Microsoft Licensing and Services Update February 2017

As Microsoft shift focus away from MPSA for Office365 and Azure and provide a one year extension for Select Plus, Redmond are pivoting towards “Microsoft Assisted” (EA) and Partner self-serve web options (MCA via CSP), confirming continuance of both ‘MS Supported’ digital direct, and partner enabled indirect digital channels.

February 2017 saw a number of important licensing and solution updates from Redmond, including but not limited to:

  • LTSB will support only current release silicon at the time of LTSB GA. Future silicon generation needs future LTSB making Software Assurance incredibly important
  • As a reminder, Windows10 only supported Windows OS for upcoming Intel “Kaby lake”, Qualcomm’s “8996”, and AMD’s “Bristol Ridge” silicon.
  • For customers looking to upgrade to Windows 10, OMS is becoming increasingly important, just as EMS has become for Office365. OMS providing Upgrade Analytics and Upgrade Compliance services (Preview) by connecting to Windows 10 telemetry data.
  • Office365  Secure Score provides InfoSec scoring as Microsoft partner up with Cyber Insurance
  • Office365 E5 Advanced Data Governance enters Preview. Offers Machine Learning enabled data classification, policies
  • SCCM Active Server Branch 1602 enters technical preview
  • Azure AD Premium receives Connect Health for On-Prem AD,  Azure AD sync. However, with a complex 25 USLs per Agent licensing model, defined at Role Level:
  • Office36 Visio Online available in E1 and K1 Plans.  Allows users to View (but not Edit) Visio Diagrams
  • Microsoft Product Terms for February updated with Windows10 VDA Add-on, Dynamics365 Add-on and From SA
  • Reminder: Azure will no longer be available on February 1st via MPSA.
  • Microsoft to remove locked price SKUs and Multi-Year Offers April 1st on MPSA. Supports revised CSP and EA Strategy:
  • Microsoft depart from MPSA for strategic cloud. After April 1st  2+3 year Office365, Dynamics365, SPE, Windows10 are removed. <1 Year Only.
  • Office365 License Management now comes of age, with Azure AD Basic: Office365 and EM+S License Mgmt. with selective Services Deselect. ADP1: Dynamic Groups Auto-Assign w. Self Service – Enables staged Roll-Out and service deselect control over expansive plans like Office365 E5.
  • Windows10 Build 1507 End of Servicing now pushed back to end of May.
  • Azure Information Protection comes of age: New App, AD Group Classification, Bulk Classification w. PowerShell
  • Microsoft CSP program extends Windows10 “free” Pro Upgrade from 7/8.1 to enable/sell Windows10 Enterprise Subscription USLs under CSP
  • Microsoft drop Azure VM and Blob Storage Prices
  • It is possible to use SCCM to map user device affinity. Useful to identify primary device for pesky Windows10 licensing ref: MyITForum
  • Microsoft expand Office Mobile App ecosystem, extensibility with Evernote, GIPHY, Trello Add Ins

Thanks All


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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