Office 2013 Downgrade Rights

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The most popular topic on this website. Re-Visited.

  • This article will give you a brief overview of the downgrade rights for Office.
  • This article is not intended to replace the Product Use Rights or Product List
  • Please be aware that any licensing information could be subject to change. This article confers no rights and is provided for information purposes only.

Binding Documentation

Microsoft provide the software use terms for use of prior versions  via the monthly updated Product List and the Universal License Terms of the Product Use Rights. Microsoft define the extended software use right within the Universal License Terms and then subsequently amend or retract based on product, as specified in either the General License Terms or Product-Specific License Terms and Additional Terms of the Product Use Rights document.

  • The Universal License Terms. These terms apply to all products licensed through Microsoft Volume Licensing.
  • The General License Terms. These terms apply to all products that use a particular licensing model. Each licensing model section includes a list of products that use that particular model.
  • The Exceptions and Additional Terms for the product. Any additional product-specific terms are listed by product.

[See article: Hierarchy of Software Use Terms]


Downgrade Rights (Volume Licensing)

Microsoft provide the following definition in the Universal License Terms of the Product Use Rights,

“For any permitted copy or instance, you may create, store, install, run or access in place of the version licensed, a copy or instance of a prior version, different permitted language version, or different available platform version (for example, 32 bit or 64 bit). You may use different versions of components only as permitted under the Product-Specific License Terms. If you use an earlier version under these downgrade rights, Microsoft is under no obligation to provide security updates or support for the product or service beyond the end of support date listed at http://support.microsoft.com/lifecycle.”

[Ref: Product Use Rights, July 2013, Page 9 of 114]

The Product List states downgrade rights as a universal software use right of Volume Agreements, but are careful to continue to set the parameters of support for older versions: “customers can acquire the latest version in order to use an older version with downgrade rights, but are eligible for support for that product only if it is listed as supported” as maintained in the software lifecycle website.

[Ref: Product List, July 2013, Page 74 of 188]

Microsoft  offer a minimum of 10 years support for business products. This is classified as 5 years of mainstream support or for 2 years after the successor product is released (whichever is longer); and extended support provided for the 5 years following end of mainstream support; or for 2 years after the 2nd successive product is released (whichever is longer) – This is available in detail on the life policy website.

 


Volume Licensing: Legacy Deployments of Office

The September 2012 Licensing Brief states that downgrade rights “are granted with all application software licenses acquired through the Volume Licensing programs” wherein, Volume Agreements “give you the right to downgrade to any prior version of the same product”. 

As an example, the Multi Language Pack, when procured with an application license (for any of the following products) are eligible to version downgrade.

  • Office Standard 2013
  • Office Professional Plus 2013
  • Project Standard 2013
  • Project Professional 2013
  • Visio Standard 2013
  • Visio Professional 2013

“are eligible to use the English/Multilanguage version of a downgraded version of the product in place of the licensed version. Use of the downgraded version of the product is subject to the use rights for the 2013 version of the product. These rights expire when the customers’ rights to either the Office Multi-Language Pack 2013 or the above listed 2013 product expires.”

[Ref: Product List, July 2013, Page 102 of 188]

The Licensing Brief document states that an organisation  “may downgrade Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2010 to the Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2007, Office Professional Enterprise 2003, Office Professional XP” […]You may not, however, downgrade to Microsoft Office Standard Edition 2007 because it is a different product and not considered a prior version of Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2010.”

[Ref: Downgrade Rights Licensing Brief September 2012, Page 4 of 6]

The advisory document does address issues from the consolidation of editions upon general availability of Office 2010:

”In addition, Office Professional Plus 2010 users may not use earlier versions of the Microsoft Office OneNote note-taking program and Microsoft Office Groove software via downgrade rights, because these products are not part of earlier versions of the suite (for example, OneNote 2007 and Groove 2007 are not included with Office Professional Plus 2007)”

[Ref: Downgrade Rights Licensing Brief September 2012, Page 4 of 6]

(For information purposes, I have provided a diagram of the releases of Office illustrating where a component has been upgraded, added or discontinued; Please be aware this is not derived from any Microsoft binding or advisory documentation):
image

IT Asset Managers should be aware, that if attempting to maintain a legacy deployment of Office Enterprise 2007 as  part of your corporate image across your organisation,“Software Assurance (SA) customers who have deployed Office Enterprise 2007 only (i.e., are not using any other edition of Office in their organization), and need additional seats of Office Enterprise 2007, may purchase licenses for Office Professional Plus 2010 and downgrade to Office Enterprise 2007. No other downgrades from Office Professional Plus 2010 to Office Enterprise 2007 are permitted.”

[Product List, November 2012, Page 95 of 175]

[Ref: Licensing Brief September 2012, Page 5 of 6]

In terms of access to software for installation, Microsoft provides guidance via the Fulfilment Website informing customers that software is available for download via the Volume Licensing Service Center (VLSC).

VLSC provides download access only to the current (N) and the last version (N-1) of products. This again drives customer behaviour to upgrade. As of December 2012 Microsoft continued to support a limited set of N-2 and N-3 prior product versions for download on VLSC but should a release be removed, this is via the Product Activation Center.

Previous product editions available through VLSC

Microsoft provide guidance on support for legacy releases of Office on the Microsoft Office Products Support Lifecycle Website


Visio Professional 2013 Downgrade Rights

IT Asset Managers should be aware, that if attempting to maintain a legacy deployment of Visio Premium 2010; Upon release of Visio Professional 2013 Microsoft extended a downgrade right for Visio Premium 2010 users only with a standardised enterprise-wide deployment of the product.

“Software Assurance customers who have deployed Visio Premium 2010 only (i.e., are not using any other edition of Visio in their organization), and need additional seats of Visio Premium 2010, may purchase licenses for Visio Professional 2013 and downgrade to Visio Premium 2010. No other downgrades from Visio Professional 2013 to Visio Premium 2010 are permitted.”

[Ref: Product List, July 2013, Page 104 of 188]

This caveat, enshrined within the Product List requires strict software asset management controls to leverage this ‘downgrade right’ and is recommended to closely monitor deployed software in your desktop estate.

Under the Software Assurance Migration Path for Visio Premium 2010 Microsoft extended the use right to the Professional 2013 edition under the following conditions of use:

“Customers with active Software Assurance coverage for Visio Premium 2010 as of download availability date for Visio Professional 2013 are eligible to use Visio Professional 2013 in place of Visio Premium 2010.

The right to use Visio Professional 2013 under this offering expires when the right to use Visio Premium 2010 under the corresponding qualifying licenses expires. Use of Visio Professional 2013 is governed by the use rights for Visio Professional 2013 and the terms and conditions of the customer’s volume license agreement. This product condition note and the customer’s evidence of the corresponding qualifying license together evidence the right to use Visio Professional 2013 under this offer. Upon expiration of Software Assurance coverage for Visio Premium 2010, the customer may acquire Software Assurance for Visio Professional 2013 without the need to separately acquire a new license.

[Ref: Product List, July 2013, Page 105 of 188]

This logic is consistent in the advisory brief on Visio Premium 2010 that downgrade rights are version specific, and Microsoft maintain caveats for existing maintenance (SA) customers with legacy deployments:

“Downgrade rights in Volume Licensing agreements provide customers with the right to downgrade to any prior version of the same product. However, Visio Premium 2010 is a new product without a prior version, so downgrade rights do not apply.Only Software Assurance customers who licensed Visio Professional 2007 may continue to use Visio Professional 2007 under those licenses despite their Software Assurance migration rights to Visio Premium 2010.

[Ref: Licensing Brief September 2012, Page 5 of 6]


Visio Pro for Office 365 Downgrade Rights

As an express limitation for the Office 365 Pro Plus service; The Product List states that “Visio Pro for Office 365 service has no downgrade rights.”

[Ref: Product List, July 2013, Page 106 of 188]


Office 365 Pro Plus Downgrade Rights

An express limitation for the Office 365 Pro Plus service; the Product List states that the “Office 365 ProPlus service has no downgrade rights”.

[Ref: Product List, July 2013, Page 104 of 188]

Microsoft do address the issue of downgrade rights under O365 Pro Plus subscriptions in a non-binding advisory document:

“In Online Services customers have access to the latest technology with the newest features and releases. As with all Subscription Services, Microsoft generally offers only the latest version of the service at a time. Therefore, downgrade rights are not available with Office Professional Plus for Office 365 licenses

[Ref: Licensing Microsoft Office Professional Plus for Office 365, June 2011, Page 3 of 6]


Is there an exception to the rule….?

Microsoft do elaborate on the topic of on-premise use downgrade rights under the O365 Office Pro Plus Subscription:

“There is a one-time exception during the introduction of Office Professional Plus for Office 365 to Enterprise and Enterprise Subscription customers. If those customers have deployed Office Professional Plus 2010 under their Enterprise or Enterprise Subscription agreement, they may use Office Professional Plus 2010 software in place of Office Professional Plus for Office 365 user authenticated software. Although those customers may be allowed to use Office Professional Plus 2010 software, they are still required to comply with the use rights under their Office Professional Subscription license and no perpetual software rights apply.”

