Access included in Office 365 Business and Business Premium

Microsoft announce that Access will now be included in Office 365 Business and Business Premium plans. The product will automatically be installed for licensed users between 1 December 2017 and 30 January 2017 if you’re on the Current Channel for updates, and in June 2017 if you’re on the Deferred Channel.

Find the Microsoft announcement here: http://bit.ly/2eenhhJ.

Office 365 Update Channels

Updates for Office 365 ProPlus and Office 365 Business are made available on one of two main channels – the Current Channel and the Deferred Channel. If you want some detail on how the releases through these channels are made available and for how long they’re supported, as well as how you choose which channel to be on, then this is a useful article: http://bit.ly/1Ov0l8Q.

Windows, EMS and ECS Name Changes

It’s all change! Firstly, Microsoft announce that Windows 10 Enterprise will be renamed to Windows 10 Enterprise E3, and that Windows 10 Enterprise E5 will be introduced which includes Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection.

Then, Enterprise Mobility Suite will be renamed Enterprise Mobility + Security and, again, there will be E3 and E5 flavours of this.

There’s a good diagram here (http://bit.ly/29Cc0Er) which shows you the components of both of these editions.

And finally, the Enterprise Cloud Suite will be called Secure Productive Enterprise E3/E5 containing the relevant Office 365, EM+S and Windows 10 Enterprise plans.

Find the Microsoft announcement here: http://bit.ly/29ur3we.

New Office VL Brief

There’s an updated (June 2016) “Licensing Microsoft Office software in Volume Licensing ” VL Brief which is updated for Office Online Server. This is the successor product to Office Web Apps Server 2013 and provides browser-based versions of Word, PowerPoint, Excel and OneNote from on-premises environments.

For details on the licensing, the FAQs on page 8 are useful, but in summary: there are no licences required for viewing documents, but create/edit/save rights are an SA benefit and included in an Office 365 ProPlus subscription.

However, there’s an exception which means that licences bought without SA before 1 August 2016 don’t need SA before 1 August 2019.

Find the guide in the Desktop section of our Licensing Guides emporium: http://bit.ly/MSLicensingGuides.

Microsoft Data Centres in Canada

The Microsoft data centres grow again: two data centres are now open in Canada offering Azure and Office 365 with data residency for business customers in Canada, and CRM Online available later this year in Q3. There are also plans for a new data centre region in Seoul, South Korea.

Find the Microsoft announcement here: http://bit.ly/1XLVxPZ and if you’re interested in where customer data is stored for Office 365 and CRM Online, then these interactive maps are worth a look: http://bit.ly/1YQuBwP.

Office 365 Licensing Guide

There’s a new (March 2016) Volume Licensing Brief for Office 365.

This document has useful tables showing you all the Office 365 plans and what’s included in each one, as well as availability in the different channels. Then there’s an overview of the four flavours of USL that customers can choose from:

  • Full USL (if you’re a new Online Services customer)
  • From SA USL (if you’re transitioning from existing on-premises products with SA)
  • Add-on USL (if you’ve got traditional licences and want to try the cloud), and a
  • Step Up USL (if you want to go to a higher plan).

Finally, there’s a useful table showing the technical dependencies of some of the Office 365 services.

Find this guide here: http://bit.ly/259poHI.

SharePoint Server 2016 GA

Microsoft announce general availability of SharePoint Server 2016, and confirm that it’s derived from the same code used to deliver SharePoint Online.

What’s the future of the on-premises product? Well, innovations will (as you’d expect) be delivered to Office 365 first, but many will also be available via Feature Packs to SharePoint Server 2016 customers with Software Assurance.

The first Feature Pack will be available through the public update channel in 2017, and customers will have control over which features are enabled in their on-premises farms.

Full details are here: http://bit.ly/1XbKkIb.

Office Online Server Available

Microsoft announce the release of Office Online Server, the successor to Office Web Apps Server 2013.

This product enables you to deliver browser-based versions of Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and OneNote from your on-premises datacentre with the same functionality as Office Online.

Licensing-wise, any customer with a Volume Licensing agreement can download OOS from VLSC at no cost for view-only functionality. If you want create, edit and save functionality then you need an Office licence with active SA or an Office 365 ProPlus subscription. However, if you buy Office 2016 through Volume Licensing before 1 August 2016, then you won’t need SA until 1 August 2019.

Find the announcement here: http://bit.ly/23tSr2y.