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Changes in the world of Microsoft Licensing

Author: Helen Neudorf Time: 15.12.2021

Changes in the world of Microsoft Licensing

Who has been watching closely, Microsoft announced in August that a price increase of about 10% is expected in March. It is now known that from March 1, 2022, the prices of all types of contracts will increase by 10-25% on average.

OPEN licensing program is leaving the market
The OPEN License program, which has been running for many years, will disappear from the market by the end of this year. With this program, it was possible to use different Office licenses and to license servers and server clients.
Instead of the OPEN License program, you can acquire Microsoft licenses through the following programs:

  • CSP (Cloud Solution Provider Program), which is primarily intended for licensing cloud products.
  • SPLA (Service Provider Licensing Agreement) for hosting partners.
  • EA / ESA (Enterprise Agreement / Enterprise Subscription Agreement), a licensing solution for large customers.

Comparison of contracts:

Current situation of CSP:
At the moment, license packages are purchased for 1 year period, ie if you buy licenses today, you will pay for a one year period according to today's price list. Licenses may be modified, added or ended at any time without penalty.

New business model of CSP:
From March 10, 2022, the CSP business model will change. The CSP license can now be purchased on the bases of monthly contract, 1-year contract or a 3-year contract.

With a monthly license, you can use licenses for one month and change the number of licenses each month. Price protection is also valid for 1 month. This solution provides flexibility, but a monthly license is 20% more expensive than an annual license.

A 1-year contract allows you to use licenses for one year. Price protection is 1 year, and billing options are: monthly and annual however, there is no flexibility to renounce or reduce the number of licenses.

The 3-year contract allows you to use licenses for a three-year period. Price protection is 3 years and billing options are: monthly, annual and 3 years. The exact price of a 3-year contract has not yet been fixed, but Microsoft has mentioned that the price can be compared to a 1-year contract, so if you have a 3-year contract, you will pay for 10 months instead of 12 months a year.

Significant changes in the CSP:

  • When concluding a contract, it is possible to change it within 72 hours. By change it is meant either a downgrade or a stop. You can move up (upgrade) at any time.
  • 1-month / 1-year / 3-year licenses can be combined.
  • Trials are automatically converted to paid licenses (if unchecked in time).
  • Added option to purchase Add-on licenses separately from base licenses. For the add-on to work, however, a basic license is still required.
  • Added the option that if a bill is not paid, the partner can pause the customer's service. A pause means that the payment will continue, but for regular users the service will be paused.

Can I use the old and new business model at the same time?
Yes, you can.

Can I convert a monthly license to an annual one?
Yes, you can. You can switch from a monthly license to an annual one, but unfortunately the other way around is not possible.

Can I combine different license packages? (For example, annual Business Basic and monthly Business Basic)
Yes, you can. For example, you can think of your basic needs and, in addition, to take monthly licenses if necessary.

Timeline of changes:

New products:

  • Windows 365 - This is a Microsoft cloud licensed user. It can be taken with a Windows 365 Business license for smaller businesses and a Windows 365 Enterprise license for larger businesses.
  • Windows 11 - This is the latest operating system from Microsoft. The main changes are design, but there are also technical additions. It will be available as a free upgrade until at least October 2022. More information about Windows 11 can be found here.