[Ref: Licensing Microsoft Office Professional Plus for Office 365, June 2011, Page 4 of 6]

It is understood this exception, (subject to approval from your Microsoft subsidiary), could be made available for organisations that provisioned an E3 tenant prior to Office 365 commercial availability on 27th February 2013; to support continued access to Office ProPlus 2010 installer until 8th April 2014.

Windows XP will be out of support on 8th April 2014 and may drive some organisations to upgrade Windows to enable access to the new wave of cloud productivity Office 365 applications on Windows 7.

The software use right to install Office 2010 locally under Office 365 is by exception, available under a specifically agreed contractual amendment from Microsoft;  Your procurement strategy should be principally defined by binding documentation for your organisation.

An agreed exception would be notwithstanding anything to the contrary in the Product Use Rights or other binding contractual documentation, to enable an organisation to install Office Professional plus 2010 locally;. However, this would likely be time limited; “[…] All customers will need to comply with Online Services upgrade requirements in the next release” and upgrade to the required version of Office Professional Plus.

[Ref: Licensing Microsoft Office Professional Plus for Office 365, June 2011, Page 4 of 6]

Driving Adoption of Cloud Services

The  Microsoft Office Website does suggest support for dual access rights for on-premise legacy office deployments, permitting customers to “keep older versions of Office side by side on your PCs to mitigate any potential file or add-in compatibility risks”   [last checked: 24.07.2013]. However, this was likely intended as a temporary right, and not aligned to the full term of the service.

The FAQ regarding Office ProPlus website is still active [last checked: 24.07.2013] and Microsoft do make the following statements: “If you have users who installed Office 2010 Subscription, you are required to upgrade to new version of Office 365 ProPlus by 28 February 2014” and “You will be able to install Office ProPlus 2010 until 28 February 2014.”; Microsoft will then remove the installation link on the Microsoft Online Portal and in May 2014 Office Professional Plus users will receive a notice and subsequently enter Reduced Functionality Mode with 30 days notice.

Taken directly from the FAQ regarding Office ProPlus website:

“We don’t want to upgrade to Office 365 ProPlus. Can’t we keep authenticating for Office ProPlus 2010?
No.

The Product Use Rights for Office ProPlus state: “If we provide a major upgrade to software licensed under your User SLs for the online service, you must install the upgrade on all devices using the online service to prevent an interruption of the online service.” Additionally, Office Subscription customers do not have downgrade rights.

If you cannot (or do not want to) upgrade to Office 365 ProPlus by 28 February 2014, you should purchase a Volume License for Office, utilize downgrade rights, and reinstall the perpetual version of Office 2010 on all machines with Office ProPlus 2010.”

This is an interesting statement, as downgrade rights remain enshrined within Volume Licensing. Those organisations seeking to leverage on-premise deployment rights for legacy versions of Office 2010 will need to leverage the use rights under a perpetual license procured under Volume Licensing.

“We purchased Office ProPlus 2010, but deployed the version of Office Professional Plus 2010 from the Volume Licensing Service Center (VLSC). What will happen to us on 28 February 2014?
First off, it you don’t understand this question, it almost certainly doesn’t apply to you.

If you installed Office Professional Plus 2010 via the MSI on the VLSC, you will not have users entering Reduced Functionality Mode, as this version is not cloud-authenticated. You will, however, be violating your Office Subscription license agreement.”

Ref: FAQ regarding Office ProPlus [last checked: 24.07.2013].

In terms of binding-documentation, the Microsoft Product List provides the following statement on legacy software use rights for Office 2010:

“Use of Office Professional Plus 2010 or Office for Mac Standard 2011

With the release of the updated service for Office 365 ProPlus your media eligibility right to use Office Professional Plus 2010 or Office for Mac Standard 2011 in place of Office 365 ProPlus software under active subscriptions has been discontinued. You have a year, until February 28th, 2014 to upgrade your devices to Office 365 ProPlus media.

* See February 2013 Product List for full terms of media eligibility rights for Office Professional Plus Subscription”

[Ref: Product List, July 2013, Page 103 of 192]

[Please note another useful resource: Microsoft Service Updates Website.]

The Impact of Office 365 “Add Ons”

It was recently announced that E3 and E4 SKUs under Office 365 will be available as “Add Ons”. This will support organisations to wish to retain perpetual rights to Core CAL and ECAL Suites but want to access cloud services. This was reported as effective August 1st.

This has an important impact for Office. Wherein, organisations will be able to “Add On” E3 and E4 service plans to their existing Enterprise Agreement (EA) without committing to Office 365 Pro Plus. This would support access to Lync, Exchange and SharePoint as a Microsoft hosted cloud service without committing to the software use terms and contractual commitment to Office 365 Pro Plus at outset. This is particularly advantageous to organisation’s with perpetual rights to Office Professional Plus 2013.

  • Add Ons are an “Additional Product”on the Customer Price Sheet (CPS)
  • Add Ons do not change the underlying EA. True up for Qualified Devices as normal.
  • “No minimum” for Add Ons.
  • Add Ons are for a “Primary User” for an existing qualifying underlying License. Add Ons cannot exceed underlying licenses on the Enterprise Agreement.

O365 AddOns 2

This will be reviewed later on this website, referencing available binding and non-binding advisory documentation. This is intended for information purposes only, and I am available for consultation (under NDA) as required to review your Microsoft procurement strategy.


Software Use Rights to Office Professional Plus 2013 on Remote Desktop Services

While limitation to downgrade a cloud service is logical, Microsoft do not exhaustively advise customers on ‘on-premise’ use rights of Office Professional Plus in their advisory and binding documentation.

The Product List does address that some organisations with an Office 365 Pro Plus user subscription, may require support for user profile(s) that require Office Professional Plus 2013 deployment on a network server:

“If the user to whom you have assigned an Office 365 ProPlus license uses the software on a network server with RDS role enabled, in lieu of installing a copy of the software provided with Office 365 ProPlus on one of the five permitted devices pursuant to the Product Use Rights for Office 365 ProPlus, that user may 1) install one copy of the Office Professional Plus 2013 software on a network server and 2) access the Office Professional Plus 2013 software from any device.  Upon termination of your Office 365 ProPlus subscription you must uninstall Office Professional Plus 2013 software from the network server.”

[Ref: Product List, July 2013, Page 103 of 188]


Final Thoughts

The restrictive approach to support legacy Office users was seen by some commentators as restrictive for customers who are looking to adopt cloud procurement, and see the value in signing up to cloud procurement model ‘now’, but have a longer transition roadmap for their legacy office deployed footprint that the Microsoft upgrade cycle.

Those seeking to leverage software use rights for legacy on-premise deployments of Office 2010 leveraged from the Office 365 cloud service plans that include Office 365 Pro Plus, appear to have a narrow and limited grace period (as of writing) until February 28th 2014 subject to Microsoft guidance and terms extracted above. The official date for Windows XP end of support is April 8th 2014

Organisations are responding to the User CAL Price Increase and interest in cloud hosted email and collaboration services within the E3-E4 Plans to review cloud procurement models at contract renewal. This is combined with a gradual change in the way incentives are paid to channel partners worldwide to drive cloud service adoption.

Many organisations have adopted a longer upgrade cycle than the software release cycle of a software vendor, but often choose to leverage new procurement contracts to leverage price protection, better price level, special rights of purchase, or extended software use rights, often enabled under an ‘active’ contract with Software Assurance (SA) (maintenance). This has long driven ‘net new’ volume procurement even when the technical reality in the customer would not support spend.

The role of downgrade rights has been critical for Microsoft to drive relational procurement contracts under Volume Licensing. The consistency in overall approach for common productivity applications like Office was useful, but this has since caused customer confusion with the emergence of Office as a cloud service offering within Office 365.

Those customers with existing perpetual rights to Office 2013 may seek to opt out of cloud subscription model for Office 365 Pro Plus, but may be under increasing scrutiny to prove compliance; Microsoft will continue to leverage the popularity of mobile working (and the explosion of companion devices) to incentivise adoption of the User based metric available under Office 365 Pro Plus. The up-date to the Office 365 cloud service commercial licensing model is welcomed in the support for customers who want to migrate to the cloud ‘on their terms’.

– If you would like to book an in-depth Licensing Workshop / Microsoft Strategy Workshop please drop a quick email or connect with Tony on Twitter


Resources

  1. The latest Product List (July)
  2. The latest Product Use Rights (July)
  3. The Product List Archive
  4. Microsoft Licensing Brief Downgrade Rights (September 2012)
  5. Microsoft Licensing Brief Licensing Microsoft Office Professional Plus for Office 365 (May 2013)
  6. Microsoft Lifecycle Information for Microsoft Office Products Support Website
  7. Microsoft Wiki FAQ regarding Office ProPlus
  8. Microsoft Office Website
  9. Microsoft Service Updates Website
  10. Microsoft Windows XP End of Support Website
  11. Microsoft Product Activation Center Support Website
  12. Microsoft Fulfilment Website
  13. Microsoft Support Lifecycle FAQ and Microsoft Support Lifecycle
  14. Microsoft Product Lifecycle Search
  15. Microsoft Office Products Support Lifecycle FAQ
  16. Microsoft Windows lifecycle fact sheet

All website were last checked: 24.07.2013

Other Useful Articles from this site.

