Base and Additive CAL overview

If you’re new to Base and Additive CALs then you may find this new (October 2020) overview document from Microsoft useful. It explains software dependency licence requirements, Base and Additive CALs, external user access, and ends with some FAQs.

Find this document here:

Windows 10 Qualifying Operating Systems

There’s a new (October 2020) Microsoft Licensing Brief to help you to answer questions around Windows 10 Qualifying Operating Systems.

Note though, that it’s not yet updated for the changes that were made to page 42 of the November 2020 Product Terms whereby Windows 10 Home licences are now qualifying licences for academic customers buying through CSP.

Find this document here:

Licensing Windows Server for use with virtualisation technologies

There’s an updated (August 2020) Microsoft Licensing Brief to detail the licensing of Windows Server for use with virtualisation technologies.

There are just small updates made, but this is a useful document if you’re pondering how containers are licensed, how Windows Server licensing changes with VMware or Virtuozzo, or how you license Windows Server for use on Microsoft Azure.

Find this document here:

Dynamics 365 Business Central on-premises Licensing Guide

There’s an updated (October 2020) Dynamics 365 Business Central on-premises Licensing Guide.

The most major change is perhaps from a reformatting perspective – there has been a bit of reordering of the content and there’s a new front cover.

In addition, there are some tables added to the list for Team Members in Appendix A.

Find this updated guide here:

Azure VMware solution

Microsoft announce the General Availability of the Azure VMware solution enabling customers to seamlessly move VMware-based workloads from their data centres to Azure and integrate their VMware environment with Azure.

What’s interesting from a licensing perspective is that if customers are running Windows Server and SQL Server workloads then they can use the Azure Hybrid Benefit to reuse existing on-premises licences, and they can also save money on the infrastructure by purchasing Reserved Instances.

Find the announcement here:, and information on the solution itself here:

Azure Hybrid Benefit for Linux preview

Microsoft announce a further extension to the Azure Hybrid Benefit, this time for Linux virtual machines.

Now customers can bring their own Red Hat Enterprise Linux and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server subscriptions to a virtual machine in Azure and just pay for the infrastructure charges.

Customers can apply this Azure Hybrid Benefit to either existing or new virtual machines.

Find the announcement here:, and instructions on participating in the preview for this new benefit here:

Private Azure Marketplace

Microsoft announce the public preview of the Private Azure Marketplace.

This tenant level feature is built on top of the Azure Marketplace and enables an administrator to add apps from the Azure Marketplace into the Private Azure Marketplace that comply with their organisation’s policies and standards thus making it easy for users to deploy these pre-approved apps within the organisation.

Note that Microsoft apps are automatically added to the Private Azure Marketplace.

Find the announcement here:, and instructions on setting up the Private Azure Marketplace here:

SharePoint Syntex

Microsoft announce that SharePoint Syntex is available from 1 October 2020. This is the first product from Project Cortex, an initiative designed to use AI to automatically organise content.

Users can train Syntex to read content the way they do, and advanced AI in the product captures and tags both structured and unstructured content, with the objective of meeting the product’s tagline – to transform content into knowledge.

Every user using the services of SharePoint Syntex needs to be licensed, which is via a $5 per user per month Add-on to Microsoft 365 F1/F3/E3/A3/E5/A5 or Office 365 F3/E1/A1/E3/A3/E5/A5.

Find the announcement here:, the SharePoint Syntex page here:, and information on Project Cortex here:

15 ways to optimise your Azure costs

There are lots of different ways to optimise costs in Azure, but this list is great to remind you of the basics (Reservations, Azure Hybrid Benefit etc) as well as newer options specific to running SQL in Azure, or using Azure Backup solutions.

Find the full list here: