EA Renewal – Licensing Implications



This resource will provide information on the software licensing changes that came into force at the end of a Microsoft Enterprise Agreement. For many organisations, this change in the software licensing arrangement may result in non-compliance. Microsoft will therefore work with the individual organisations going forward to ensure a compliant licensing position is maintained.

This page will provide detail on an organisation’s obligations around Microsoft licensing, the use rights lost by expiration of the EA and the rights that will be renewed by the organisations entering into an appropriate licensing agreement with Microsoft. By working through this document, you will get a good view of the licenses you need in order to expedite any future licensing discussions.

Qualified Desktops

To start the process of licensing compliance, a line has to be drawn in an organisations infrastructure as of the expiration date. This was the last day of the Enterprise-wide Agreement (EwA) and therefore is important to defining the infrastructure (PCs and other qualified devices) that can make use of the perpetual rights of the terminated agreement.

All organisations need to have a clear record of deployment before and after expiration to ensure and ascertain compliance on any new devices.

  • Confirm the number of licenses that are allocated to your organisation from the EA.
  • Confirm the physical devices that had Microsoft licenses assigned to them prior to Expiry.

Windows 7 Enterprise

Physical devices that had Windows Enterprise assigned to them prior to Expiration and acquired the perpetual right through Software Assurance can use Windows Enterprise on those assigned device.

  • If Windows Enterprise was not deployed prior to Expiration, an organisation can deploy the upgrades after their coverage has expired.
  • If the assigned device was replaced after Expiration, then Windows Enterprise cannot be re-assigned to the replacement device.
  • New PCs that are replacing old machines can continue to use the perpetual right of Windows Professional
  • New PCs that will exceed the number allocated to your organisation will not be covered under the perpetual rights of the EwA and need to be licensed separately.
  • New PCs will need to have Active SA assigned to them to deploy Windows Enterprise and BitLocker

Enterprise CAL Suite

The ECAL Suite is a single licensing vehicle for a broad software portfolio. It provides a significant package value over acquiring separate components. In the current economic climate, a strong case can be made for a careful managed approach to vendor consolidation.

The Enterprise CAL Suite enables specific functionality in Microsoft solutions and it is recommended that you confirm the allocation assigned to your organisation under the EA.

If you are using any of the functionality below, you will need an Enterprise CAL (ECAL)

  • OCS (e.g. Instant Messaging)
  • Forefront Protection Suite (Anti-Virus)
  • SharePoint Enterprise (e.g. Electronic Forms, PerformancePoint, FAST)
  • Exchange Enterprise (e.g. Voicemail, Email Archiving)

It is recommended that once you have confirmed your allocation, any shortfall in licenses needs to be covered immediately. How to enter into a local agreement with Microsoft

Lync Server 2010 Grandfathering Policy

Though Enterprise Voice features are being discontinued from the Enterprise CAL with Lync 2010, Microsoft is offering rights to the Plus CAL to customers who qualify. Qualified customers include those who have purchased Office Communications Server 2007 R2 Enterprise CAL or the ECAL Suite and have maintained their Software Assurance benefits by the availability of Lync Server 2010.

This grandfathering approach allows customers, who knew about our upcoming change, to deploy Lync voice capabilities with Office Communications Server or Lync Server 2010 and validate its value to their organizations without an immediate increase in SA. The specific qualifications and entitlements are explained in the following sections.

Summary of Key Changes

Some voice-specific features previously offered with the Office Communications Server (OCS) 2007 R2 Enterprise CAL will be discontinued and only offered in the new Lync Server 2010 Plus CAL. As a result of this change, the Lync Server 2010 Plus CAL and its associated features will not be included with the Enterprise CAL (ECAL) Suite.

