Microsoft Update July 2018

Some principle recent Microsoft solution and licensing updates, for July 2018

  • Technical Dependency- Office 2019 (C2R) and Office 2016 (MSI) cannot run concurrently on either Windows or Mac. https://goo.gl/uuirPq
  • Technical Dependency – Office 2019, there is no MSI version offered. https://goo.gl/uuirPq
  • Licensing –  Office 2019, there is no MSI version offered. “Office 2019 (for both Windows and Mac) is a one-time purchase and does not receive feature updates after purchase. Office 2019 includes a meaningful subset of features found in Office 365, but it is not part of Office 365.” https://goo.gl/uuirPq
  • Roadmap Lifecycle – Configuration Manager 2007 reaches the end of its support lifecycle on July 9, 2019. SoftwareONE recommend that customers migrate to the latest version of SCCM (current branch) as soon as possible.
  • Licensing – Microsoft confirm Windows Autopilot licensing requirements https://goo.gl/Z2EjoE
  • Reference – Microsoft publish Windows Autopilot solution documentation at https://aka.ms/WindowsAutopilotDocs
  • Roadmap Lifecycle – SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2 will be end-of-support in less than 12 months, effective July 9th 2019 https://t.co/qqwPpb83Og

Read moreMicrosoft Update July 2018

Microsoft Update June 2018

June 2018 saw a number of important licensing and solutions updates, including but not limited to:

  • New Features – Microsoft update the Office ribbon, to focus on the most common features, with one row of buttons rather than two. (Those of you who remember the menu before the introduction of the ribbon in 2007, may be smiling wryly) https://goo.gl/p8dwWE
  • New Features – Microsoft Planner integration improves with Outlook for Calendars, Microsoft Teams for visibility, and SharePoint for files https://goo.gl/WbJxia
  • New Features – Microsoft Teams can now access SharePoint document libraries. There is also new persistent chat with options to mute , hide or leave a chat. New video features support cloud video recording for future playback. https://goo.gl/ooWK2o
  • New Features – Microsoft Sway improves with updates to the App for iOS to enable editing and preview, with better mobile UI features https://goo.gl/25WvuG
  • New Feature – Microsoft365 Admin Center general availability providing a ‘single pane of glass’ for Office365, Enterprise Mobility & Security, and Windows 10. https://goo.gl/7b1De8
  • New Feature – Microsoft release Windows Admin Center providing a complete administration experience https://goo.gl/PFY5th for Windows Server
  • New Feature – Cluster Sets is a new feature coming in Windows Server 2019. Loosely-couple clusters together to allow for VM fluidity. Provide scale without loss of resiliency. https://t.co/FIa45LBuZe
  • Licensing – Updated EA licensing guide for June 2018 https://t.co/x9Ex1Ucbmu

Read moreMicrosoft Update June 2018

Microsoft Update April 2018

April 2018 saw a number of important licensing and solutions updates, including but not limited to:

  • Roadmap Lifecycle – Multi-Geo Tenancies enters General Availability  https://goo.gl/hMroMX
  • Licensing  – Azure  responds to AWS, now offers constrained core VMs enabling orgs to constrain the vCPU count to reduce the cost of software licensing https://goo.gl/B3JT7y
  • Licensing – Microsoft is expanding the editing capabilities of the Office mobile apps to Office 365 Business Essentials, Office 365 Enterprise E1, Office 365 Education, and more. A qualifying subscription now allows view and edit documents, as well as unlock additional features when using the Office mobile apps Read the blog post or Read the announcement FAQ. https://goo.gl/HupJzK
  • Licensing – SharePoint Online storage increase to 1 TB plus 10 GB per user license https://goo.gl/hpibTR Some thinking presented on why Microsoft would suddenly be so generous, an obvious factor is the influence Teams and Office 365 Groups have on driving usage for SharePoint Online document libraries. After all, with so many document libraries in use, the old (insufficient) allocation was simply too small.
  • Licensing – “Office 2019 uses device-based licenses similar to previous major versions. Users will be able to sign in if they want to. However, they are not required to do this. Key Management Service (KMS) and Multiple Activation Keys (MAK) activation are available to volume license users for offline licensing. No Internet connection is required to use the product”. https://goo.gl/STzoXZ
  • New Feature – Office 365 Secure Score is now Microsoft Secure Score.. The logic is that the dashboard now includes Windows data as well as Office 365 data.
  • Roadmap Lifecycle – Microsoft introduce Commercial Preview of Office 2019. https://t.co/86gngpJZIo
  • Licensing – Office 2019 will only be available as C2R “Click To Run” (FAQs) https://goo.gl/7vfJ2Q

