Microsoft introduce the Microsoft 365 App which will replace Office.com (starting in November 2022), as well as the Office mobile app and the Office app for Windows (starting in January 2023). The “traditional” perpetual licences for Office 2021 stay branded as Office at this time.
For more information, take a look at the FAQs here: https://bit.ly/3ThafiM.
Microsoft announce that Power BI Premium per User will become generally available on 2 April, 2021.
There will be a standalone licence costing $20 per user per month, or an Add-on for users already licensed with a Power BI Pro or Office 365/Microsoft 365 E5 licence costing $10 per user per month.
Find the announcement article, which also details Power BI Premium features and capabilities, here: http://bit.ly/3rm1B4E, and a useful FAQ on the Power BI Premium per User licence here: https://bit.ly/3j1YNWc.
The Microsoft Product Terms site launched on 1 July, 2020 with the aim of ultimately replacing the Product Terms and Online Services Terms documents.
The new site allows customers to filter content and review only the use rights and conditions relevant to their needs, to save a downloadable version of the use rights, to compare older use rights to the current ones, and to choose to use one of 35 different languages.
If you haven’t looked at this site yet, then it’s time to prioritise getting to grips with it since the existing Product Terms and Online Services Terms documents won’t be available after 1 February, 2021.
Have a quick read of the FAQ here: http://bit.ly/2HVsabn, and then access the site here: https://bit.ly/2ByfWq2.
There’s an updated (November 2020) Qualified Devices and Qualified Users Licensing Brief.
This is a useful document if you work with the Enterprise Agreement and need guidance on what type of devices/users need to be counted as Qualified Devices and Qualified Users.
There are exclusions noted as well as hints on determining which devices are not managed, and also a couple of FAQs at the end of the document.
Find this updated document here: https://bit.ly/3miwUdu.
Microsoft announce that Advanced Communications is available from August 1, 2020.
This adds a new set of capabilities for Teams, costs $12 per user per month and may be added on to any licence that includes the Teams service.
It supports large meetings enhancing the standard Teams limits from 10,000 to 20,000 attendees, 15 to 50 concurrent events, and event durations from 4 to 16 hours. Note that these limits are already uplifted for all Teams users until 1 October, 2020 – find details of that here: https://bit.ly/3lf2fON.
It also supports integration with ISV compliance recording and contact centre solutions, and will support custom branded meeting lobbies in the near future.
Find details of what’s included here: https://bit.ly/31r24b8, the announcement itself here: https://bit.ly/3hsYl2l, and a useful FAQ here: https://bit.ly/34vzoQr.
Microsoft expand the capability for end users to purchase licences on their organisation’s tenant without going through the IT department.
From 15 September, 2020 users will be able to purchase Visio Plan 1 and Plan 2, and Project Plan 1 and Plan 3, as well as the currently available Power Apps per user, Power Automate per user and Power BI Pro products.
IT administrators can see any licences that have been purchased in this way through the Microsoft 365 Admin Center, and can turn off self-service purchase on a product by product basis using PowerShell – find instructions here: https://bit.ly/2Eum8Am.
There’s also a useful FAQ to get an overview of the processes from both the end users’ and the IT administrators’ perspective here: http://bit.ly/2T034Pe.
Microsoft Endpoint Manager is the name for all of Microsoft’s endpoint management solutions, and includes System Center Configuration Manager and Microsoft Intune. The benefit of Microsoft Endpoint Manager is that it makes it easier for organisations to concurrently manage Windows 10 devices with both Configuration Manager and Microsoft Intune, a configuration called co-management. Bringing everything up to date, the July 2020 Product Terms updates the name of System Center Configuration Manager to Microsoft Endpoint Configuration Manager.
In terms of co-management licensing, organisations don’t have to buy both Configuration Manager and Intune licences: if they are licensed for Configuration Manager then they are automatically licensed for Intune for co-managing Windows PCs, and if they are licensed for Intune, then they are also automatically licensed for Configuration Manager for co-managing Windows PCs. There are some management scenarios which aren’t covered with the co-management rights and this article has some useful instances of when you would also need a full Intune licence when you have a Configuration Manager licence, for example: https://bit.ly/2WIZieT.
There’s a name change but there aren’t changes to the licensing of Configuration Manager. As a recap, there’s a current branch and long-term servicing branch (LTSB) for Configuration Manager, with the current branch providing an active servicing model as you would expect. Customers who have active Software Assurance or a subscription to EMS E3 (for example) may use this branch. Configuration Manager must always be purchased with Software Assurance through a Volume Licensing agreement and the LTSB is intended for customers who have perpetual licence rights to Configuration Manager but have let the SA expire. This is a useful article if you want to learn more about branches and licensing: https://bit.ly/3hpw0JX.
And finally, there’s a Microsoft Endpoint Manager FAQ document which you may find useful here: https://bit.ly/32JtVog.
If you’re interested in the licensing of PowerApps and Power Automate then you may find this page of licensing FAQs useful. It covers a diverse range of topics including trial licences, the Common Data Service, Add-ons, Portals, and AI Builder. Find it here: http://bit.ly/32U9ocP.
Microsoft announce that Extended Security Updates for Windows 7 will be available to purchase through the CSP program from 1 December, 2019. Find the announcement here: http://bit.ly/35gkQ57, and the latest
FAQ in the Desktop section of our Licensing Guides emporium: http://bit.ly/MSLicensingGuides.
Microsoft announce that a monthly payment option is now available for some Azure Reservations. There aren’t any additional costs for choosing to pay monthly rather than upfront, although if you’re in a non-US-dollar market the actual monthly payment may vary dependent on the exchange rate. Monthly payments are available for the following services: virtual machines, SQL Database, SQL Data Warehouse, Cosmos DB, and the App Service stamp fee, and it’s an option you select when you buy the Reservation from the Azure Management Portal.
Find some good pictures of the process and some FAQs here: http://bit.ly/2maim6g.
The original announcement is here: http://bit.ly/2lILGR0.