Hierarchy of Software Licensing Terms

Windows Enterprise Edition – Under Review

The Multiplexing Rule – Under Review (Updated)


About

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 a Senior Licensing Specialist at SoftwareONE

If you would like to book an in-depth Licensing Workshop / Microsoft Strategy Workshop please drop me an email or connect with Tony on Twitter

Tony lives with his wife in Oxford, England.


Disclaimer

This document is provided “as-is”. Information and views expressed in this document, including URL and other Internet Web site references, may change without notice. This document does not provide you with any legal rights to any intellectual property in any Microsoft or other Software Vendor product.

This article is not intended to replace the Product Use Rights or Product List or other contractual documentation.

Please be aware that nothing on this website constitutes specific technical advice. Some of the material on this website may have been prepared some time ago, may have errors, and  may have been superseded. Specialist advice should be taken in relation to specific circumstances.

The contents of this website are for general information purposes only. Whilst the author(s) endeavour to ensure that the information on this website is correct, no warranty, express or implied, is given as to its accuracy and the primary author and website owner or it’s contributing Authors do not accept any liability for error or omission.

The contributing authors and owner of the website shall not be liable for any damage (including, without limitation, damage for loss of business or loss of profits) arising in contract, tort or otherwise from the use of, or inability to use, this website or any material contained in it, or from any action or decision taken as a result of using this website or any such material.

The information presented herein is intended exclusively as a guide offered by the author(s). The publishers product use rights, agreement terms and conditions and other definitions prevail over the information provided herein.

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Hierarchy of Software Licensing Terms

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“Copyright has two main purposes, namely the protection of the author’s right to obtain commercial benefit from valuable work, and more recently the protection of the author’s general right to control how a work is used.”

A Plethora of Resources

It is becoming critical for organisations to understand whether the written guidance on licensing relied upon to inform IT decision makers are considered influential or ‘binding’ by the software vendor.

An organisation may often refer to written guidance and specific terms extracted from a wide range of publicly available information published by Microsoft (and other 3rd party commentators) to support their interpretation and implementation of Microsoft Software. This becomes critically important when attempting to quantify risk (in preparation or in response to a vendor audit) or in assessment of the ‘real’ total cost of ownership of new technology choices.

An organisation’s hardware environment, software deployment footprint, processes and infrastructure topology and technology choices can all be impacted by Microsoft’s commercial licensing models. This may affect the outcome of a vendor ‘review’ or official audit or contribute to unmitigated risk when considering a merger, acquisition, divestiture or sale.

Accordingly, an organisation’s IT department may have referred to guidance from a plethora or resources to inform their approach, including but not limited to:

  • Microsoft Business and Services Agreement (MBSA)
  • Volume Agreement – Master Agreement
  • Volume Agreement – Enrollment
  • Product List
  • Product Use Rights  (PUR)
  • Microsoft Websites
  • Microsoft Training Resources
  • Microsoft White Papers and Licensing Briefs
  • Written statements by Large Account Reseller (LAR) or Enterprise Software Advisor (ESA) or Software Asset Management (SAM) and IT Asset Management (ITAM) or Independent Consultants.
  • 3rd Party White Papers, Licensing Guides, Websites, Blogs and Written Statements.
  • Responses in Online Forums and Wikis.
  • Oral guidance from trusted advisors.

In the current economic climate it is increasingly important to understand what software use terms, definitions, and explanatory guidance are ‘binding’ on your organisation. If this is understood, it is possible to start understanding the total and extended risk for your organisation. It is now estimated that 1 in 4 dollars spent on IT will be aligned to risk management.


The Hierarchy of Binding Documentation

The most important documents to refer to our the Volume Agreement(s) your organisation has procured licenses through and the Product List and Product Use Rights. These contract documents are considered by Microsoft as ‘binding’ upon your organisation.

It is important to understand what Microsoft Volume Agreement(s) your organisation has signed with Microsoft. This may include, but not limited to, Select Agreement(s), or Enterprise Agreement(s) or other specialist Enterprise Enrollment(s) along with any signed contractual amendments/exceptions

These documents, in conjunction with the relevant applicable releases of the Product List(s) and Product Use Rights documents for your deployed software, are your bespoke canon to understanding the appropriate software use terms for your deployed (and planned) software footprint.

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The diagram below illustrates the subsequent precedence of the Product List  and then illustrates the hierarchy of software use terms within the Product Use Rights. Universal License Terms will remain in effect unless explicitly retracted or amended as specified in either the General License Terms or Product-Specific License Terms and Additional Terms within the Product Use Rights.

Getting a view of all applicable terms involves a ‘little bit of reading’ (I use this phrase lightly) especially If you have both current and prior releases deployed or are trying to map existing footprint versus post-consolidation, or future requirements.

The diagram below is intended to give a ‘high level’ top-down view as to precedence of ‘binding’ documentation. While not a definitive guide for all situations, it provides an overview of the hierarchical precedence of Microsoft licensing documentation and distinguishes between ‘binding’ and ‘non-binding’ advisory documentation from Microsoft and 3rd parties.

imageimage

While its recommend to look at the source documentation, as an example, the ‘License Mobility’ rules are further amended and defined at the Product-Specific level.

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A Comprehensive Approach

Ultimately, appropriate licensing resources should be combined with a systematic approach to discovery, metering, management, analysis, optimisation and negotiation strategy to deliver the returns your organisations demands of It’s IT.

A systematic approach could include, but not limited to:

  • Balance of extended benefits and total cost of ownership against  Vendor “lock-in”.
    • Awareness of “lock-in” when reviewing procurement models.
  • Awareness of associated rights and benefits aligned to vendor licensing and maintenance programmes:
    • Awareness of associated Extended Software Use Rights
    • Awareness of associated Product Licensing Dependencies
    • Awareness of requirements for accessing Extended Functionality
    • Awareness of requirements for special Rights of Purchase
  • Comparative analysis of available Software procurement “Packages” and “Suites” reviewed against individual product/component based procurement.
  • Understanding Impact of respective Ownership and Service Levels of Service Infrastructure from Service Providers.
  • Understanding required accreditations and reporting obligations of Service Providers. Procurement Options dependent on the Service provided.
  • Availability and Analysis of Price Protection for committed spend  versus transactional procurement model(s).
  • Fast and flexible analysis of Procurement Models, Price Lists, Global Sourcing.
  • Vendor Procurement Contract Management
  • Full Software Asset Management (SAM) and IT Asset Management capabilities.
    • Advising on optimum datacenter implementation and consolidation strategy aligned to vendor licensing metrics.
    • Access to in-house expertise (not white labelled) and resources to support multiple vendor environments.
      (Some SAM Service providers do not have in-house knowledge for Multiple Toolsets or vendor licensing models)

    • While some SAM Service providers may recommend a toolset or combination of toolsets, are they inherently toolset agnostic?
    • Secondly, do they have the global vendor relationship to access a better price (and support) for discovery and metering toolset(s).
    • If your organisation is global, a SAM Service provider with local teams to access your worldwide  location(s).
  • Vendor Negotiation Support – look for a provider with a global reach. This will reveal intelligence across regions and vendor subsidiaries in terms of available exceptions and discounts.

If you would like to have a brief exploratory conversation, in confidence (or under NDA) please drop me an email or contact me on Twitter


A Question of Interpretation

As exemplified from this extract from the Product Use Rights, explanations within the binding documentation are often ‘limited’ and indeed, Microsoft themselves may be unable to refer to wording, explanations or definitions solely in binding documentation (Product Use Rights or Product List) when seeking to explain (or enforce their view). 

Microsoft does  provide guidance that where official contract definitions are unavailable that the contract terms should be interpreted under ‘generally accepted officially recognised English words defined and protected within’ but may ultimately determine unilaterally whether an organisation has used the software in a way that conform to the limited guidance within the binding contract documents. There remains no independent regulator for the software licensing industry (as advocated by www.clearlicensing.org)

It is the personal view of the author, that an organisation should ensure that the technical reality conforms to the reasonable IT industry interpretation of the terminology of the publicly available binding documentation (where specific vendor definitions are not publicly available) of the Vendor. However, this will have limited impact If the vendor takes a different perspective.

Advisory documentation rarely refer to source ‘binding’ documentation like the Product List or Product Use Rights and increasingly, it should be recognised that Microsoft licensing briefs, white papers and training resources, and 3rd party commentators, while useful, are not contractually binding documentation.

As an example, the Microsoft ‘Multiplexing Rule’ (see previous article)was created to  protect and maintain a proportional and scalable commercial licensing model; to ensure financial protection for the software vendor for their server product(s) that will not limited by “hardware or software you use to pool connections, reroute information, reduce the number of devices or users that directly access or use the product”.

