Microsoft Licensing and Services Update Q4 Roundup (April-June) 2016

MLR Insights

For your Enterprise Architecture (EA) Board, keeping on top of solution, service and feature updates for principle technology providers like Microsoft can be a challenge.
Getting a clear view of the Microsoft current and planned technology roadmap, deprecated and new features of owned technologies or those they plan to invest in, and the associated impact of software use terms (licensing changes) and price increases can have a material impact on your current and planned technology roadmap and IT budget.

Getting a clear updated technology and licensing roadmap can help inform a predictable commercial forecast, identify new service enhancements or opportunities for technology consolidation and identify opportunities for cost savings and cost avoidance, and risk mitigation from non-compliance or un-budgeted spend.

Please find below a snapshot of some of the principle product, feature and licensing updates so far in 2016:

April 2016

  • SQL Server 2016 will be available June 1st. Price file is not yet released.
  • Windows Server 2016 new licensing data metrics must be considered – Datacenter Edition supports unlimited OSEs, Hyper-V Containers and Windows Server Containers. Standard Edition provides rights TO 2 OSEs of Hyper-V contained and unlimited Hyper-V containers. Shielded VMs only available in Datacenter Edition. Nano Server available in both editions. Expected GA in October (TBC).
  • Reminder: July 1, 2016 Select Plus Retirement for Commercial customers – no new orders.
  • Windows10 “Anniversary Edition” adds Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection (ATP). Windows Hello. http://goo.gl/5Ziipl
  • Windows10 “Anniversary Edition” will provide Bash Linux terminal http://goo.gl/DqF8cD
  • Windows10 “Anniversary Edition”: EDP (Enterprise Data Protection) for local device file encryption from corporate sources w. privileged app controls http://goo.gl/vu7Lq5
  • Office365 Cloud App Security was added to Product Terms and OST in April 2016. Generally Available.
  • Server 2005 now out of support from April 12th 2016. https://goo.gl/2uAApc
  • Exchange Server 2007 is out of support in less than a year. http://goo.gl/WwxbTc
  • SQL Server ‘Incremental Servicing Model’ will proactively place CUs to Windows Update Catalog  https://goo.gl/tjmJmW
  • SQL 2016 Release Candidate 3 Available https://goo.gl/R2HqDz
  • April 1st SQL Developer only available via Dev Essentials (free). Enterprise Bits. No Downgrade Rights: look to MSDN https://goo.gl/ZacH8U
  • Azure Container Service own Generally Available
  • Skype for Business PSTN licensing FAQs https://goo.gl/HOV6BA
  • Customer Lockbox Office365 E5 expands. Exchange Online to SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business from Q2 2016
  • Office365 App Discovery and App Permissions available via E5 from April 2016
  • Cloud App Security Broker, incorporating the Adallom acquisition, rolls out April 2016 for Office365 Plan E5
  • Dynamics AX “For SA” and “Step-up” licenses available: April 1,2016.

