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.

VDA Add-on for Microsoft 365 E3/E5

A VDA Add-on for Microsoft 365 E3/E5 is added to page 57 of the March 2020 Product Terms

This Subscription Licence allows Microsoft 365 E3/E5 users to access a Windows Enterprise Virtual Desktop Infrastructure on dedicated servers when the users don’t have a primary device with a Qualifying Operating System – for example, users whose primary device is a thin client or a Mac. Note that these licences are only available to customers buying through an Enterprise Agreement.

Find the current Product Terms document here: http://bit.ly/MSproductterms.

Self-service purchase capability

14 January, 2020 is the day that Microsoft’s new self-service capability goes live for commercial customers in the US.

This functionality allows end-users to buy Power BI licences on their organisation’s tenant without going through the IT department. They pay with a credit card and get limited access to the Microsoft 365 Admin Center so that they can assign licences to other users as required. IT administrators can see any licences that have been purchased in this way through their view of the Microsoft 365 Admin Center, and can turn off users’ ability to self-serve using PowerShell if required. End users will be able to purchase licences for Power Apps and Power Automate soon, and the functionality will be available in other geographies through 2020. Find an FAQ here: http://bit.ly/2uNNQU3.

Microsoft 365 Business Voice

Microsoft introduced Microsoft 365 Business Voice in November 2019 for the UK and Canada, with plans for global availability in 2020. 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, A3, E3) or a Microsoft 365 plan (Business, A3, E3). It’s limited to up to 300 users in an organisation, and the price per month is ¬£12.00 per user.

Find the original announcement here: http://bit.ly/2Yt80gU and a useful overview page here: http://bit.ly/2Yw4LoR.

General Availability of Windows Virtual Desktop

Microsoft announce the General Availability of Windows Virtual Desktop on 30 September, 2019: http://bit.ly/33abTIG. This page is a useful reminder of the licences required to access WVD: http://bit.ly/2UxKalz, and it’s been updated with the changes to the Microsoft 365 licence assignment rules where customers can now assign Microsoft 365 licences to any user, regardless of the user’s primary device, to use WVD and Office 365 – see the September 2019 Product Terms for details. If you’re a partner, then you’ll find some useful partner resources on WVD here: http://bit.ly/33fm4eS.

Planner comes to F1 plans

Microsoft announce that Planner will be added to Microsoft 365 F1 and Office 365 F1 commercial and government plans starting at the beginning of October 2019. The Planner functionality is the same as in higher level plans, and there’s no action for a customer to take.

Find the announcement here: http://bit.ly/2lStHb5.

Windows 7 and Office 2010 End of Support FAQ

There’s an updated (July 2019) Windows 7 and Office 2010 End of Support FAQ. Use it to answer questions such as: which programs are the Extended Security Updates available in (currently EA/EAS/EES, but CSP too by the end of 2019); who’s eligible for free ESUs (EA/EAS customers with active Windows E5 or Microsoft 365 E5/E5 Security subscriptions); and in which Windows environments is Office 365 ProPlus supported (it depends, see pages 12/13).

Find this document, as usual, here: http://bitly/MSLicensingGuides.

Update on Microsoft 365 From SA rights

Microsoft announce that they will not now remove the special Office Professional Plus installation rights that customers are currently entitled to with Microsoft 365 E3 and E5 From SA licences. The current rights are detailed on page 54 of the May 2019 Product Terms, and this announcement confirms that the rights are here to stay rather than being removed after 1st August 2019: http://bit.ly/2W7q4PN.

Home Use Program FAQ

There’s an updated FAQ on the Home Use Program with two main items of interest.

Firstly, the number of qualifying Office 365/Microsoft 365 licences that education or non-profit customers need is reduced to 2,000 to match the requirements for commercial or government customers.

Secondly, there are instructions added for IT administrators to manage the HUP benefit through the Microsoft Store for Business.

Find the FAQ here: http://bit.ly/2Y45JrL.

Windows 7 Extended Security Updates

Microsoft announce that Extended Security Updates for Windows 7 will be available for purchase starting 1 April, 2019.

This is where you’ll find the announcement: http://bit.ly/2THC3SZ, along with a link to download some FAQs.

If you’re interested in some facts and figures around running older software then this infographic is worth a look: http://bit.ly/2TcV7TU, and there’s a customisable sales guide for partners who want to help customers transition to a modern desktop with Microsoft 365 here: http://bit.ly/2Y3Ymk3.