Overview of the Changes to the January 2014 Volume Licensing Product List

If you look at the official changes in the January 2014 Product List you’d think there wasn’t much new this month, but read on for some interesting additions that go unadvertised…

Microsoft Products and Services Agreement

  • Let’s start with the Microsoft Products and Services Agreement. There’s been a lot of speculation about Microsoft’s Next Generation Volume Licensing initiative and this month the MPSA edges its way cautiously into the Product List. There’s not a lot, granted, but on pages 49/50 there’s advice to refer to Select Plus to find out what products you can buy under the MPSA, as well as confirmation that Office 365, CRM Online, Windows Intune and Yammer can all be purchased under the MPSA and are worth 1 point each. There’s also reference to an MPSA Licensing Manual which is worth a read: bit.ly/1a2TH1r

Office 365 Add-on USLs acquire access rights to Windows Server 2012

  • This is an interesting one; page 107 tells us that a licensed user of an Add-on User SL has access rights equivalent to the base Windows Server 2012 CAL, and may access standard functionality of Windows Server 2012 from any non-Qualified device. It’s a nice added touch of flexibility for anyone using the Add-ons with device-licensed CAL Suites

Office 365 through Open

  • We’ve talked a lot about more and more Office 365 plans becoming available through Open and the dizzy heights are reached with a new section in the Product List on page 59. There’s confirmation that Office 365 is sold through Open, Open Value and Open Value Subscription programs as a one year upfront payment method, as well as the fact that the subscription period starts at the time of the product key activation and not the time of order
  • There’s also a new section on page 46 on the Open Value Offer. If you’re not familiar with this, customers who have an active Open Value/OVS agreement with an organisation-wide commitment for Office Professional Plus and/or a CAL Suite qualify for a reduced price on certain Office 365 SKUs

There are some names changes:

  • The longest named product (ever?) – the Windows Azure Active Directory Rights Management USL – is renamed to the more manageable Microsoft Rights Management USL
  • The Cold Backups SA benefit changes to simply “Backup for Disaster Recovery” and you can see changes to the wording for this benefit on page 70 of the January Product Use Rights document

We lose some products:

  • It’s confirmed on page 146 that Forefront Unified Access Gateway 2010 will be the final version of the product. Customers with active SA on UAG server licences on 1 December 2013 get a grant of one Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard licence, and existing customers can add new server instances, users and devices without any requirement to order additional licences
  • Expression Encoder Pro 4 is removed, furthering Microsoft’s aim of unifying the Expression and Visual Studio brands. While Expression Encoder Pro 4 isn’t available for sale anymore, there’s a free version (Expression Encoder 4) available for download and it looks as if we’ll see Windows Azure Media Services providing new and improved functionality. More information here: http://bit.ly/KQxeyo

There are some changes to a couple of products’ use rights:

  • The buyout rights for Open Value Subscription customers with Small Business Server 2011 are amended, allowing customers to buy out an SBS 2011 CAL Suite or a Core CAL Suite (rather than Windows Server/Exchange CALs). And it’s a similar change for customers with the Premium Add-on Suite, where they’re now allowed to buy out the SBS 2011 Premium Add-on CAL Suite or a SQL Server CAL (rather than a Windows Server/SQL CAL)
  • In the December 2013 Product List (and Visual Studio 2013 Licensing brief) it’s stated that a Visual Studio Ultimate 2013 with MSDN subscriber is entitled to one management server licence for Visual Studio Deployment 2013 Standard, but that text is now removed

And the new promotions are all around Visual Studio 2013 this month:

  • There are three new promotions running from 1 January 2014 to 30 June 2014 – do check for availability in your specific geographic region
  • The first two are linked to the Server and Cloud Enrolment offering a 30% discount on either a step up from Visual Studio Professional to Premium, or Visual Studio Premium to Ultimate
  • The third is again a 30% discount, this time for both of the new Visual Studio 2013 Release Management products – Visual Studio Deployment Standard and Datacenter editions