here: https://bit.ly/3tQVCe9.

Azure SQL Database failover rights

Microsoft add new failover rights for Azure SQL Database to the December 2023 Product Terms. Now, when a secondary database replica is used only for disaster recovery, and doesn’t have any workloads running on it or applications connecting to it, you can save on licensing costs by designating the database as a standby replica. Microsoft provide you with the number of vCores licensed in the primary database at no extra charge, but you’re still billed for the compute and storage that the secondary database uses.

Find the announcement here: https://bit.ly/4b6kRKK, the relevant part of the Product Terms here: https://bit.ly/3Y6xsac, and instructions for configuring the standby replica here: https://bit.ly/3HxEzlc.

Azure Standard Support offer extended

Customers buying their Azure services through an Enterprise Agreement or via the MCA-E have long been eligible for free Azure Standard Support, and Microsoft confirm that this offer will be extended to June 30, 2024, with both new and renewing customers eligible for support for a period of 6 months.

Find the announcement here: https://bit.ly/3u1mUPN, terms of the offer here: https://bit.ly/3CTFrhq, and a useful comparison of all the Azure Support plans here: https://bit.ly/44i3x1h.