Office Online branding retired

Microsoft announce that they have decided to retire the term “Office Online”, and the apps such as “Word Online” will now be referred to as “Word for the web” or “Word in a browser”. This means that the August 2019 Product Terms is updated too with all references to “Office Online” changed to “Office for the web”. Note that there are no changes to the name of the Office Online Server product.

Find the announcement here: http://bit.ly/2yH3b7v.

Updates to Licensing Dedicated Hosted Cloud Services

Microsoft announce that from 1 October, 2019 there will be changes to how dedicated hosted cloud services are licensed. Currently there aren’t any specific rules for dedicated cloud services and so the rules used have been the ones that have always applied to on-premises servers managed by an outsourcer but dedicated to a customer’s use. These rules state that as long as the hardware is dedicated to a customer, then a customer can bring their own licences to that hardware. There has been no requirement for Software Assurance or any other sort of eligibility criteria.

Existing licences retain these rights, but licences purchased after 1 October, 2019 will be subject to new rules, when used with dedicated hardware from a small set of hosting organisations defined as “Listed Providers” – Microsoft, Alibaba, Amazon, and Google. Essentially, you’ll now need Software Assurance on your licences. The License Mobility benefit is updated to include both multi-tenant and dedicated services from these providers, and the Azure Hybrid Benefit is updated to include deployment to the newly announced Azure Dedicated Host.

For the full story, see the Microsoft article here: http://bit.ly/2YTJ70E and find a useful FAQ in the Core Infrastructure section of our Licensing Guides emporium: http://bit.ly/LicensingGuides.

Azure Dedicated Host

Microsoft announce the preview of Azure Dedicated Host, a new Azure service that enables customers to run Linux and Windows virtual machines on single-tenant physical servers.

So, how’s this all licensed? Well, first of all you choose the type of Azure Dedicated Host that you want. Currently there are three types, each based on a particular VM series: Dsv3, Esv3 or Fsv2, and you can run any virtual machines from the chosen family on a particular Azure Dedicated Host. Each Azure Dedicated Host has a specific number of vCPUs available and that dictates how many virtual machines you can run.

So, for example, the Dsv3 series Azure Dedicated Host has 64 vCPUs, so you could run 32 x D2s v3 VMs since they have 2 vCPUs each, or mix and match with 2 x D8s v3 (8 vCPUs each) + 2 x D16s v3 (16 vCPUs each) + 8 x D2s v3 (2 vCPUs each). You then pay an hourly charge for the Azure Dedicated Host, regardless of how many virtual machines are running, and that’s $3.38 per hour for the Dsv3 Series.

This hourly charge is for the compute power of the virtual machines, so then you need to pay for the software you want to run in those virtual machines. This can either be done on a metered, hourly basis, or you can bring your own Windows Server and SQL Server licences if you’re eligible for the Azure Hybrid Benefit – either through Software Assurance or if you have a Server Subscription bought through CSP.

How many licences do you bring? Well, you can follow the usual rules for licensing virtual machines in Azure, or you can license all the physical cores on the Azure Dedicated Host with Windows Server Datacenter or SQL Server Enterprise licences to be eligible for running an unlimited number of virtual machines. In terms of useful resources, find the announcement here: http://bit.ly/2M1TKIB, find the Azure Dedicated Host pricing page here: http://bit.ly/2KkxB6m, and an updated FAQ on the Azure Hybrid Benefit here: http://bit.ly/2g1HEwS.

Changes to Office 365 Client Licensing and Activation

Microsoft announce that there will be some changes to the licensing and activation of the subscription-based Office clients such as Office 365 ProPlus.

Users will be able to install Office on a new device without being prompted to deactivate Office on another device when they reach the five-device limit, and will simply be signed out of Office on the device where Office has been least recently used.

These changes will start rolling out to customers from August, with exact timings dependent on which release channel a customer is using.

Find the full announcement here: http://bit.ly/2JZZctp.

Microsoft Partner Agreement Preview in CSP

If you’re a partner selling through CSP then you may know that there will be a new Partner Agreement coming from 1 September, 2019.

If you want to preview this agreement then it’s available on Partner Center here: http://bit.ly/3104kTH, and if you want to revisit Microsoft’s original blog post announcing this agreement then you can find that here: http://bit.ly/2Ilm4l1.