[Ref: Product Use Rights, April 2013, Page 11]

However, the  ‘Multiplexing Rule’ when reviewed solely on the limited guidance provided in ‘binding’ documents like the  Product Use Rights could potentially be used to support the widest possible interpretation of those terms. Microsoft can apply this logic unless there is an explicit exception sourced from binding documentation. Microsoft will not have to consider written terms, explanations or exceptions sourced from non-binding sources (even those written by Microsoft) even If your organisation may consider reliance on Microsoft advisory literature to inform their software deployment as fair use.

As a hypothetical example, if a member of the public accesses a public website and enters information into a web portal of an ‘eCommerce company’, it could be deemed to “access or use the product” under the ‘Multiplexing Rule’ if that data is subsequently used by some internal SQL Server(s) for internal business analytics by the eCommerce company; the general public could potentially considered licensable as an ‘external user’ and licensable for the ‘access or use’ of the internal servers use for business intelligence.

While it may seem unlikely to your IT or Security Team that a member of the general public would “access or use the product” when SQL is deployed internally for soles purposes of business analytics of (for example, analysis of anonymous and aggregated user data – by internal eCommerce staff); the overarching precedence of the Multiplexing Rule as a Universal License Term  within the Product Use Rights and ‘limited’ guidance and definitions within the Product Use Rights or Product List could potentially support the ‘widest possible’ interpretation by the Vendor (and often does).

* It is unclear how this interpretation would impact the fair use of SQL 2012 Business Intelligence Edition sold and commercially licensed only on a Server/CAL metric to eCommerce organisations.

Final Thoughts

While it is accepted than many Microsoft licensing briefs, and websites may state that they are to be used as a ‘guide only’ (while often quoted by the Microsoft subsidiary to support their own view), the customer must ultimately look to the ‘binding’ terms and extrapolate how this could be interpreted, implemented and controlled for their current and planned environment.

It is now, more often than not, that non-binding advisory documentation is of limited influence unless it directly supports the ‘current’ view of the vendor. (There is no independent ombudsman or regulator to adjudicate that interpretation) . It is therefore recommended to extrapolate the ‘widest possible’ risk assessment of vendor interpretation of your deployed software footprint when evaluating and seeking to limit risk and cost associated with enterprise software.


About

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 a Senior Licensing Specialist at SoftwareONE

If you would like to book an in-depth Licensing Workshop / Microsoft Strategy Workshop please drop me an email or connect with me on Twitter

Tony lives with his wife in Oxford, England.


Disclaimer

This document is provided “as-is”. Information and views expressed in this document, including URL and other Internet Web site references, may change without notice. This document does not provide you with any legal rights to any intellectual property in any Microsoft or other Software Vendor product.

This article is not intended to replace the Product Use Rights or Product List or other contractual documentation.

Please be aware that nothing on this website constitutes specific technical advice. Some of the material on this website may have been prepared some time ago, may have errors, and  may have been superseded. Specialist advice should be taken in relation to specific circumstances.

The contents of this website are for general information purposes only. Whilst the author(s) endeavour to ensure that the information on this website is correct, no warranty, express or implied, is given as to its accuracy and the primary author and website owner or it’s contributing Authors do not accept any liability for error or omission.

The contributing authors and owner of the website shall not be liable for any damage (including, without limitation, damage for loss of business or loss of profits) arising in contract, tort or otherwise from the use of, or inability to use, this website or any material contained in it, or from any action or decision taken as a result of using this website or any such material.

The information presented herein is intended exclusively as a guide offered by the author(s). The publishers product use rights, agreement terms and conditions and other definitions prevail over the information provided herein.


Windows Enterprise Edition – Under Review

The extended functionality of  Windows 8 Enterprise Edition is available to devices with active Software Assurance (SA) for Windows.

  • This article will explore the possible implications for organisations who have not maintained ‘active’ Software Assurance (SA) for Windows Desktop OS.
  • The objective of this article is to review the publicly available documentation available that explain the software use terms for Windows Enterprise Edition.
  • General and Product-Specific use rights will be in your Agreement(s) with Microsoft the Product Use Rights or Product List
  • This article is not intended to replace the Product Use Rights or Product List
  • Please be aware that any licensing information could be subject to change. This article confers no rights and is provided for information purposes only and may supersede or update previous articles.
  • Please refer to binding documentation relevant to your contract(s) and software.
  • There is another article available on Re-Imaging
  • If you would like to book an in-depth Licensing Workshop or Microsoft Strategy Workshop please get in touch via email or  on Twitter I can work under NDA.

Exploring the Software Use Terms for Windows Enterprise Edition

The extended functionality of Windows Enterprise Edition as an extended software use right, derived from procurement of Software Assurance (SA) is often leveraged by organisations who have committed a Microsoft relational procurement contract like an Enterprise Agreement (commonly referred to as ‘EA’).

The software use terms to access the extended functionality available within Windows Enterprise are critical when evaluating the risk of contract expiration and non renewal of maintenance (Software Assurance)

Understanding whether there is a vendor obligation to deploy prior to expiration of the SA maintenance contract, a continuing right to deploy following expiration, and the ability to re-image replacement devices are critical, and not commonly explored, to assess the impact of allowing maintenance (SA) on Windows to expire.

Microsoft has created a powerful commercial mechanism to drive certain corporate purchasing behaviours within Software Assurance (SA) and define it under an umbrella description as “offering that provides benefits that may include new version rights, access to differentiated technologies, additional use rights for the Products for which it is acquired, spread payments, consulting services, training, support and access to exclusive offerings”.

[Ref: Product List, June 2013, Page 48 of 189]

This article will explore the publicly available information on the conditions and limitations of the extended functionality of Windows Enterprise Edition as an extended software use right derived from Software Assurance (SA), referencing binding documentation like the Product List and Product Use Rights and other non-binding advisory publicly available documentation for comparison.

Windows Enterprise is not a Version, It’s an Edition

Access to the extended functionality of Windows Enterprise is available only as a benefit of Microsoft Software Assurance through Volume Licensing programs such as Select Plus, Enterprise Agreement , and Enterprise Subscription Agreement.

While many organisations and resellers refer to New Version Rights as a principal and critical component of the maintenance relationship, this is not always the primary driver for maintaining a relational contract with Software Assurance (SA) for your product portfolio.

For reference, Microsoft explain that New Version Rights enable access to certain perpetual rights to new version releases over the maintenance contract term:

“With Software Assurance, customers are eligible to upgrade to new versions of licensed software made available during their term of Software Assurance coverage. New Version Rights means, for any underlying licensed product for which Software Assurance coverage is ordered, the right to upgrade to, and run in place of the underlying licensed product, the latest version of that product that we make available during the covered period. For example, if a new version of Microsoft Office is made available during the term of your coverage, your licenses will automatically be upgraded to the new version. Customers that acquire perpetual licenses through Software Assurance can deploy the upgrades after their coverage has expired.

[Ref: Product List, June 2013, Page 62 of 189]

For example, An organisations that procured Windows 7 Pro on a perpetual Volume Agreement after General Availability (October 2009) and maintained Software Assurance (SA) for Windows after General Availability of Windows 8 (October 2012) will have perpetual use rights to Windows 8 Pro.

Windows Enterprise Edition is not accrued under New Version Rights as  it is an ‘Edition’ of Windows and not a new ‘Version’ (like say ‘Windows 9’).This distinction that the software use terms for Windows Enterprise Edition are derived as a product specific benefit of Software Assurance and not from New Version Rights specifically, could be material in determining the rights and limitations of the software use grant.


Expiration of Software Assurance

Microsoft initially advise in the Product List that Software Assurance enables the software use rights to Windows Enterprise Edition (see extract below) and like all contractually binding documentation, the vendor is careful to stipulate the conditions and limitations of that use within the overarching umbrella of Software Assurance.

“[…] Customers with active Software Assurance coverage for the Windows desktop operating system are eligible for this benefit. Software Assurance coverage for the Windows desktop operating system on a licensed device gives customers the option to use Windows 8 Enterprise in place of Windows 8 Pro on that device.

Eligible Software Assurance customers have the rights to use Windows 8 Enterprise as described in the Product Use Rights. Customers may not move Windows 8 Enterprise from the licensed device to another device, except in conjunction with the permitted reassignment of their Software Assurance coverage.”

[Ref: Product List, June 2013, Page 66 of 189]

Importantly, (see above) Microsoft are careful to stipulate in the Product List that Windows Enterprise Edition cannot be reassigned to a replacement device without Software Assurance “coverage”.

The ultimate impact to the an organisation will be dependent on the current hardware lifecycle and the necessity to maintain a consistent corporate image, or critical requirement to access the extended functionality of Windows Enterprise. The ongoing procurement of SA under a relational procurement contract like a Enterprise Agreement (EA) or Enterprise Agreement Subscription (EAS) provides an incentivised price point that must be weighed against the cost of ad hoc procurement of Software Assurance (SA) on transactional procurement model(s). The implications of non-renewal should include evaluation of the functional limitations of perpetual use rights without access to the extended portfolio of benefits commitment to Software Assurance includes.


The Influence of Advisory Documentation

Microsoft subsidiaries and other industry experts will often refer to advisory documentation and trusted 3rd party commentators to initially assess the rights (and limitations) of software use terms for Microsoft Software.