Grandfathering Entitlements

Customers who have purchased Office Communications Server 2007 R2 Enterprise CAL or ECAL Suite and have maintained their SA benefits by the general availability of Lync Server 2010 will benefit from either of the following two Software Assurance rights:

a) Purchased prior to July 1st 2009 and maintain SA:

  • You will receive a perpetual license of Lync Server 2010 Plus CAL at its general availability (GA) date.
  • If you maintain SA on the Office Communications Server ECAL or the ECAL Suite, you will have access rights equivalent to the rights under the Lync Server 2010 Plus CAL for two releases (Lync Server 2010 and release N+1 where N=Lync Server 2010).
  • You may separately renew the Lync Server 2010 Plus CAL SA at your first renewal period post the release N+1 in order to maintain SA benefits of future releases.

b) Purchased after July 1st 2009 and before the release of Lync Server 2010 and maintain SA:

  • You will receive a perpetual license of Lync Server 2010 Plus CAL at its GA date.
  • You may separately renew the Lync Server 2010 Plus CAL SA at your first renewal period post the Lync Server 2010 GA in order to maintain SA benefits of future releases.

Customers who do not have SA, or do not maintain SA, on their Office Communications Server Enterprise CAL or the ECAL Suite at GA of Lync Server 2010 will not be qualified for either grandfathering offer and will be required to purchase the Lync Plus CAL when it is released in order to have rights to the Lync Server 2010 Plus CAL functionality.

Software Assurance benefits

The EwA covered all devices for Software Assurance (SA) benefits. If your EwA has not been renewed, all SA benefits have expired for the whole of the estate.

Training vouchers

Training vouchers gave NHS IT staff access to class-based training provided by Microsoft Certified Partner Learning Solutions. As these were an SA benefit, they are no longer available. Please visit Microsoft Learning to buy courses on an individual basis.


E-Learning is also an SA benefit which is currently offered to all eligible organisations via the Microsoft NHS Resource Centre, and has also expired as part of the SA. However, we are in discussions with with NHS IT Academies to explore alternative arrangements.

Microsoft Packaged Services

Many NHS organisations took advantage of the Microsoft deployment consultancy services that were included in the EwA. These services have been exhausted and organisations will need to contact Microsoft or any of our Certified Partners directly for equivalent services.

24×7 Problem Resolution Support

Access to the Microsoft support line for technical issues was included in the EwA, but these rights have now expired.

Multi-language options

Use of the Multi-language User Interface (MUI) for deployment of multi-language versions of Microsoft Office are an SA benefit, so any organisations using the MUI packages in their machine builds will need to either remove them or ensure there is active SA for the software license.

Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP)

The Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP) is a subscription license that is available to all Windows PCs covered with active Software Assurance (SA). This right has now expired and any customers who are using any of the MDOP technologies will need to either remove them or license through another route. The MDOP technologies are:

  • Application Virtualization (App-V)
  • Enterprise Desktop Virtualization (MED-V)
  • Advanced Group Policy Management (AGPM)
  • Asset Inventory Service (AIS)
  • Diagnostics and Recovery Toolset (DaRT)
  • System Center Desktop Error Monitoring (DEM)

Windows Virtual Desktop Access and Office Roaming Use Rights

Access to Virtual Desktop Access and Office Roaming Use Rights, which allow remote access to your desktop and applications, are no longer available and must be disabled.

Windows Mis-versioning

Microsoft Windows upgrade licenses are designed to upgrade pre-existing qualifying licenses you have bought. This means you must first have a full license for the qualifying underlying Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) OS for each PC before you install the upgrade.

Please be aware that Windows software is licensed differently from other Microsoft software and Windows Desktop OS is an upgrade license only.

Organisations that have procured PCs with Windows Home Edition (XP, Vista, Windows 7) installed and have upgraded this version to Windows 7 Professional under the upgrade rights of the Enterprise-wide Agreement should be aware of the Windows mis-versioning.

Since November 2006, it has not been possible to upgrade any Windows Home Edition for corporate use. Therefore any PCs with Windows Home Edition as the base license will need to have a qualifying OS purchased through FPP or the Get Licensed campaign to allow the PC to be upgraded.

What is Windows mis-versioning?



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