Updated “Licensing Windows Embedded 8” Volume Licensing Brief

The Volume Licensing Brief for Windows Embedded 8 is updated in line with the licensing changes that came into effect from 1 April 2014. Here’s an overview of what’s new and different:

  • Windows Embedded 8.1 Industry Enterprise edition is now available as an upgrade licence through Volume Licensing programs. Previously, Enterprise edition was a Software Assurance benefit when SA was added to the Pro edition
  • Software Assurance may only be added to Windows Embedded 8.1 Industry Enterprise edition. Previously, SA could be added to the Pro edition. Note that, for a transition period, customers may add SA to the Pro edition purchased with new devices. The devices must have been purchased before 1 July 2014 and customers have 90 days to attach SA
  • New benefits are added when Windows Embedded 8.1 Industry Enterprise is covered with SA to make the benefits almost identical to those available for Windows 8.1 Enterprise with SA. In fact, the only benefits that aren’t available now are the Enterprise Source Licensing Program and Windows Thin PC
  • There’s a new SA benefit added (which applies to Windows 8.1 Enterprise too) called “Enhanced Edition Rights” which allows the deployment of either Windows Embedded 8.1 Industry Enterprise or Windows 8.1 Enterprise edition
  • Enterprise Sideloading is now enabled in the Windows Embedded 8.1 Industry Pro edition, whether it is acquired through Volume Licensing programs or the OEM channel. Previously, this was only enabled in the Enterprise edition and Enterprise Sideloading for Windows Embedded 8.1 licences needed to be acquired for devices that were licensed for Windows Embedded 8.1 Pro or Windows Embedded 8.1 Industry Pro. Note that the April 2014 Product List has not been updated to reflect this information
  • The Downgrade Rights have been extended allowing a downgrade to Windows Vista Business/Windows 7 Professional for Embedded Systems, or Windows Embedded 8 Pro


The whole brief is worth a read since it gives extra detail such as the different Embedded SKUs and the channels through which they can be acquired. Download the Volume Licensing Brief here: http://bit.ly/17dGRlh

Product and SA Changes in the April 2014 Product List

There are some interesting product changes to the April 2014 Product List; it’s not often we see changes to the SA benefits – this month there are two – and the importance of the cloud is confirmed with two new Online Services and just one new on-premises product.

Product Changes

  • Firstly, there’s a like for like replacement for SQL 2012 products for their new, shinier SQL 2014 equivalents, representing minimal changes to the licensing between versions. You need to go to the April 2014 PUR to find documentation of the two notable changes in SQL 2014 licensing: BI CALs are waived for batch processing, and the licensing of a passive server is now an SA benefit
  • Microsoft Social Listening SKUs are added – both the standalone Social Listening Professional USL and the Add-on USL for organisations that are already licensed with an on-premises Dynamics CRM Professional CAL – with active SA of course. And if you’re wondering precisely what “social listening” may be, then, in a nutshell, it’s a service to monitor social media channels like Facebook and Twitter. If you want more information on the product, then this datasheet is worth a scan: http://bit.ly/RiG5fZ
  • The USL for OneDrive for Business is also added and gives licensed users access to Office Online too
  • The Windows Industry SKUs follow in the footsteps of their close relative, Windows 8.1, with the Enterprise edition being available as a standalone SKU and SA just allowed to be added to the Enterprise edition. Naturally, there’s a “with MDOP” edition too. There are two flavours of each SKU dependent on which devices the licences are being assigned to, and there’s a table which helps you to decide which one is required as long as you know what operating system the device is currently licensed for

Software Assurance Changes

  • Previously, Office licences purchased through a Volume Licensing program gave access to “Office Web Apps”. This is now changed so that rights to an on-premises deployment through Office Web Apps Server 2013 are included with the licence, and rights to Office Online are only available as an SA benefit. There’s also a note that users must be licensed for SharePoint Online to access the Office Online service
  • Given the ever closer licensing between Windows 8.1 and its first cousin, Windows Industry, the “Enhanced Edition Benefits” is a new benefit for both these products which allows the deployment of either edition under active SA

Windows Embedded Licensing Update

Microsoft announce the alignment of Windows and Windows Industry (Embedded) licensing. Here’s what’s new – organisations licensed with Software Assurance on either flavour of Windows get a new benefit called Enhanced Edition Rights. This, actually quite well named benefit, provides rights to both editions of Windows for maximum deployment flexibility. In addition, Windows Industry customers get additional SA benefits which include VDA, Roaming Use Rights, and the rights to purchase the Companion Subscription Licence.

Read the full post here: http://bit.ly/1dMqM9c.