Overview of the Changes to the December 2013 Volume Licensing Product List

This month I think it’s fairly obvious that the Product List Elves also work for Santa since they haven’t made a huge number of changes to the December Product List. It’s the Windows client that features most prominently so let’s start with that and take a look at what’s new and amended:

  • Windows 8.1 Enterprise Sideloading: This has been updated to Windows 8.1 and there’s a new 10 Pack available through Select and Open agreements like its 100 Pack big brother
  • Windows Multi-lingual User Interface Rights: There’s new confirmation on page 69 that although SA customers can use the MUI of prior versions of Windows, they can’t take MUI rights from Windows 8.1 Pro and use them with Windows 7 Pro, since MUI rights for Windows 7 were only available via Windows 7 Enterprise
  • Windows 8 Pro Re-imaging Rights: There’s a quirk in the OEM Windows 8.1 Pro licence which means that customers can’t downgrade to Windows 8 Pro through OEM. A new piece of text on page 117 confirms that Volume Licensing customers can re-image as if their Windows 8.1 Pro devices were licensed with Windows 8 Pro
  • Windows Embedded 8.1 Industry Enterprise: This is called out as a new SA benefit on page 68 for those customers with SA coverage for Windows Embedded 8.1 Industry Pro
  • Windows Embedded 8.1 Industry Pro Downgrade Rights: There’s a change on page 124 that gives additional downgrade rights to Windows 7 Professional for ATMs for Select/EA customers

There are a couple of things of note regarding Visual Studio 2013 and the new Deployment licences. Do check out the previous blog entry on this site if you want to know more about these new licences:

  • Visual Studio Deployment 2013 Standard and Datacenter editions are added to the Product List with availability showing in all licensing programs
  • There’s confirmation on page 113 that users with a Visual Studio Ultimate 2013 with MSDN subscription are entitled to one licence for Visual Studio Deployment 2013 Standard
  • Page 173 gives a note on the media eligibility for Visual Studio Deployment – the note being that there won’t be any physical media options, with the software only available via electronic download

And then a few final odds and ends:

  • The new Student Advantage program which offers Office 365 ProPlus free for students where the faculty and staff are already licensed for Office Professional Plus or Office 365 ProPlus makes its debut and details are included in the relevant education programs from page 39 onwards
  • Lots more Office 365 SKUs have been added to the Open and Open Value program as we’ve been expecting and this month’s Product List has been updated to show the availability through the different programs
  • And finally some new promotions have sprung into life – do check specifically if they’re running in your geography though. There’s one for customers with SA on Project/Visio Professional who can transition to the Office 365 Pro SKU; another for customers with SA on Project/Visio Standard who can step up to the Professional edition; and one offering discounts of purchases of Windows Embedded Industry 8.1 Pro

Overview of the Changes to the November 2013 Volume Licensing Product List

This month it’s the new Server and Cloud Enrolment (SCE) that’s firmly in the spotlight. As a reminder, this new enrolment replaces the Enrolment for Application Platform (EAP) and Enrolment for Core Infrastructure (ECI) and is aimed at customers who are happy to commit to Software Assurance across their estate on products such as SQL Server or the Core Infrastructure Server (CIS) Suites which license Windows Server and System Center.

  • Products Available: There’s a new SCE column added to those very useful tables at the beginning of the document – you know, the ones that tell you what products are available through which programs etc. In this sparkly new SCE column you’ll find details of the SCE products that require enterprise-wide commitment marked with “STP” (Server and Tools Product) or “C” (core infrastructure product), and available additional products marked as “A”
  • Minimum Requirements: There’s a useful section added to page 43 which shows the minimum initial order requirements for SCE. Previously, this sort of information has only been available in the Enrolment documentation so it’s good to have it more accessible here
  • Subscription Licence Minimums: There are new subscription licences available through SCE, and page 49 confirms the exact set of licences that are eligible for reduction at anniversary after an initial 12 month term
  • Program Benefits: Section 7 of the document on page 63 adds “Program Benefits” to its title and this is where you’ll find details of the SCE benefit that allows you to use System Center to manage up to 10 VOSE instances within Windows Azure for each Core Infrastructure Server Suite licence enrolled in the SCE
  • Renewing EAP Customers: There’s confirmation on page 61 that EAP customers who previously deferred buying licences by buying the SAPriorL SKUs must buyout their licences before they can renew SA
  • Promotions: There are some interesting promotions associated with SCE too. On page 38 you’ll find details of the “Windows Azure Adoption Acceleration” promotion which offers additional monetary commitment credit to customers who are prepared to commit to an upfront monetary commitment, with three bands starting at a commitment of $50K. And also on this page is the “FY14 Jumpstart Server & Cloud Enrolment” which offers a 15% discount on Core Infrastructure Server Datacenter Suite L&SA and SA. Both of these promotions run from 1 November 2013 to 30 June 2014