Microsoft guidance documentation include the following advice on the limitations and conditions of use for Windows 8 Enterprise Edition:

“When you license a device with Software Assurance, the SA benefits for that device are available for the term of the Software Assurance coverage only. Note, when acquired under a non-subscription license, Windows 8 Enterprise use rights are perpetual for the licensed device even after Software Assurance coverage ends as long as Windows 8 Enterprise was installed on the device at the time Software Assurance coverage ends. Perpetual use rights for Enterprise Edition are tied to the licensed device and end once the device is retired.”

[Ref: Windows 8 Licensing Guide, September 2012, Page 7 of 16]

This is an interesting statement, and therefore under this logic, a  customer licensed with Windows 7 Professional with active Software Assurance (SA) that expired on 31st October 2012 would have the following rights:

  1. Can assign and deploy Windows 7 Enterprise Edition until the end of their Software Assurance (SA) coverage.
  2. Can deploy Windows 8 Pro in December (after expiration) using the benefit of “New Version Rights”.
  3. Cannot deploy Windows 8 Enterprise after expiration of Software Assurance (SA) coverage (since they no longer have rights to Enterprise Edition). Interesting Stuff.

Microsoft advisory documentation via the Microsoft Virtual Academy iterates that there is a perpetual right for the “licensed device” following expiration of SA, but interestingly does not explicitly reference an obligation to install.

Enterprise Edition use rights are perpetual for the licensed device even after SA coverage ends

[Ref Licensing Windows 8 Handout last accessed: 04.06.2013]

*For the vendor definition: “Licensed Device means the single physical hardware system to which a license is assigned”. [Ref: Microsoft Product Use Rights, April 2013, Universal License Terms, Page 7]

Trusted 3rd party commentator Gartner provide the following guidance that appears to disagree on the requirement to install.

Gartner states that Windows Enterprise is not derived under an SA benefit (as suggested by the Windows 8 Licensing Guide).

Gartner define SA benefits – Use Rights as “features and functions that are not part of Windows Enterprise and don’t include perpetual use rights. They may only be used while Windows SA is in force on a particular device. If SA is not renewed, then the organization/user must stop using these features”

[Ref: Gartner Website, 2013 Update. Last accessed 05.06.2013]

Gartner appears to advise that Windows Enterprise Edition is instead accrued under New Version Rights “SA conveys rights to new versions of the covered product.” […] “The Windows upgrade (and Windows Enterprise) may be installed and run on a PC that was covered by SA, even after SA expires. However, it cannot be moved to a replacement PC if the new PC was never covered by SA.”

Microsoft do provide ‘some’ guidance on their Volume Licensing Website on re-assignment rights after expiration but do not address the requirement to install:

“I purchased Software Assurance (SA) for Windows, giving me the right to upgrade to Windows 8 Enterprise edition. Can I reassign that operating system license to another PC and use Windows 8 Enterprise Edition on it?

No. You may not move Windows 8 Enterprise from a licensed device to another device. However, you may reassign active Software Assurance coverage to a replacement device internally, so long as (1) the replacement computer is licensed to run the latest version of that operating system, and (2) you remove any desktop operating system upgrades from the original computer, as permitted under your Volume Licensing agreement.

If you are eligible for perpetual licenses under your Volume Licensing agreement, you can continue using Windows 8 Enterprise on a PC even after your Software Assurance coverage has expired for that device. However, Windows 8 Virtualization Rights benefits of Software Assurance expire when Software Assurance coverage expires. Learn more about Windows 8 Enterprise licensing.”

[Ref: Microsoft Volume Licensing, Frequently Asked Questions, Last Accessed 11.06.2013]

The Microsoft Website seems to support other advisory documentation that procurement of Windows Pro under a perpetual Volume Agreement with Software Assurance (SA) will provide perpetual use rights to Windows Enterprise for the last assigned device prior to expiration.

It should be noted that advisory documentation (likely for simplicity) rarely refer to source ‘binding’ documentation like the Product List or Product Use Rights and increasingly, it should be recognised that licensing briefs, white papers and training resources, and 3rd party commentators, while useful, are not contractually binding documentation. While often quoted by the Microsoft subsidiary to support their own view, when it comes down to it, the customer must look to the ‘binding’ terms and extrapolate how this should be implemented and controlled (from the vendor perspective). Non-binding advisory documentation is of limited influence unless it supports the view of the vendor.


The Hierarchy of the Product Use Rights

Microsoft advisory documentation rarely refers to ‘binding’ documentation like the Product List or Product Use Rights that are the primary resource for Microsoft Volume Licensing customers.

The overarching precedence of Universal License Terms remain in effect unless explicitly retracted or amended in either the General license Terms or Product-Specific License Terms of the Product Use Rights (see example diagram below)

clip_image001

The Universal License Terms

Microsoft state within the Universal License Terms, that Software Assurance (SA) is required to support re-assignment of the Windows Upgrade License and is an example of a vendor defined limitation:

Except as permitted below, you may not reassign licenses on a short-term basis (within 90 days of the last assignment), nor may you reassign licenses for Windows desktop operating system […]”

[Ref: Product Use Rights, April 2013, Page 9]

However, Microsoft provide the following exception as provided under the Universal License Terms:

“Reassignment of Software Assurance for the Windows desktop operating system. You may reassign Software Assurance coverage for the Windows desktop operating system to a replacement device, but not on a short-term basis, and only if that replacement device is licensed for a qualifying operating system as required in the Product List; provided, however, you must remove any related desktop operating system upgrades from the former device”.

Condition on License Reassignment “When you reassign a license from one device or user to another, you must remove the software or block access from the former device or from the former user’s device”

[Ref: Product Use Rights, April 2013, Page 10]

The enablement to reassign of Windows Enterprise Edition is supported in the Product Use Rights under the condition (see above) that it is to a replacement device and the former device is retired.

“Reassignment of Software Assurance Related Rights. Licenses that are granted or acquired in connection with Software Assurance coverage (e.g., Windows Thin PC, MDOP, User SLs for Software Assurance) generally must be reassigned as and when the qualifying license and Software Assurance are reassigned”.


The Product Use Rights Appendix: Software Assurance

The Product Use Rights under the Appendix 2: Software Assurance Benefits include an overview of the conditions and limitations of access to Windows Enterprise. Appendix 2 contains license terms that apply to Software Assurance benefits.

Microsoft are careful to set that context that “Except as noted below, these benefits expire when your Software Assurance coverage ends”.

[Ref: Product Use Rights, April 2013, Page 98]

Microsoft also establish the authority of the Appendix 2: Software Assurance Benefits as governing ‘in case of any conflict’:

“Use of the software under your active Windows Software Assurance coverage is subject to the Desktop Operating System section and the license terms here […]

“The license terms in this section govern in the case of any conflict with the terms in the Desktop Operating System section.”

““Software,” as used here, refers to Windows 8 Enterprise

[Ref: Microsoft Product Use Rights, April 2013, Page 105]

“8. Your right to use the software as described here is non-perpetual; you may not access or use the software, as permitted here, after your Software Assurance coverage expires.

9. If you accrue a perpetual right under Software Assurance coverage to use the latest version of the Windows desktop operating system, then you will have a perpetual right to use in its place the corresponding version of Windows Enterprise, but only as permitted in the Desktop Operating System section of the Product Use Rights without the additional rights and limitations here”

[Ref: Microsoft Product Use Rights, April 2013, Page 105]


Final Thoughts

• Windows Enterprise while accrued under the umbrella term Software Assurance (SA), it is not derived from New Version Rights but as a product specific Software Assurance Benefit. This is supported under the logic that Enterprise is a ‘Edition’ not a ‘Version’ of Windows and placement in the Product Use Rights under the Appendix 2: Software Assurance Benefits.

The Appendix 2: Software Assurance in the Product Use Rights is interesting, and if interpreted correctly (see extract above) establishes the limitations of use for Windows Enterprise Edition under the term “software” as follows:

• An organisation can assign and deploy Windows 7 Enterprise Edition until the end of their Software Assurance (SA) coverage.

• Deploy Windows 8 Pro – after expiration – using the benefit of “New Version Rights” i.e. “accrue a perpetual right [..] to use the latest version”

• Would not be able to deploy Windows 8 Enterprise after expiration of Software Assurance (SA) coverage.

• There is supporting advisory documentation that Windows Enterprise can be used after expiration on the assigned licensed device(s) (See Licensing Windows 8 Handout  and the Windows 8 Licensing Guide as well as an 3rd party advisory article by Gartner.) There does not appear to an explicit statement in binding documentation (Product Use Rights or Product List) but this  is supported under Frequently Asked Questions on the Microsoft Volume Licensing Website.

• There does not appear to be a written statement in binding documentation (Product Use Rights or Product List) that there is a requirement to ‘Install’ prior to SA expiration. This conflicts with the Windows 8 Licensing Guide (See Page 7 of 16, last checked 11.06.2013).