Read moreMicrosoft Update April 2018

Microsoft Update March 2018

Some principle recent Microsoft solution and licensing updates, for March 2018

  • Licensing – Microsoft re-confirm that Inactive User Mailbox licensing is “postponed indefinitely”  – and reiterate Exchange Online Plan 2 or Office365 E3/E5 is assigned for Litigation Hold of Inactive Mailboxes. Minimum license re-assignment of 90 days.
  • Licensing – Microsoft announce effective May 1st 2018, Outlook Mobile will become part of all Exchange Online SKU service plans
  • Licensing – Microsoft also confirm, effective May 1st 2018,  ‘Commercial Use Rights’ for Office Apps will extend to F1 and E1 and Business Essentials. A long overdue and welcome announcement.
  • New Feature – Enable GDPR with DSR (Data Subject Requests) in Office365 Data Privacy Tab of Office365, and Azure DSR Portal. http://bit.ly/2qURGVO
  • Pricing – Microsoft market “transparent” pricing, but SQL Hybrid Benefit can mean one customer with VL pricing anchored at Level A, another at Level D, +/- discounts etc. Enabling strong competitive advantage over AWS for Azure SQL DB Managed Instances https://goo.gl/iAhdcH.
  • Roadmap Lifecycle – SQL Information Protection enters public preview. The ‘advanced’ moniker indicates it may be a premium offering in-line with the other notable GDPR enabling features.  https://goo.gl/H7hJZy
  • New Feature – Microsoft Teams guest access expands to consumer accounts https://t.co/NcDKM1rNxW
  • Roadmap Lifecycle – Azure Migrate is now Generally Available in March 2018. Microsoft step into commercial TCO with scenario planning inclusive of Azure Hybrid Use Benefit, Right-Sizing, No Charge Dependency Visualization  https://goo.gl/N8CofC   further enabled by https://goo.gl/gAVTYf  Azure Advisor. This does move native functionality of Microsoft services into the PyraCloud space, but do you want commercial and technical governance owned by the vendor, and does this address Multi-Cloud?
  • SQL Server Hybrid Use Benefit emerges in the March 1st Product Terms. Specified use scenarios, with a key limitation on concurrent use when comparing to Windows Server Datacenter. Notably no Azure Analysis Services included. https://goo.gl/DWACNS
  • Microsoft  announce that Azure Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) was generally available on March 1st. Azure ATP resides within EM+S E5. https://goo.gl/k15zXv

Read moreMicrosoft Update March 2018

Microsoft Update February 2018

Some principle recent Microsoft licensing and solution updates, for February 2018

  • Licensing – Azure Information Protection Scanner enters General Availability. Notably aligned within EM&S E5 or AIP P2. Enables GDPR. https://t.co/XWnUXoBpVz
  • Roadmap Lifecycle – (Public Preview) Managing Office365 licenses becomes easier with group-based subscription assignments, Admins will be able to restrict individual services for staged deployments, and assign multiple service packages https://goo.gl/kTg5Yy
  • New Feature – Office365 near term roadmap with new features across Planner, Advanced Threat Intelligence and Advanced Threat Protection https://t.co/b6YBT6cw6J
  • Licensing – If you want to manage group naming conventions and expiry policies for Office365 groups, you will need Azure AD Premium licenses https://goo.gl/x7HzLc
  • New Feature – Windows Defender ATP now supports Windows 8.1 and 7  https://goo.gl/T8hQPn
  • New Feature – Microsoft Compliance Manager enters General Availability. Provided natively for Office365 Enterprise Plans for GDPR https://t.co/qtuvmAN5X5