Home Use Program Update

Microsoft’s Home Use Program enters its next phase as Office Professional Plus HUP licences are removed from the July 2019 Product Terms.

You can still buy HUP licences for Project and Visio, but licences for the Office products to use at home are now covered by Office 365 Home or Personal subscriptions.

If you want a reminder of the new Home Use Program then our previous blog articles are useful – Office 365 Home Use Program Benefit (http://bit.ly/2yj0Qj1) and Home Use Program FAQ: http://bit.ly/2SLj2LJ.

Changes to PowerApps and Flow Licensing

Microsoft announce new licensing options for PowerApps and Flow which will take effect in October 2019. Customers will be able to license internal users for an individual PowerApps app at $10 per user per app per month, or for unlimited apps at $40 per user per month.

PowerApps Portals will be the way to create and license apps for external users and this service is now in public preview from 18 July, 2019: http://bit.ly/2Oq92cf. Authenticated users will be charged at $200 for 100 logins per month and anonymous users will be $100 for 100,000 web page views per month.

From a Flow perspective, customers will now be able to choose to license an individual user to create unlimited workflows and business processes at a cost of $15 per user per month. Alternatively, they can choose to license individual business processes for an unlimited number of users at a cost of $500 per business process per month for up to 5 active workflows.

The announcement article is here: http://bit.ly/2JZo3gY, and if you want to watch a session from the Inspire partner conference explaining all this, then you’ll find that here: http://bit.ly/2Y2Cp8L.

Changes to Dynamics 365 Licensing

There will be some changes to Dynamics 365 licensing from October 2019, which Microsoft covered in a couple of sessions at the Inspire partner conference. Let’s look at the most significant of these changes.

Firstly, the Finance and Operations module will be split into two modules: Finance, and Supply Chain Management. Secondly, all the current Plans (Unified Operations, Customer Engagement, and Dynamics 365) will be removed. This means that customers will buy licences for just the apps that they need. If a user does need to be licensed for multiple apps then they will buy a Base licence for the first app and an Attach licence for the second one. There’s no difference in the functionality but the Attach licences will be significantly cheaper.

If you want to dive deeper into these changes, then watch these Inspire sessions: Unified Operations Licensing (http://bit.ly/2y9oOgo) and Customer Engagement Licensing (http://bit.ly/2YnlRHZ).

Enhanced CSP track in GLR

CSP
CSP track on GLR
Enhanced CSP track in GLR

The Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) track in Get Licensing Ready has been enhanced and extended to contain the following modules:

  • Introduction to CSP
  • Licensing Online Services in CSP
  • Licensing Azure Services in CSP
  • Licensing Virtual Machines in CSP
  • Comparing CSP to other Programs: Azure

Each module has the usual video, handout and test so it’s an ideal way to learn the essentials of licensing in CSP, with a certificate awarded at the end.

Find the track in the English portal here: http://bit.ly/2Oib269.

Azure Lighthouse

Microsoft announce the General Availability of Azure Lighthouse (http://bit.ly/2XXR45e) on 11 July, 2019. This tool is primarily aimed at Service Providers who manage Azure resources across a number of customer tenants, but it’s also useful for customers who need to manage their own resources across multiple tenants. Typically, in order to manage Azure resources for a customer, a Service Provider has to sign in to the Azure Management portal using an account associated with that customer’s tenant, and if there are tasks to be done across multiple customer tenants, it’s a time-consuming process accessing each customer’s tenant separately.

Azure Lighthouse makes use of the Azure delegated resource management capability which, through a logical projection of customer resources onto a Service Provider’s tenant context, gives that partner a single control plane to view and manage Azure resources across all of their customers. Even better, it works across the different ways that a customer may have purchased Azure such as through an EA, CSP or directly from Azure.com. The service is free to use, and customers can be onboarded to Azure delegated resource management either by using Azure Resource Manager templates or by publishing a private or public Managed Services offer to the Azure Marketplace.

To find out more, tackle these resources in order:

  • Introducing managed services offers in Azure Marketplace – 20-minute session from Inspire: http://bit.ly/2M6BGMI
  • Azure Lighthouse: Shifting the managed services paradigm towards greater efficiency and security – 1-hour session from Inspire: http://bit.ly/2YmBXl9
  • Azure Lighthouse documentation: http://bit.ly/2Y04Zrf