As illustrated above, advisory documentation (likely for simplicity) rarely refer to source ‘binding’ documentation like the Product List or Product Use Rights and increasingly, it should be recognised that licensing briefs, white papers and training resources, and 3rd party commentators, while useful, are not contractually binding documentation.

Many briefs may state that they are to be used as a ‘guide only’ While often quoted by the Microsoft subsidiary to support their own view, the customer must look to the ‘binding’ terms and extrapolate how this should be interpreted, implemented and controlled. It is often the case that Non-binding advisory documentation is of limited influence unless it supports the ‘current’ view of the vendor.


About

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 a Senior Licensing Specialist at SoftwareONE

If you would like to book an in-depth Licensing Workshop / Microsoft Strategy Workshop please drop me an email or connect with me on Twitter 

Tony lives with his wife in Oxford, England.



Disclaimer

This document is provided “as-is”. Information and views expressed in this document, including URL and other Internet Web site references, may change without notice. This document does not provide you with any legal rights to any intellectual property in any Microsoft product.

Please be aware that nothing on this website constitutes specific technical advice. Some of the material on this website may have been prepared some time ago and therefore may have been superseded. Specialist advice should be taken in relation to specific circumstances.

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The Multiplexing Rule – Under Review (Updated)

Multiplexing

The ‘Multiplexing Rule’ is one of the much contested licensing mechanisms within the Product Use Rights

The objective of this article is to review the publicly available documentation available that explain the scope of the Microsoft  ‘Multiplexing Rule’.

  • General and Product-Specific use rights will be in your Agreement(s) with Microsoft the Product Use Rights or Product List
  • This article is not intended to replace the Product Use Rights or Product List
  • Please be aware that any licensing information could be subject to change. This article confers no rights and is provided for information purposes only.
  • Please refer to binding documentation relevant to your contract(s) and deployed software.
  • If you would like to book an in-depth Licensing Workshop or Microsoft Strategy Workshop please get in touch via email or  on Twitter

Multiplexing is defined as a Universal License Term and will apply to all products licensed through Microsoft Volume Licensing. Under the hierarchy of the Product Use Rights, a Universal License Term will apply unless explicitly retracted or amended under General License Terms and Product Specific License Terms within the document.

“Universal License Terms apply to every product licensed through Microsoft Volume Licensing (except where specifically noted in the General License Terms and/or Product-Specific License Terms)”

[Ref: Product Use Rights, January 2013, Page 4 of 116]

Microsoft’s definition of Multiplexing is as follows: “Hardware or software you use to pool connections, reroute information, reduce the number of devices or users that directly access or use the product, or reduce the number of operating system environments (or OSEs), devices or users the product directly manages, (sometimes referred to as “multiplexing” or “pooling”), does not reduce the number of licenses of any type that you need”

[Ref: Multiplexing Definition in Universal License Terms: Product Use Rights, January 2013, Page 11 or 116]

In the December 2012 Multiplexing Licensing Brief Microsoft states that “Users are required to have the appropriate licenses, regardless of their direct or indirect connection to the product”.

[Ref: Multiplexing Licensing Brief , December 2012, Page 1of 5]

The ‘Multiplexing Rule’, as a commercial term within the PUR ensures Microsoft receive a proportional spend according to the size of the organisation under the Client Access License or ‘CAL’ server metric.

The ‘CAL’ acts as a mechanism to count the total number of Users or Devices that access the server, files, data or content provided by a server. Wherein, the ‘Multiplexing Rule’ maintains a proportional and scalable licensing model; not limited by hardware or software that pool connections, reroute information, or reduce the number of devices or users that directly access, use a server product, or are managed by it.

The interpretation of this term, both from the perspective of Microsoft, and that of your technology team can have a material impact on your software spend.


External Connector and External Users

An External Connector, is a per server levy for an unlimited number of ‘external users’ defined under the Universal License Terms as users that are “not employees or on-site contractors to access the assigned server”.

The External Connector has no ‘digital footprint’; meaning “[…] a license attached to a Server that permits access to the server software by External Users.” It is solely a licensing mechanism for access by ‘external users’ as defined by Microsoft.

[Ref: Product Use Rights, January 2013, Page 7 of 116, Universal License Terms – Definitions]

Directions On Microsoft clarify this by giving an example of an organisation that “makes a server product available to external clients on multiple servers (such as multiple servers in a Web farm), each server requires its own External Connector license”. For example under this scenario an external user might include, business partners, suppliers or b2b customers, retirees or alumni.

Directions On Microsoft explain that the “general principles that apply to CALs also apply to External Connectors” and expatiate that “access through an Intermediary still requires an External Connector”.

This is important statement, and while Directions On Microsoft have not  referenced source documentation, it could be derived from the overarching precedence of Universal License Terms; remaining in effect unless explicitly retracted or amended in either the General license Terms or Product-Specific License Terms of the Product Use Rights (see diagram below)

clip_image001

In the September 2012 Licensing Windows Server 2012 VL Brief,  Microsoft state that multiplexing or pooling “does not reduce the number of licenses of any type that you need” [September 2012, Page 6 of 15].

Microsoft provides the following guidance:

“[E]ach physical server that requires external user access must have an EC assigned to it. Each EC permits external users to access any instance running on a server whether it be in a physical or virtual OSE” […] “Multiplexing hardware, software, or connections does not reduce the number of CALs required to access servers.” [Ref: Licensing Windows Server 2012 VL Brief September 2012, Page 5 of 15]


Exceptions

Microsoft has anticipated some exceptions to the CAL requirement to Windows Server running on the Physical OSE and used solely to:

§ “Run hardware virtualization software,

§ Provide hardware virtualization services, or,

§ Run software to manage and service OSEs on the licensed server.”

“However, you do need the appropriate CAL to access instances of the server software in any virtual OSEs on the server.”

[Ref: Licensing Windows Server 2012 for use with virtualization technologies, September 2012, Page 5 of 15]

The January 2013 in the Microsoft Server in Virtual Environments VL Brief  document Microsoft provided further clarification to the exceptions in the prior September 2012 brief:

“As a result in a situation where you are running Windows Server 2012 in the physical OSE and Windows Server 2003 in virtual OSEs and you are using the physical OSE solely to run hardware virtualization software, provide hardware virtualization services, and/or run software to manage and service operating system environments on the licensed server, you do not need CALs to access the Windows Server 2012 instance. You do need, however, Windows Server 2003 CALs to access any of the virtual OSEs.”

[Ref: Microsoft Server in Virtual Environments VL Brief January 2013, Page 20 of 27]


SharePoint CAL Waiver

Under the Product Specific License Terms for SharePoint Server 2013, (and Microsoft Office Audit and Control Management Server 2013) Microsoft introduced a product specific “CAL Waiver”.

CAL Waiver for Users Accessing Publicly Available Content

CALs are not required to access content, information, and applications that you make publicly available to users over the Internet (i.e., not restricted to Intranet or Extranet scenarios)”

[Ref: Product Use Rights, January 2013, Page 38 of 116]


Web Workload (Internet Web Solutions)

“When Windows Server 2012 Standard or Datacenter is used as a Web Server you do not need CALs to access the software. A “Web Workload” means:

Internet Web solutions” are publicly accessible and consist solely of web pages, websites, web applications, web services, and/or POP3 mail serving. For clarity, access to content, information, and applications served by the software within an Internet Web solution is not limited to your or your affiliates’ employees.

You may use the software in ‘Internet Web Solutions’ to run:

§ web server software (for example, Microsoft Internet Information Services), and management or security agents (for example, the System Center Operations Manager agent).

§ database engine software (for example, Microsoft SQL Server) solely to support Internet Web solutions.

§ the Domain Name System (DNS) service to provide resolution of Internet names to IP addresses as long as that is not the sole function of that instance of the software.”

[Ref: Product List, March 2013, Page 172-3 of 179]


Using Windows Server 2012 for High Performance Computing (HPC)

“When Windows Server 2012 Standard or Datacenter is used for High Performance Computing you do not need CALs to access the software. A “High Performance Computing (“HPC”) Workload” means a workload where the server software is used to run a Cluster Node and is used in conjunction with other software as necessary to permit security, storage, performance enhancement and systems management on a cluster node for the purpose of supporting the clustered HPC Applications. Please refer to the Product Use Rights for additional details.”

[Ref: Product List, March 2013, Page 173 of 179]


License grants associated with end of life of Windows Web Server

“Windows Server 2008 R2 will be the last version of Windows Web Server. Volume licensing customers with active Software Assurance for Windows Web Server 2008 R2 licenses on September 1st, 2012 or as of the date of first availability of Windows Server 2012 for download on the Volume Licensing Service Center, whichever is earlier, (“Qualifying Licenses”) will be permitted to use Windows Server 2012 Standard software. To facilitate such use, for every two Qualifying Licenses the customer has, the customer will be deemed to be granted one Windows Server 2012 Standard processor license upon availability of Windows Server 2012” […]

“Additional information on using Windows Server 2012 as a Web Server

When Windows Server 2012 Standard or Datacenter is used as a Web Server you do not need CALs to access the software. A “Web Workload” means a workload where the software is used as a front-end web server for development and deployment of Internet-accessible web pages, web sites, web applications, and web services and POP3 mail serving and access to content, information, and applications served by the software is not limited to your employees. Please refer to the Product Use Rights for additional details.”