March 2016

  • SharePoint Enterprise Edition 2016 license required for Project Server 2016. Not available w. Standard license ref: https://goo.gl/mjhMjq GA expected in May 2016 before end of FY.
  • SharePoint 2016 RTM w. Project Server 2016 features released. GA expected early May. https://goo.gl/94RCrB
  • New article on License Mobility and CALs on my blog: http://MicrosoftLicenseReview.com
  • Microsoft advertise “Break free from Oracle”, but could our customers lock themselves in with Microsoft? SA Only Subscription via an SCE w. SA enterprise-wide “offer” required https://goo.gl/jUEbDw
  • Software Assurance for SQL will enable future deployment right on Linux https://goo.gl/cAJlaS
  • SQL 2016 Azure Stretch DB Pricing. Introduces DBU ‘Database Stretch Unit’ Metric https://goo.gl/cjZbRd
  • Microsoft support Forbidden Technologies Forscene on Azure Marketplace. Shares soar reportedly ~60% http://goo.gl/qpsBvm
  • Azure Search Basic Tier enters Public Preview https://goo.gl/jH4mtq
  • SQL 2016 expected for Linux Ubuntu RedHat on-premise and cloud. (Expect a Service Branch Update Model w.SA) http://goo.gl/OaIxZR
  • Microsoft announce Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection for Windows10. Compliments ATA and ATP. https://goo.gl/iYBL0W
  • FAQs WinSvr Azure Hybrid SA Benefit base compute rate equals 1 Linux VM. Run 2 VMs up to 8 cores, or one 16 cores https://goo.gl/mbPE8F Could see savings for higher end D Series VMs under this benefit!
  • Great resource: Azure Billing and Subscriptions FAQs https://goo.gl/jqRQ1c
  • Azure AD Identity Protection Preview. ML enabled threat analytics for Cloud identities. Compliments ATA for on-premise https://goo.gl/lBmQcv
  • Customer Lockbox Office365 E5 expands. From Exchange Online to SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business from Q2 2016! http://goo.gl/gWv061
  • Be aware that Office365 dynamic Groups could ‘pull in’ Azure AD Premium Subscriptions for every directory query! http://goo.gl/8Hbpsb
  • Office365 App Discovery and App Permissions available via E5 from April 2016 https://goo.gl/OzOI7Q
  • Cloud App Security Broker, incorporating the Adallom acquisition, rolls out April 2016 for #Office365 Plan E5 https://goo.gl/jplLo3
  • Office 365 Pro Plus 2016 CBB (Current Branch for Business) now renamed ‘Deferred Channel
  • Office365 Pro Plus and Office365 Plan E3 to E5 via Tier 1 CSP and SPLA (with Amendment). RD model for Shared Computer Activation (CSA)
  • Office365 SA re-attach now available with EA ‘From SA’ SKU.
  • Windows SA ‘Roaming’ extended use right for remote 3rd party ends Jan31st 2017 or with contract after date.
  • ISV ‘Self-Hosted Applications’ use right extended from dedicated to shared servers Customers can transition to Office365 E5 mid-term EA. New E3/E4 “Add-On” and only pay price differential.
  • March 1st 2016 Office365 Cloud “Add-Ons” available for Project and Visio.
  • Enterprise State Roaming enters Preview. Available with Azure AD Premium and Windows10 for App and OS Settings sync
  • The Windows Server Hybrid Use Benefit Azure SA Benefit is GA. Customers must use PowerShell and specify ‘licenseType’ under Azure Hybrid Use Benefit. Pay only Azure base instance up-to 16 cores (min 8) Could save on higher end D series VMs!