Read moreMicrosoft Update February 2018

Microsoft Update January 2018

Some principle recent Microsoft solution and licensing updates, for January 2018

  • Licensing – New Windows Server CAL waiver for Azure AD, and clarification of Windows in Microsoft 365 Business Ref: January 2018 Product Terms https://goo.gl/unva9NAdded a new CAL waiver for the Windows Server base CAL for Customers using Windows Server solely in connection with Azure Active Directory syncs with on-premises Active Directory infrastructures”
  • Reference (Licensing) – Windows Azure VM must enable port 1688 for licensing. To restrict access to Internet IPs, an admin must create an inbound rule in NSG https://goo.gl/pEFRPx to restrict the traffic. A network security group (NSG) https://goo.gl/wQHBoK contains a list of security rules that allow or deny network traffic to resources connected to Azure Virtual Networks (VNet).
  • Reference (Licensing)- PowerApps licensing can be expansive – a database managed by the Common Data Service (CDS) could incur all users of the app(s) that access the database to have a PowerApps Plan 1 subscription. There is a good licensing resource available here: https://goo.gl/Bt6HgC
  • Reference (Licensing) – A good resource on Skype for Business and Microsoft Teams add-on licensing https://goo.gl/5trxQ7
  • Reference (Licensing) – Impact on Office365 service features support across the various iterations of Skype and Lync desktop clients https://goo.gl/9Hy3Yt
  • Reference (Licensing) – PowerBI use scenarios can impact licensing and solution topology e.g. ‘User Owned Data’ vs, ‘App Owned Data’ when the user and app authenticate to access PowerBI APIs (for example for task workers to access a kiosk application) requires PowerBI Pro https://goo.gl/sYmgfW
  • Licensing – Microsoft announce policy change on End of Support and Premium Assurance. Microsoft are re-evaluating the Premium Assurance offer construct, which provides up to six years of additional support beyond the extended support period. Effective Feb 1st 2018, Premium Assurance SKUs will be updated to lead-status and removed from the published price list. As of now Premium Assurance should no longer be sold, and Redmond are working on plans to announce at a later date.

Read moreMicrosoft Update January 2018

Microsoft Update November 2017

Some principle recent Microsoft solution and licensing updates, for November 2017

  • Roadmap Lifecycle – Azure Reserved VM Instances are now Generally Available in all EA programs and on Azure.com https://goo.gl/hqe6xS Azure Monetary Commitment funds can be used throughout the term of the enrollment for new orders through the EA Prepay (3 year upfront) option, New/Renewal direct EA customers will be billed quarterly for all coverages
  • Reference – Editions and Supported Features of SQL Server 2017 https://goo.gl/TvG5RJ
  • Licensing – If you need to control/restrict service access to Office365 services with Intune? You will currently need Conditional Access via Azure AD Premium P1 https://goo.gl/EYKjc7
  • Microsoft News – Microsoft approaching 1 billion identities synced with Azure AD https://goo.gl/Tq65xy
  • Tool – Microsoft update MAP Toolkit ready for SQL 2017 https://t.co/8YMVDjCTFw
  • Licensing – If some users do not have a license for Azure Information Protection (AIP) but do have a license for Azure Rights Management, edit the registry on these users’ computers to prevent them from running unlicensed features (Published July 2017) https://goo.gl/W9EiJ3

