Overview of the Changes to the September 2013 Volume Licensing Product List

This month we bid a fond farewell to a few products and, appropriately for this back-to-school time of year, say “oooh, aren’t you growing fast?” to others.

It’s goodbye to the following:

  • Office 365 Plans K2 and E2: as you’ve probably picked up, the features in these SKUs are now consolidated into the K1 and E1 offerings and that’s what customers should renew into
  • System Center Essentials 2010: Microsoft confirmed some time ago that this would be the last release of the product, and in March 2013 SA-only and L&SA SKUs were removed, with the final L-only SKUs going this month
  • TechNet subscriptions: the retirement of TechNet was announced by Microsoft in July 2013 and the three key SKUs for Volume Licensing customers are removed this month

As we’ve been expecting, there are now an increased number of Office 365 plans available through the Open and Open Value programs. Commercial customers can now buy the following SKUs through their agreements, with Government and Academic customers having access to an only very slightly different set:

  • Office 365 Plans E1 and E3
  • Office 365 ProPlus
  • Exchange Online Plan 1
  • Exchange Online Protection

And leaving to last the fastest growing set of services, namely Azure. Just as an aside, if you’d searched for “Azure” in the September 2012 Product List you’d have found 28 instances – a search in this month’s yields 112 – an impressive year-on-year growth!

This month sees the addition of the Windows Azure Active Directory Rights Management Services User Subscription Licence (and it’s no better abbreviated to a WAADRMS USL is it?!) This licenses (of course) access to the Azure Active Directory Rights Management Service.  There’s further, useful information in the July 2013 PUR where we’re told on pages 26/28 that this USL will also license users for on-premise Rights Management through Windows Server 2012. On a related note, there’s also confirmation on these pages and on page 86 that Office 365 E3 and E4 USLs include access to Rights Management both on-premise (Windows Server 2012 ADRMS) and in the cloud (Windows Azure ADRMS).

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