February 2016

  • April 1, 2016, Norwegian krone prices for enterprise cloud and software will increase by 15 to 23 percent to realign close to euro levels.  Simultaneously, Swiss franc prices for enterprise software will decrease by 10 percent to realign close to euro levels
  • Azure: Until now, in addition to the Monetary Commitment SKUs that cover multiple Azure Products, there have been two SKUs on the price list for each Azure Meter; 1) A commitment SKU: This was used in the background to decrement the Azure Monetary commitment as the customer uses the specific Azure services. 2) An overage SKU that is used to invoice any additional use of Azure Services above the Monetary Commitment that they made.
  • From the February 2016 effective price list, the commitment meter SKUs were removed. This does not impact  the Monetary Commitment SKU. Price List Guide
  • Azure AD Identity Protection in Public Preview. ML enabled threat analytics for Cloud identities. An addition to EMS or AD Premium that compliments ATA for on-premise https://goo.gl/lBmQcv 
  • Customer Lockbox Office365 E5 expands: Exchange Online to SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business from Q2 2016 http://goo.gl/gWv061
  • Be aware TCO: Office365 dynamic Groups could ‘pull in’ Azure AD Premium Subscriptions for every directory query http://goo.gl/8Hbpsb
  • Office365 App Discovery and App Permissions available via Office365 E5 from April 2016 https://goo.gl/OzOI7Q
  • Cloud App Security (CAS) Broker, incorporating the Adallom acquisition, rolls out April 2016 for Office365 Plan E5 https://goo.gl/jplLo3 
  • ISV ‘Self-Hosted Applications’ use right extended from dedicated to shared servers option. Ref: Product Terms, Feb 2016 p6.
  • Microsoft updated how they approach rental PC market for licensing Office and Windows in February: https://goo.gl/hKOTRz
  • Customers can transition to Office365 E5 mid-term EA. New E3/E4 “Add-On” Step Up converts to an E5 Add-on and only pay price differential.
  • Product Terms: Office365 SA reattach w. EA ‘From SA’ SKU.
  • Windows SA ‘Roaming’ right for remote 3rd party ends Jan31st 2017 or w. contract after date.
  • Windows10 CBB (Current Branch for Business) now renamed ‘Deferred Channel’ https://goo.gl/PfQwCk
  • Office365 Pro Plus and E3-E5 via T1 CSP, or SPLA (w. Amendment). RD model for Shared Computer Activation (CSA) http://goo.gl/j9p2Kl
  • Enterprise State Roaming enters Preview. Available with Azure AD Premium and Windows10 for App and OS Settings sync https://goo.gl/zCel8t
  • The Windows Server Hybrid Use Azure SA Benefit is GA https://goo.gl/WTcBU1
  • Exchange public folder mailbox limits are increasing from 100 to 1000 for Exchange Online over February! http://goo.gl/UIXJQL
  • Exchange Deployment  Advisor updated for 2016 scenarios https://goo.gl/yosUrk
  • Exchange 2013 and 2016 exmon (user monitor) Tool now available for download http://goo.gl/pMCsfg
  • Microsoft guidance in taking your application portfolio to the Azure cloud https://goo.gl/XGndqd 
  • SQL Server Express Images are in the Azure Gallery! https://goo.gl/E3h7MP
  • Azure Site Recovery (ASR) Licensing Whitepaper for Service Providers https://goo.gl/zDM3wS
  • Azure Container Service enters Public Preview https://goo.gl/uBvK8K
  • SQL Server Stretch DB enters Public Preview on Azure https://goo.gl/YKAHTL
  • RedHat Enterprise Linux on Azure Marketplace GA https://goo.gl/lGO7Gh
  • Microsoft Azure acquire Xamarin https://goo.gl/FYqBg0
  • New Admin control over Yammer licensing and access at user level, allow enforcement of #Office365 identity. https://goo.gl/8sti99
  • Microsoft have a new tool to support Azure data Import https://goo.gl/urDyuD
  • Good catch: You’ll need SCCM CML and SCEP subscription to manage Win Defender in Windows10 (or maintain CAL suite) http://goo.gl/HctF7O
  • New Azure Quick Start Templates https://goo.gl/P8BbyJ
  • New Windows10 Update History site provides archive of release notes http://goo.gl/YWXOGX