Read moreMicrosoft Update November 2017

Microsoft Update October 2017

Important licensing updates for October 2017

  • Licensing – Azure Info Protection enters Public Preview in October 2017, scanner crawls through files in CIFS based file shares and SharePoint sites and apply classification, labelling and protection on files policies – driving Azure Information Protection (AIP) P2 – https://goo.gl/vMEXt3
  • Licensing – Cloud App Security can read files classified by Azure Info Protection Scanner and set policies based on the file labels: General Availability from October 2017. https://goo.gl/mo5kZw
  • Licensing – New Products added to the Microsoft Product Terms (October 2017) SQL Server 2017, Exchange Online Inactive Mailbox (Note: Removed in November 2017 in a Microsoft U-Turn),
  • Microsoft 365 F1, Visio Online Plan 1 and 2, Microsoft 365 A3, Microsoft365 A5 for Education in the Product Terms (October 2017) https://goo.gl/uqKjX6
  • Licensing – New Products added to the Online Service Terms (October 2017) Exchange Online Inactive User, new Skype PSTN names, new Microsoft365 EDU services https://goo.gl/GdycH1 
  • Licensing – October 1st, 2017 SQL 2017, Semi-Annual Channel for Windows Server, System Center in the October 2017  Microsoft SPLA Services Provider Use Rights: https://goo.gl/bb9Jnz

Read moreMicrosoft Update October 2017

Microsoft Update September 2017

Important licensing updates for September 2017 –

  • Roadmap Lifecycle – Office365 and Azure are both Generally Available from new UK data centers. Microsoft marketing MoD move: https://goo.gl/9KrE7W
  • Licensing – F1 remains a bold move to target a wider addressable market. At circa $10/u/m and 2B users, you can see why https://goo.gl/WukgLu Be aware of feature limits of Windows 10, (and no Azure AD Info Protection) for Microsoft M365 F1. (September 2018)
  • Licensing – Windows 10 – virtualization use rights have been extended to certain licenses purchased under the Microsoft Cloud Agreement. Customers purchasing Windows 10 Subscriptions via Microsoft Cloud Agreement (excluding Windows 10 Enterprise E3 Per User Local Only) may activate the software on up to 5 concurrent physical or virtual OSEs Ref: Product Terms, September 2017 https://goo.gl/VoCLzE 
  • Licensing – Added “Processing of Personal Data” to support the European Union General Data Protection Regulation Terms (GDPR) https://goo.gl/VoCLzE 
  • Licensing – Dynamics365 – Embedded editions of certain Microsoft Dynamics 365 Services are available through the Microsoft Cloud Agreement.  Embedded editions of Microsoft Dynamics 365 Services may be used only with an Embedded Unified Solution (defined)  https://goo.gl/VoCLzE 
  • Licensing – Microsoft announced Office 2019 “Perpetual” https://goo.gl/LZNtF3
  • New Feature – Office365 Use Metering and ‘Reader Role’ designation for Usage Reporting https://goo.gl/m5Ptn1
  • Licensing – Microsoft announce Office365 Usage Analytics and will reach general availability in July 2018, including new metrics on teamwork and collaboration, usage data for Microsoft Teams, Yammer, and Office 365 Groups https://goo.gl/m5Ptn1

Read moreMicrosoft Update September 2017

Microsoft Update August 2017

Important Microsoft licensing updates for August 2017

  • Licensing – Microsoft Dynamics 365 On-premise: Migration rights for Microsoft Dynamics AX customers with Software Assurance have been removed and a reference to the July 2017 Product Terms has been added to the Migrations Rights cell of Section 4’s Attribute table to denote where this information resides. https://goo.gl/7usi3a 
  • Licensing – Windows Desktop Operating System: A new use right has been introduced allowing customers with Windows 10 Enterprise E3/E5 or VDA E3/E5 Per User SLs using Azure AD-based activation to install the Windows 10 Creators Update or later Current Branch software on a virtual machine running on Microsoft Azure or a shared server with a Qualified Multitenant Hosting Partner. https://goo.gl/7usi3a
  • Licensing – Microsoft 365: Secure Productive Enterprise has been renamed to Microsoft 365. https://goo.gl/7usi3a 
  • Licensing – Office 365 Suites: Office 365 Enterprise K (Kiosk) Plan has been renamed to Office 365 Enterprise F (FirstLine) https://goo.gl/7usi3a 
  • Technology Dependency – On August 19, 2016, Microsoft updated the client requirements for Project Online. Making architectural changes to features in Project Online which impact older versions of the Project Client, connecting to Project Online.

Thanks All


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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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