Windows 10 Pro for Workstations

Microsoft introduce a new edition of Windows 10 Pro – Windows 10 Pro for Workstations. It’s a high-end edition for server grade PC hardware and is designed to meet the demanding needs of mission critical and compute intensive workloads. It will be available later in the year as part of the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update.

Find out more here: http://bit.ly/2uP53H5.

Windows 10 Virtualisation Rights Update

Microsoft confirm that from 1 August 2017 organisations licensed with Windows 10 Enterprise E3/E5 or VDA E3/E5 User SLs will be able to install Windows 10 Enterprise Current Branch in a virtual machine running on Microsoft Azure or a shared server with a Qualified Multi Tenant Hosting Partner.

See page 42 of the August 2017 Product Terms and read more here: http://bit.ly/2wwUsli.

Windows as a Service Updates

Microsoft confirm that from September 2017 the Windows 10 servicing branches will be updated. The Long Term Servicing Branch is renamed the Long Term Servicing Channel and both the Current Branch and Current Branch for Business are replaced with the Semi Annual Channel.

This page has more details as well as an excellent video which is well worth a watch: http://bit.ly/2vdBIKT.

Windows 10 S

Microsoft announce Windows 10 S – a flavour of Windows 10 Pro that is, in Microsoft’s words, “optimised for security and performance”. It does this by working only with apps from the Windows Store and having Edge as its default browser. You can pay to switch to Windows 10 Pro through the Windows Store at any time, but you can’t then go back to Windows 10 S.

This FAQ gives you a good overview: http://bit.ly/2pB32Pt.

Microsoft Volume License Newsletter

The September 2016 Microsoft Volume License Newsletter is out and it focusses on some of the recent changes to Windows 10 Enterprise licensing. How many do you know?

Well, Windows 10 Enterprise with SA has been renamed to Windows 10 Enterprise E3, and there’s a new E5 edition available which includes Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection. All licences are available as user or device licences and there are Add-ons if you need to move between the models.

Read it and subscribe to it here: http://bit.ly/2bQQzit.

September 2016 Hosting and Cloud Newsletter

This useful newsletter has three items of licensing interest this month – let’s take a look.

First of all there’s confirmation that Windows Server 2016 and System Center 2016 will be available in October 2016, with Service Providers being able to download the products from 17 October. The licensing model changes to Core licences and there’s a requirement for a minimum of 8 Core licences per processor. The virtualisation rules are pretty much the same as for 2012 R2: license all the cores with Datacenter edition for unlimited virtualisation, and license all cores with Standard edition for the rights to run a single VM.

Then there’s confirmation that Windows 10 Enterprise E3 is available in the CSP program from 1 September 2016. Licensed users may install the software on up to 5 devices but they will not have access to any virtualisation rights or Software Assurance benefits. Note that qualifying licences of Windows 10 Pro and above are required.

And finally, you’ll want to put 29 September in your diary for the quarterly licensing briefing from the Microsoft SPLA team. The agenda is set to cover the detail of licensing Windows 10 Enterprise E3 through CSP, and Windows Server and System Center 2016 through SPLA. Register for the Cloud Channel Network to attend: http://bit.ly/2c3U8nd or, if you’re already a member, add the event to your calendar here: http://bit.ly/2bPvwOt.

Sign up for this free monthly newsletter here: http://bit.ly/1iVEvxV.

Windows 10 Enterprise Changes

From 1 August 2016 there are changes to the Windows 10 edition line-up: you can still buy Windows 10 Enterprise but there are now also E3 and E5 editions. So, what’s the story here? Well, Windows 10 Enterprise E3 is the new name for Windows 10 Enterprise + SA, and Windows 10 Enterprise E5 adds Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection on top of E3. Both editions are available on per user or a per device basis – check out this page for the details: http://bit.ly/2bgmb2L.

Then take a look at page 37 of the August 2016 Product Terms document to see the new SKUs that are available. Of particular note are the Add-ons which allow you to move between editions and licensing models. This means that you can go from E3 per device to E5 per device, or from E3 per device to E3 per user, or from E3 per user to E5 per user, and you’ll find the rules for these Add-on licences detailed on page 41. In addition, if organisations have fully paid licences for Windows with active SA then they can purchase E3/E5 From SA User SLs instead of SA to move to a user licensing model for Windows (page 42).

It’s also worth mentioning at this point that there are some changes with MDOP with two of the components (Application Virtualization (App-V) and User Environment Virtualization (UE-V)) now part of Windows 10 Enterprise. This Microsoft site is useful for the detail on this: http://bit.ly/2aYEcAi.