January 2016

  • Azure Pack Roadmap https://goo.gl/ZviLTg
  • Best practices for design and performance in SharePoint Online. http://ow.ly/XBgES
  • Log Analytics comes to Microsoft Operations Management Suite (MOMS) http://goo.gl/4DTYJz
  • Log Analytics comes to Microsoft Operations Management Suite (MOMS) http://goo.gl/4DTYJz
  • Latest encryption update whitepaper for Office365 on the service trust portal (get yourself an E3 to read it) https://goo.gl/q448qR
  • Playing hard ball: U.S. tells EU that Safe Harbor talks have “gone as far as we can go.” http://on.wsj.com/1nB3WYa
  • Improvements to Skype expected with Microsoft acquisition of Event Zero https://goo.gl/23Ii76
  • Core engine of Microsoft Edge, ‘chakracore’ will be Open Source https://goo.gl/g45u8n
  • You can now download the Nano Server 2016 VHD standalone http://goo.gl/zG1CBF
  • Impact of minimum 500 User EA/EAS. Subscription priority for MPSA. Q4 2016. Renew EAS until June, use  one time extension after July 1st
  • Microsoft Cloud Networking for Azure: Guidance Poster for Enterprise Architects https://goo.gl/crlcw2
  • Microsoft February price drop <17% for #Azure D series v2 instances. <10% for WinSvr Instances. Compete with AWS https://goo.gl/aCUQki
  • Azure SQL database index advisor enables #SQL tuning. Now Generally Available https://goo.gl/dEKm31
  • Azure RemoteApp extensibility with Premium/+Plus pricing tier for extra compute. <80% discount with EMS and RDS CALs https://goo.gl/vA9QOC
  • Microsoft allow international transfers to another user of some developer subscriptions https://goo.gl/XZejV2
  • Azure Role-Based Access Control (RABC) now Generally Available  https://goo.gl/vP19we
  • Microsoft make Azure MFA available as a USL under Volume Licensing. Don’t worry it’s still in AD Premium https://goo.gl/YHiYek
  • Reminder: Internet Explorer 11 is now the minimum supported browser for Windows 7 SP1 and Windows 8.1 Update https://goo.gl/gFRHc6
  • Remote Desktop Preview available for Windows10 Mobile and Continuum http://goo.gl/t7vMsF
  • StorSimple Virtual Array for Azure EA in Preview. ESX and Hyper-V. Storage Tiers for hot data and stale on Azure https://goo.gl/1bNjel
  • Hardware Specs for Microsoft Azure Stack http://goo.gl/4qT7jt
  • Windows Management Framework 5.0 RTM is now GA #PowerShell http://goo.gl/L97tN3
  • Aligning Your Cloud Strategy Across Your Technical, Procurement, and Licensing Teams http://hubs.ly/H01DM3q0
  • OneDrive for Business dissapoints E1 customers w.1TB limit. Extends ‘unlimited’ w. an increase to 5TB for E3,E4,E5 https://goo.gl/EBfVUn
  • OneDrive for Business next gen sync client supports 10GB files and 20,000 documents. https://goo.gl/4CQnEK
  • Microsoft gives Azure Machine Learning Excel AddIn http://goo.gl/gFzHIF
  • Azure IoT Suite predictive maintenance now Generally Available http://goo.gl/53KXJz
  • General Availability – Skype for Business for Android App https://goo.gl/6EVVPV
  • Microsoft IT case study – deploying Windows10 to 90K users in 9 weeks https://goo.gl/LfxrDN
  • System Center Current Branch General Availability v1511 http://goo.gl/8jF4Sa
  • Skype for Business Planning Tool https://goo.gl/cnBAhl
  • Microsoft release DskSpd storage testing tool https://goo.gl/npcBH2
  • Azure Remote App Windows Client MSI expected in Q1 2016 https://goo.gl/ndpbTn
  • Azure RemoteApp will provide Public Preview ability to publish specific applications to specific users https://goo.gl/ndpbTn  in Q1 2016
  • Azure RemoteApp expected availability on Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) Programme in March/April 2016 https://goo.gl/ndpbTn
  • Microsoft tell you to opt-in to keep your 15GB bonus on OneDrive https://goo.gl/URPIwI
  • Cortana integration with PowerBI is possible. Doing this : http://goo.gl/M3T3mI
  • SQL 2005 Upgrade Planning – Advice from the SQL group at Microsoft http://goo.gl/p094Q7
  • Azure RMS w. mailbox encryption and user rights policies could provide encryption functionality to E1 for users that don’t require all E3
  • You can backup Vmware on prem VMs to Azure via ASR Azure Site Recovery https://goo.gl/KVrqiC
  • Office365 Groups now supports eDiscovery, litigation hold and Auditing. Ability to convert distribution lists; APIs https://goo.gl/4GIdGU
  • Azur RemoteApp November Updates. Includes Intune MAM support http://goo.gl/VS2BMj
  • Azure RemoteApp Pricing Plans w. Basic, Standard, Premium. 5 USL minimum. Discount for EMS and RDS CAL w. SA https://goo.gl/rcQzPk
  • Updated Azure RemoteApp Roadmap https://goo.gl/ksAuCH
  • At last, Microsoft make it easier to schedule a meeting with FindTime for #Office365 https://goo.gl/NuRU8O
  • Polycom gets Skype Cloud PBX ready with line-up for new Voice devices http://goo.gl/0PrRnz
  • Service Update – Blockchain as a Service on Azure (Ethyreum via ConsenSys) https://goo.gl/MeRfdC
  • General Availability – Azure Automation https://goo.gl/KR7EWy
  • If you have Windows Server or System Center running on more than 8 cores per CPU, you could be spending more at SA renewal.
  • Microsoft Azure Stack https://goo.gl/JCb0Bp

December 2015


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This website is a way to give back to the licensing community and as an information resource for all customers that work with Microsoft software and licensing. I hope you find it of value.

Tony Mackelworth is Head of Microsoft Advisory Services at SoftwareONE

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Disclaimer

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