Azure dev/test discounts for Windows Virtual Desktop

Microsoft announce that special discounts are now available for Windows Virtual Desktop used within an Azure dev/test Subscription. Find the announcement here: https://bit.ly/2K0C6Sg. There’s also language added to page 56 of the April 2020 Product Terms document detailing the use rights of Windows Virtual Desktop in dev/test environments. Find the Product Terms documents here: http://bit.ly/MSproductterms.

Discontinuation of Azure Information Protection Plan 2

Azure Information Protection Plan 2 is being discontinued as a standalone offering. Page 6 of the April 2020 Product Terms document confirms that existing customers will continue to have access to the service for the term of their Subscription, and customers with true-up rights will continue to have the option to true-up for the term of their Enrolment. Find the Product Terms documents here: http://bit.ly/MSproductterms.

Azure Cost Management March update

The March roundup of the innovations added to Azure Cost Management includes a whole host of new ACM videos – find them on YouTube here: http://bit.ly/31RjZFy, and confirmation that Cloudyn will be deprecated at the end of 2020: https://bit.ly/3c7HrDx.

Read the full update post here: https://bit.ly/3a0eoQM for more details, and articles on topics such as new ways to save money with Azure and how rounding is handled.

70-705 Retirement date moved to 31 January 2021

At the end of February 2020 Microsoft announced that a number of certifications would retire at the end of June 2020, the 70-705 exam (Designing and Providing Microsoft Licensing Solutions to Large Organizations) amongst them. However, due to the disruption caused by the coronavirus, this retirement date has been moved to 31 January, 2021.

The original post (https://bit.ly/3a4cxun) explains that while the 70-705 exam is retiring it doesn’t expire as a valid qualification and so it’s worth continuing with plans to take the exam if you’ve been studying for it.

The second post (https://bit.ly/2xg6INe) gives practical guidance on how to schedule an online proctored exam, and what to do if exams are cancelled or you have exam vouchers that will expire in the short term.

AAD Premium Plan 1 added to Microsoft 365 Business

Microsoft announce that the full set of Azure Active Directory Premium Plan 1 capabilities are being added to Microsoft 365 Business. Previously, Microsoft 365 Business just had a subset of the capabilities but now customers will also get the benefits of Cloud App Discovery, Application Proxy, Dynamics Groups, and Passwordless Authentication.

The new capabilities are already rolling out to new Microsoft 365 Business customers and are scheduled for existing customers throughout the rest of April 2020.

Find the announcement article here: https://bit.ly/2xsDeeR.

Microsoft 365 Business Voice

Microsoft introduced Microsoft 365 Business Voice in November 2019 for the UK and Canada, and from 1 April 2020 it’s also available in the US. This is a single Add-on licence which includes access to Phone System, Audio Conferencing, and a Domestic Calling Plan, and can be added to an Office 365 plan (Business Essentials, Business Premium, A1, E1, F3, A3, E3) or a Microsoft 365 plan (Business, F3, A3, E3). It’s limited to up to 300 users in an organisation, and the price per month is $20 per user. There’s also an International Calling Plan available for $12 per user per month. Business Voice without a calling plan also launches on 1 April, 2020 in around 70 additional countries.

Find the announcement here: https://bit.ly/2RlnP6K and confirmation of US pricing here: https://bit.ly/3aVc12Z.

Name changes to some Office 365 and Microsoft 365 plans

Microsoft announce that there will be name changes to some Office 365 and Microsoft 365 plans from 21 April, 2020. Here’s the summary:

For the Business plans aimed at customers requiring less than 300 users:

  • Office 365 Business Essentials becomes Microsoft 365 Business Basic
  • Office 365 Business Premium becomes Microsoft 365 Business Standard
  • Microsoft 365 Business becomes Microsoft 365 Business Premium

For the Office applications:

  • Office 365 Business becomes Microsoft 365 Apps for business
  • Office 365 ProPlus becomes Microsoft 365 Apps for enterprise

For the consumer plans:

  • Office 365 Personal becomes Microsoft 365 Personal
  • Office 365 Home becomes Microsoft 365 Family

Changes to the names are automatic in all the relevant portals, and there are no changes to any pricing or functionality with the exception of the consumer plans where additional, new Microsoft 365 features are added.

Find the main announcement here: https://bit.ly/2yF3yCX, additional information on the consumer plans here: https://bit.ly/3bPge8q, and information for partners here: https://bit.ly/3e1Line.

Azure Dedicated Host Reservations

The Reservations family continues to grow with one and three years Reservations for Azure Dedicated Host available. Get the overview here: http://bit.ly/2VXbJ7b, understand how the discounts are applied here: http://bit.ly/2IMPUj3, and get pricing here: http://bit.ly/2KkxB6m.

If you want a review of Azure Dedicated Host licensing, then head over to this article on our blog: http://bit.ly/2OJ5Nwx.

Changes to Microsoft Firstline Worker plans

Microsoft announce some changes to their plans for Firstline Workers, effective from 1 April, 2020. The existing Microsoft 365 F1 plan will be renamed to Microsoft 365 F3 and keep its $10 per user per month price, and a new plan (with a lesser set of functionality) will take the Microsoft 365 F1 name and have a price tag of $4 per user per month. Office 365 F1 is also renamed to Office 365 F3 and remains at $4 per user per month. All of the Firstline Worker plans will have additional  Teams functionality added, as well as enhanced identity and access management features.

There’s a useful chart comparing what’s available in the different plans in the announcement article here: https://bit.ly/3a6Qkg4.