Reservations are a way of pre-paying for certain Azure services to get the best
possible pricing. The first Reservation from Microsoft was a Reserved Instance
– a way of paying upfront for the compute part of a virtual machine – and Microsoft
continues to extend what, and where, Reservations are available.
In February 2019,
Microsoft announced that Reserved Instance discounts had been extended to apply
both to Classic Virtual Machines and Cloud Services, and that Reserved
Instances could be applied to Dev/Test Subscriptions acquired through an
Enterprise Agreement or through Azure.com. Find that announcement here: http://bit.ly/2KEIVdP.
More recently, in
April 2019, they announced that the Reservations family had grown to include two
new members. Firstly,
SQL Data Warehouse Reserved Capacity allows customers to buy compute Data Warehouse Units (cDWU) with either 1-year or 3-year options for discounts of up to 65%. Reserved Capacity can be shared by multiple warehouses in the same region and there are exchange and cancel options available if business needs change. Secondly, there are new RedHat Enterprise Linux Software Plans where the rules are stricter in terms of exchanging and cancelling, but discounts of up to 18% are still available.
Find the announcement and get further details here: http://bit.ly/2Mzvq1D.
Microsoft announce that Office 365 for Mac is now available on the Mac App store, where users with an Office 365 subscription that includes the Office apps will be able to install the Mac versions of the Office products with a single click.
Find the announcement here: http://bit.ly/2RAfNV6 Apple also make the announcement (https://apple.co/2WhsCY4) highlighting the further benefit that businesses will now be able to use the Apple Business Manager to easily distribute the apps to employees.
Visual Studio subscriptions provide access to developer tools, as well as cloud services and software to support all types of dev projects. Microsoft have sold Standard subscriptions through Volume Licensing agreements and annual or monthly Cloud subscriptions through the Visual Studio Marketplace. Note that annual Cloud subscriptions are no longer available, but that existing customers can continue to renew, increase, decrease, or cancel their subscriptions.
The Cloud subscriptions page is here: http://bit.ly/2HrksJj.
Microsoft update their page on Reservations and Server Subscriptions in CSP to reveal that there will be two new offerings available in the short term: Reservations for SQL Managed Instance, and Server Subscriptions for RDS CALs.
Find the page and its host of useful resources here: http://bit.ly/2NIC5n1.
If a customer has bought Azure services through a CSP partner then there’s an Azure Subscription set up and charging for the consumed services is done via the partner. However, can an Azure Subscription be switched from one partner to another if need be? It can indeed – it’s not a particularly elegant process involving a form and action required from both partners and the customer, but if you need to do it you can find instructions here: http://bit.ly/2PxC19J.
Microsoft announce changes to the rights for Office 365 Home and Personal subscriptions. From 2nd October 2018, subscribers to either plan can install Office on an unlimited number of devices and be signed into their accounts on up to five of those devices at the same time. Previous rights were 10 devices for Home, and one PC/Mac and one tablet for Personal subscribers. There’s also an increase of the number of users associated with a Home subscription from five to six. Find the Microsoft announcement here: http://bit.ly/2wzWX8d.
If you have responsibility for deploying and managing Windows 10 Subscriptions in CSP then there are three interesting documents that you might find useful: An Introduction to Windows 10 Subscriptions in CSP; The Role of Azure AD in Windows 10 Cloud Subscriptions; and Windows 10 Upgrade Benefits for CSP Customers.
Find all of these documents with their overviews here: http://bit.ly/2P1h6ML.
If you’ve got questions on Windows 10 subscription activation then add this article to your reading list: http://bit.ly/2zHV4Lf. There’s lots of useful information including a short history of Windows deployment, the prerequisites and advantages of using the Windows 10 Enterprise subscription model and how it works, and how you enable Windows 10 subscription activation for virtual machines in the cloud. If you’re interested in the differences between acquiring licences in an Enterprise Agreement and CSP then there’s some great information on that too.
Microsoft Bookings starts rolling out worldwide to customers who have Office 365 Business Premium subscriptions. There’s an app for iOS now and one for Android shortly, and customers who have Office 365 E3 or E5 subscriptions are likely to get access to Microsoft Bookings in the future. Find the Microsoft announcement here: http://bit.ly/2n40mGV.