Licensing changes for hosted solutions

Microsoft announce some upcoming licensing changes for hosted solutions. These will allow partners to offer more solutions (notably hosted desktop solutions comprised of Windows and Office), and will allow customers more flexibility in where they use their existing licences.

This increased flexibility will come via changes to Software Assurance which will expand to allow customers to use their Windows, Office and Windows Server licences with any Cloud Provider partner on dedicated or multi-tenant hardware.

There’s no word yet on when exactly these changes will be implemented, but in the interim you can read the (very long) blog post here:

Azure Dedicated Hosts now support additional VM types

Microsoft announce that Azure Dedicated Hosts now support M-series and NV v3 and v4-series virtual machines so that customers can run memory-intensive and graphics-intensive applications.

Find the announcement here:, and the main Azure Dedicated Host page here: which details the full range of VMs supported and has some useful configuration examples.

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: and find a useful FAQ in the Core Infrastructure section of our Licensing Guides emporium: