Historically, Windows 10 IoT Enterprise LTSC 2021 has only been available through the OEM channel, but from 1st August, 2023 customers will be able to purchase perpetual licences without SA through the MPSA and Select Plus agreements, as well as from their CSP partners.
Microsoft announce that SQL Server 2022 is generally available. Volume Licensing customers can download it immediately, and customers purchasing via CSP, OEM, and SPLA will be able to begin purchasing SQL Server 2022 in January 2023. This announcement article (http://bit.ly/3GmU8ww) gives lots of detail on the new features, as well as introducing a new PAYG purchasing model for SQL Server. The new licensing model is enabled by Azure Arc, and allows customers using either Standard or Enterprise edition to pay only when they use SQL Server.
Find out more about how it all works in this article: http://bit.ly/3Arq2UP.
There’s an updated (April 2022) Microsoft Azure Customer Solution VL Brief. This is a useful document detailing the rules for ISVs when creating customer solutions built on Azure: essentially, ISVs should purchase the Azure services through an EA or (and this is the addition to this new document version) direct from Microsoft via the Microsoft Customer Agreement. Partners intending to just resell the Azure services should use the Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program.
Find this updated document here: https://bit.ly/39sdBgW.
Microsoft introduce Teams Essentials, a standalone Teams offering aimed at small businesses.
It’s $4 per user per month available through CSP partners or directly from Microsoft’s website and allows unlimited group meetings for up to 30 hours with up to 300 participants.
This site is useful for seeing how Teams Essentials compares to other plans aimed at smaller businesses such as Microsoft 365 Business Basic and Standard: https://bit.ly/31LrCSX.
Microsoft introduce Microsoft Defender for Business – capabilities from the Microsoft Defender for Endpoint solution optimised for businesses with up to 300 employees.
It will be available through a preview soon, and thereafter sold via a CSP partner or Microsoft’s website. Licensing wise, it will be included in the Microsoft 365 Business Premium product, or available as a standalone offering costing $3 per user per month.
Find the announcement here: https://bit.ly/31VYmZP.
Microsoft announce that Microsoft Cloud for Nonprofit is generally available.
This is an add-on licence with a variety of qualifying licences required, dependent on which nonprofit scenarios are important to you in areas such as fundraising, and volunteer engagement and management.
It’s a tenant-wide licence available through the EA, CSP and Web Direct, and there’s a Basic plan which is free, and a Standard Plan 1 (for less than 250 employees) at $750 per month and a Plan 2 for more than 250 employees at $2,000.
The different qualifying licences and the scenarios they light up are detailed in a pricing datasheet which you can find here: https://bit.ly/30JcMMW, and the availability announcement with some useful links, including one to a webinar on 7 December, 2021 is here: https://bit.ly/30DRWOP.
The Azure Hybrid Benefit for SQL Server can be used with Azure resources such as SQL Databases or Managed Instances, or SQL Server running in a virtual machine. This means that customers can bring their own licences with SA (or Server Subscriptions acquired through CSP) to pay for the SQL Server part of the resources. Historically, the Azure Hybrid Benefit has always been activated at the resource level, but a new option means that customers can now manage it for a single Azure Subscription or for a whole Billing Account.
This new feature is enabled in the Azure Management Portal where you specify the number of eligible SQL Server licences you have which are then converted to Normalized Core Licenses (NCLs). Because SQL Server Enterprise and Standard Core licences can be combined in Azure in the ratio of 4:1, this NCL number calculates (in effect) the total number of Standard Core licences you have available. So, 8 Enterprise and 16 Standard Core licences = 8 x 4 + 16 = 48 NCLs. These NCLs are then automatically allocated to SQL resources running in the chosen scope, rather than the Azure Hybrid Benefit having to be manually activated by a human on each resource.
Scope-level management of the Azure Hybrid Benefit can be used with SQL Databases, SQL Managed Instances, SQL Elastic Pools or SQL Server running in an Azure VM, but only resource-level management is available for Azure Dedicated Hosts and Azure Data Factory SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS). Note too that it’s not an option currently available for Web Direct or CSP customers, only those buying through an Enterprise Agreement or direct from Microsoft via the Microsoft Customer Agreement.
Find tutorials, how-go guides and an FAQ at the docs site here: https://bit.ly/3n2IfAO.
In September 2020, Microsoft announced two promotions which entitle Enterprise Agreement and CSP customers to free Audio Conferencing licences. The changes listed on the Product Terms site for 1 February 2021 (http://bit.ly/3prduoo) confirm that these promotions are now extended to 30 June, 2021 from the previous end-date of 31 March, 2021.
Find the original announcement with details of the promotions here: https://bit.ly/33NIFkN.
Microsoft announce an update on the old Azure offer in CSP. Today, there are two offers that a partner can transact to sell the Azure consumption services to their customers: the “old” Azure offer which is the original way that partners transact these services, and the new Azure plan which is billed via the new commerce platform.
When the Azure plan launched, Microsoft were clear that at some point the old Azure offer would be retired, and there’s now information on the timeline for this to happen. Firstly, customers new to Azure will only be able to purchase through the Azure plan from 21 July 2021, then partner incentives for the old Azure offer will be retired sometime in 2022, and in the third phase, on a date to be determined, customers on the old Azure offer will be migrated to the Azure plan.
Find the announcement with a few more details here: http://bit.ly/3iEmhBu.