[Ref: Product List, March 2013, Page 175 of 179]

The extract from the Universal License Terms of the Product Use Rights is represented below in full. It is also listed as a “defined term within the license model” of the General License Terms of theServers: Processor/CAL (Processor License + CAL + Optional External Connector)” Licensing Model which applies to Windows Server Standard 2012 and Windows Server Datacenter 2012.

Web Workloads (also referred to as “Internet Web Solutions”) are publicly accessible and consist solely of web pages, websites, web applications, web services, and/or POP3 mail serving. For clarity, access to content, information, and applications served by the software within an Internet Web Solution is not limited to your or your affiliates’ employees.

You may use the software in Internet Web Solutions to run:

§ web server software (for example, Microsoft Internet Information Services), and management or security agents (for example, the System Center Operations Manager agent).

§ database engine software (for example, Microsoft SQL Server) solely to support Internet Web Solutions.

§ the Domain Name System (DNS) service to provide resolution of Internet names to IP addresses as long as that is not the sole function of that instance of the software.”

[Ref: Product Use Rights, January 2013, Page 7-8 of 116]


Licensed Per Server, Not Per Instance or OSE

The January 2013 Microsoft Server in Virtual Environments VL Brief states that an external connector is assigned to each physical server and enables “any number of external users to access any number of licensed instances of the server software on that server”. The document also clarifies (in the footnotes) that “each hardware partition or blade is a separate physical hardware system, and, therefore, a separate server” when assigning licenses.

[Ref: Microsoft Server in Virtual Environments VL Brief January 2013, Page 14 of 27]


Licensing Models for External User Access

Microsoft states in the PUR General License Terms apply to “all products licensed under a given model (except where specifically noted in the Product-Specific License Terms)”.

§ Under the General License Terms of the “Servers: Processor/CAL (Processor License + CAL + Optional External Connector) Licensing Model” define the terms applicable to “Access Licenses” and define both the CAL and External Connector within “Defined Terms of the License Model”.

Accordingly, some general principles that apply to CALs also apply to External Connectors.

1. “You must assign each CAL to a user or device, as appropriate, and each External Connector License to a Licensed Server.

2. CALs or External Connector Licenses are required for access to server software.”

[Ref: Product Use Rights, January 2013, Page 25 of 116]

§ The General License Terms of the “Server/CAL (Server License + CAL + Optional External Connector) Licensing Model” define the terms applicable to “Access Licenses” and incorporates both the CAL and External Connector within “Defined Terms of the License Model”. 

§ “Requirements for External User access vary by product, as noted in the Product-specific license terms.

§ Depending on the product and the functionality being accessed, External User access is permitted under CALs, External Connector Licenses or the software license assigned to the Server. […]

§ You must assign each CAL to a user or device, as appropriate, and each External Connector License to a Licensed Server.”

[Ref: Product Use Rights, January 2013, Page 29 of 116]

Identifying when a CAL, External Connector or Server License will enable access to a server product by external users is defined within the product-specific license terms.


The Role of Authentication

The role of authentication as a pre-requisite for CAL or External Connector licenses is defined within the Product-Specific License Terms of the PUR and will apply only to some specific products.

The definition of “unauthenticated access” is product specific, located in the ‘Additional Terms’ of the Product-Specific License Terms i.e. Exchange Server Enterprise 2013, Exchange Server 2013 Standard, Lync Server 2013

In the Lync 2013 Licensing Guide states, “You do not need CALs for any user or device that accesses your Instances of the server software without being directly or indirectly authenticated by Active Directory or Lync Server.”

[Ref: Product Use Rights, February 2013, Page 35 of 116]

Under the Product Specific License Terms, Microsoft defines “authenticated” as a user or device that has an identity in the Active Directory Domain Services or Lync Server:

“An unauthenticated, or anonymous, user is a person or device that does not have an identity in the Active Directory Domain Services or Lync Server.

[…] an anonymous user is not authenticated. With the Lync 2010 Attendee client, unauthenticated users can a join Microsoft Lync Server 2013 hosted meeting. There are no required licenses for unauthenticated users of Lync Server 2013”

[Ref: Lync Licensing Guide, February 2013]

Microsoft recently updated the external user licensing models for certain specific server products, defined as “Licensed with Server” within product-specific license terms.

This has the effect of removing both the External Connector license and/or the CAL requirement for external users; allowing “An unlimited number of authenticated external users may access a Lync Server 2013 in scenarios where the number of CALs is uncertain”.

Vendor definitions are important when determining licensing requirements, and under this product-specific criteria, and upon review of the Product Use Rights Universal License Term definition(s) organisations are able to build a picture of the licensing requirement across the Microsoft product portfolio.

However, there does not appear to be explicit reference to Windows Server 2012 CALs or Windows Server 2012 External Connectors having an authentication requirement for Windows Server 2012. This is stated in other Microsoft documentation, including but not limited to:

  • “CALs are required for access to Windows Server whether direct or indirect. Users who are authenticated or individually identified, whether by the Windows Server software or by multiplexing hardware or software, require a Windows Server CAL to access Windows Server.” [Ref: Multiplexing Licensing Brief, December 2012, Page 5 of 5]
  • “If the user or device is authenticated or otherwise individually identified by a server running Windows Server through any other means, it requires a Windows Server CAL.” [Microsoft Licensing FAQs, website last accessed 25/03/2013 16:26]

As always, it is recommended to refer to your specific contract(s), the Product Specific License Terms of the Product Use Rights and Product List as source documentation in determining licensing requirements across the whole product stack. The licensing guides, and websites, while useful information resources and certainly influential, are not binding contractual documents.

For Windows Server, Directions On Microsoft  state that “Windows Server does not require CALs for anonymous clients accessing a server over the Internet”.


License Mobility of External Connectors

The Microsoft Product Use Rights  extends use rights for external connector licenses to allow reassignment within a server farm as ‘often as needed’ and certain application servers to a shared hardware infrastructure under License Mobility for SA

To understand and implement License Mobility it is important to traverse the fully hierarchy of the Product Use Rights:

Universal License Terms: License Reassignment

  • Generally, you may not reassign server application licenses on a short-term basis = not within 90 days of the last reassignment

General License Terms: License Mobility within Server Farms

  • You may reassign certain server licenses sooner under “license mobility within Server Farms” under Product-Specific License Terms section for the specific product
  • Example: Lync, Exchange, (SQL only with SA)

Software Assurance Benefit: License Mobility Through SA

  • You may move your licensed software from your servers to a 3rd party’s shared servers
  • Example: Lync, Exchange SharePoint, SQL with SA.

It is recommended to review the Product Use Rights in full, and for a further explanation and overview read Microsoft Server in Virtual Environments VL Brief (January 2013)

  • License Mobility within Server Farms. For eligible products, the 90- reassignment rule is waived, meaning you can reassign licenses from one server to another within your server farm as frequently as needed.
  • License Mobility through Software Assurance. For eligible products covered by active Software Assurance, you can deploy application servers in a service provider’s shared hardware environment.”

[Ref: Microsoft Server in Virtual Environments, January 2013, Page 21-22 of 27]


SQL Multiplexing

Microsoft often incorporates the ‘Multiplexing Rule’ when conducting product licensing reviews for SQL Server.

CALs are not required for SQL Server licensed under the Per Processor or Per Core licensing metric.

When licensing SQL Server software under the Server+CAL licensing model, users and devices that indirectly access SQL Server data through another application or hardware device still require CALs.

Multiplexing is defined as a Universal License Term and will apply to all products licensed through Microsoft Volume Licensing. Under the hierarchy of the Product Use Rights, a Universal License Term will apply unless explicitly retracted or amended under General License Terms and Product Specific License Terms within the document.

This is re-iterated in the recent informational advisory documentation as applicable to SQL “Multiplexing does not reduce the number of Microsoft licenses required. Users are required to have the appropriate licenses, regardless of their direct or indirect connection to SQL Server.”

[SQL Server Licensing Guide 2012, Page 16]

While the Multiplexing Rule is intrinsic to evaluating direct or indirect access or use of a server product; it should be comprehensively assessed whether the external user is also licensable under the relevant binding definitions for a SQL Client Access License (CAL), and those binding definitions should match the technical reality.

Microsoft provide some limited guidance on defining when a User requires licensable access to SQL Server:

“Any user or device that accesses the server, files, data or content provided by the server that is made available through an automated process requires a SQL Server CAL.

The number of tiers of hardware or software between the SQL Server and the user or devices that ultimately use its data, services, or functionality does not affect the number of CALs required.”

[SQL Server Licensing Guide 2012, Page 17]

Microsoft defined the requirement for a User CAL in their comprehensive SQL licensing guide in 2008. “Licenses a person accessing or using the services or functionality of SQL Server or any of its components”

[SQL Server Licensing Guide 2008, Version 1.06/17/09, Page 12]

“SQL Server CALs are required for users who directly input into, query, or view data from a SQL Server database (left side of Figure 1). Similarly, SQL Server CALs are required for users or devices that input data into, query, or view data from a SQL Server database through a pooling device (right side of Figure 1). This includes users who view data through web-based applications or enter information into a database through an intermediary product. (Note: Customers can also license SQL Server on a per-processor basis, thus negating any need for SQL Server CALs.)”