In other mainstream product news this month:

  • Windows Server and System Center are perhaps more interesting for noting what’s been taken out. As you’d expect, all the references to the product names have been “R2-ified” but the raft of information that’s been available showing all the SA upgrade path information for both products has been removed and now just refers you back to the October 2013 Product List
  • There’s some useful information for Windows too:
    • Again, the version has changed throughout to 8.1, and on page 120 there’s confirmation that VL customers with expired SA on Windows 8 Pro may move to Windows 8.1 Pro, but not Windows 8.1 Enterprise
    • Page 120 informs us that Windows Enterprise Sideloading licences for Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 may be used interchangeably, so devices licensed for Windows 8 Enterprise Sideloading that have been upgraded to Windows 8.1 don’t need to be separately re-licensed
    • There’s some expanded information on Sideloading with Windows Embedded on page 116, and details of how customers can enrol in Windows Embedded 8.1 Industry Pro Software Assurance on page 118
  • The rules for acquiring Windows Azure Services have changed – the detail is on page 57 onwards but I’ll explain it all in a separate blog post very soon!

And, finally, those very niche bits and pieces that have changed – let me know if YOU’RE the person who was glad to know the following:

  • The number of licensed desktops for eligibility to participate in the Enterprise Source Licensing Program has increased from 1,500 to 10,000
  • Details of the Enterprise Strategy Program Offerings have been reworked and clarified

Overview of the Changes to the September 2013 Volume Licensing Product List

This month we bid a fond farewell to a few products and, appropriately for this back-to-school time of year, say “oooh, aren’t you growing fast?” to others.

It’s goodbye to the following:

  • Office 365 Plans K2 and E2: as you’ve probably picked up, the features in these SKUs are now consolidated into the K1 and E1 offerings and that’s what customers should renew into
  • System Center Essentials 2010: Microsoft confirmed some time ago that this would be the last release of the product, and in March 2013 SA-only and L&SA SKUs were removed, with the final L-only SKUs going this month
  • TechNet subscriptions: the retirement of TechNet was announced by Microsoft in July 2013 and the three key SKUs for Volume Licensing customers are removed this month

As we’ve been expecting, there are now an increased number of Office 365 plans available through the Open and Open Value programs. Commercial customers can now buy the following SKUs through their agreements, with Government and Academic customers having access to an only very slightly different set:

  • Office 365 Plans E1 and E3
  • Office 365 ProPlus
  • Exchange Online Plan 1
  • Exchange Online Protection

And leaving to last the fastest growing set of services, namely Azure. Just as an aside, if you’d searched for “Azure” in the September 2012 Product List you’d have found 28 instances – a search in this month’s yields 112 – an impressive year-on-year growth!

This month sees the addition of the Windows Azure Active Directory Rights Management Services User Subscription Licence (and it’s no better abbreviated to a WAADRMS USL is it?!) This licenses (of course) access to the Azure Active Directory Rights Management Service.  There’s further, useful information in the July 2013 PUR where we’re told on pages 26/28 that this USL will also license users for on-premise Rights Management through Windows Server 2012. On a related note, there’s also confirmation on these pages and on page 86 that Office 365 E3 and E4 USLs include access to Rights Management both on-premise (Windows Server 2012 ADRMS) and in the cloud (Windows Azure ADRMS).

Overview of the Changes to the August 2013 Volume Licensing Product List

This month it’s all about the new Office 365 Add-on SKUs available for customers to purchase through their Enterprise Agreements, and you’ll find the following offerings added to the Product List:

  • Exchange Online Plan 1 Add-on (User SL)
  • Lync Online Plan 1 Add-on (User SL)
  • SharePoint Online Plan 1 Add-on (User SL)
  • SharePoint Online Plan 1 with Yammer Add-on (User SL)
  • Office 365 Enterprise E1, E3, E4 Add-on (User SL)
  • Office 365 Enterprise E3, E4 without Office Pro Plus Add-on (User SL)
  • Office 365 Government G1, G3, G4 Add-on (User SL)
  • Office 365 Government G3, G4 without Office Pro Plus Add-on (User SL)

These Add-on USLs are all listed as Additional Products and are purchased in addition to a Qualifying Licence (or Licences) – which must have active SA of course. Luckily there’s a handy table on page 103 that shows what Add-ons a customers may acquire if they own Core CAL/Enterprise CAL with, or without, Office Professional Plus licences. This page turns up further treasures as some useful notes then follow on purchase eligibility, purchase restrictions, licence assignment, use rights, and true ups.

If you want to know more about these new offerings and the benefits they’ll give customers, then check back for our next post when we’ll cover this in more detail.