[Microsoft Volume Licensing Brief, Multiplexing Client Access License (CAL) Requirements, October 2011, Page 1 of 4]

An organisation must confirm whether their External Users use or access the “server, files, data or content” of the internal servers – directly or indirectly. it is recommend that this is fully backed-up with the proof of the technical reality, and confirm External Users do not “input data, query or view data from a SQL Server database” of internal server(s) under the relevant binding definitions.


Microsoft do periodically refer to ‘exceptions’ across the cannon of guidance documentation on SQL Server:

“This is true no matter how many tiers of hardware or software exist between the SQL Server and the client devices that ultimately use its data, services or functionality. An exception to this includes the manual transfer of data from employee to employee. For example, if an employee sends an Excel version of a report to another employee, the receiving employee does not require a CAL (as long as the report does not access a SQL Server in some way). An additional exception is communication exclusively between SQL servers

[Ref: SQL Server 2008 Pricing and Licensing, Updated July 2008, Page 1]

However, the latter exception was not addressed in the later revised Multiplexing guidance document (The word ‘exception’ is actually also not present). The refreshed document was released following SQL 2008 R2 General Availability on May 1st 2010 but prior to General Availability of SQL 2012 on April 1st 2012.

[Ref: Multiplexing – Client Access License (CAL) Requirements October 2011]

“Servers running SQL Server instances that connect to other servers running SQL Server instances require Server licenses, but do not require SQL Server CALs”

[SQL Server 2008 Licensing Guide Version 1.0 6/17/09, Page 13]

This may have been intended to illustrate that CALs are not required for Server to Server connections. However, If this is the case this term is not needed. CALs are only on a Device or User model as enshrined within the PUR. Microsoft provide no further guidance. However, the July 2008 Multiplexing Guide does provide this statement within the context of multiplexing.

Directions On Microsoft do expand on exceptions like ‘breaking the connection’ as result of human processes, for example: “In many situations, access to a server is interrupted by a business process or procedure, thus eliminating the need for a client license. A common example is one in which a user captures output from a server and then transmits it to other users via e-mail or by posting it on a file server or Web portal.”

“Manual data-transfer to/from SQL Server does not require CALs. For instance, if User A sends data to User B, who in turn enters data into SQL Server, User A does not need a CAL.”

[SQL Server Licensing Guide 2008, Version 1.06/17/09, Page 13]

“[…] as long as the report does not access a SQL Server in some way”

[SQL Server Licensing Guide 2008, Version 1.06/17/09, Page 44]

In the example describing a ‘custom application’ to illustrate multiplexing, Microsoft do stipulate “written back to” as a rationale behind extending the Multiplexing Rule.

[SQL Server Licensing Guide 2008, Version 1.06/17/09, Page 45]

“[…] If those processes by which the data is made accessible to users are all automated, SQL Server CALs (or per processor licenses) are required since this use is considered a multiplexing scenario. Multiplexing does not reduce the number of Microsoft licenses required. End users are required to have appropriate licenses, regardless of their direct or indirect connection to the product. Any user or device that accesses the server, files, or data or content provided by the server that is made available through an automated process requires a CAL”

[Microsoft Licensing FAQs, website last accessed 31/05/2013 13:57]

While the FAQ is intended to illustrate the qualification criteria of ‘automation; – in the reasoning the Microsoft Licensing FAQs response does refer to whether the ‘data is made accessible to users’ and that the user ‘accessed the server, files, or data or content provided by the server’. This would appear to provide a supporting interpretation that internal servers used only internal analysts would not be exposed to the external user (the public), even if there is argumentative weight placed on the term ‘automated’.

The weight on the definition of ‘automation’, when relied upon by Microsoft, and the precedent that Multiplexing is a ‘Universal Licensing Term’ could potentially be used to support the  extension of the Multiplexing Rule to determine logical establishment of a licensable user. This should be evaluated against the technical reality of the structure and processes of the environment.


Summary

It is accepted that the overarching precedence of Universal License Terms; remain in effect unless explicitly retracted or amended in either the General license Terms or Product-Specific License Terms of the Product Use Rights.

The ‘Multiplexing Rule’ should reasonably protect and maintain a proportional and scalable commercial licensing model; to ensure financial protection for a Vendor that is not limited by hardware or software that pool connections, reroute information, or reduce the number of devices or users that directly access, use a server product.

It is the personal view of the author, that an organisation should ensure that the technical reality conforms to the reasonable IT industry interpretation of the terminology of the publicly available binding documentation (where specific vendor definitions are not publicly available) of the Vendor.

The interpretation and application of this rule for External Users as well as Internal Users must be independently and respectively assessed based on the technical reality of the server infrastructure, to identify how the licensing requirements for both External Users and Internal Users impact the licensing models available for Microsoft Server products.


About

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 a Senior Licensing Specialist at SoftwareONE 

If you would like to book an in-depth Licensing Workshop / Microsoft Strategy Workshop please drop me an email or connect with me on Twitter

Tony lives with his wife in Oxford, England.


DISCLAIMER

This document is provided “as-is”. Information and views expressed in this document, including URL and other Internet Web site references, may change without notice. This document does not provide you with any legal rights to any intellectual property in any Microsoft or other Vendor product.

Please be aware that nothing on this document constitutes specific technical advice.

The contents of this document are for general information purposes only. Whilst the author(s) endeavour to ensure that the information in this document and aligned website(s) are correct, no warranty, express or implied, is given as to its accuracy and the primary author and SoftwareONE do not accept any liability for error or omission.

The contributing authors and SoftwareONE are not liable for any damage (including, without limitation, damage for loss of business or loss of profits) arising in contract, tort or otherwise from the use of, or inability to use, this document, aligned website(s) or any material contained in it, or from any action or decision taken as a result of using this document, aligned website(s) or any such material.

This Disclaimer is not intended to and does not create any contractual or other legal rights. This document was not written, reviewed or authorised by Microsoft and is for information purposes only.


Office 2013 Overview

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Microsoft  communicated some incredible statistics; with over 350 Million smart phones used for work, and 50% of enterprises with technology roadmaps that include the Cloud; Microsoft’s cloud integrated approach for Office 2013 was their answer to provide a seamless user experience across different devices.

  • This article will give you a brief overview of the licensing model(s)
    [Article originally written 15th April 2013, Updated August 1st 2013]

  • This article is not intended to replace the Product Use Rights or Product List
  • Please be aware that any licensing information could be subject to change. This article confers no rights and is provided for information purposes only.

Office Features and Components

Below is a ‘snapshot’ of the components assigned to Office Professional Plus 2013 and the extended value proposition Microsoft have incorporated in Office 365 ProPlus

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Office Professional Plus (On-Premise)

Microsoft originally released Office Professional Plus 2013 RTM to Volume Licensing Customers with Active Software Assurance (SA) on October 11th 2012

Microsoft announced that support for Office 2003 will end on April 8 2014 to coincide with Windows XP End of Support; encouraging organisations to upgrade to the latest release(s).

  • Users with an On-Premise technology roadmap are able to upgrade to Office Professional Plus 2013
    • This can be procured through Perpetual or Subscription Volume Agreements.
    • This is licensed on a Per Device model Organisations can adopt a Cloud procurement model, and transition Users to Office 365 Pro Plus over the contract term. It is recommended to work with a licensing expert Partner to understand the optimum approach to Product Licensing and Procurement Model(s) for your organisation.

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  • On-premise client software will continue to be installed, managed, and licensed on a per-device basis.
  • The on-premises per-device model is based on a core assumption that the more devices a user has running the full software experience, the more value the user will derive.

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[Ref: Ready To Go Microsoft Website] Please note: this is derived from non-binding marketing collateral. Please refer to binding documentation.


Office 365 ProPlus (Cloud Service Model)

Users with a Cloud Roadmap have the option to transition to Office 365 ProPlus

    • This was a re-engineered Office for cloud scenarios and multiple device use, consistent with the Microsoft vision of a user-centric cloud service.
    • This is deployed, authenticated, and managed on a per-user basis and is licensed on a Per User model.
    • A single user cloud service subscription will support use on a maximum of 5 Devices
    • Organisations can adopt Cloud Services procurement model, and transition current On-Premise Users to Office 365 ProPlus over the contract term when the O365 Services Refresh goes live.
    • Extended access to Office Apps natively via Android and iOS

[Ref: Microsoft Software Lifecycle Website]

This is a snapshot overview of the licensing features of Office 365 Pro Plus.

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Please refer to the relevant Product Use Rights or Product List and your relevant Volume Agreement contract(s).


Mobile Office Clients

  • The Mobile Office client for mobile devices will be licensed as a Per User ‘add-on’ to the Office Professional Plus on-premises device license.
    • Commercial use rights to Office RT with purchase of Office Professional Plus on a Volume Agreement (Open, Select Plus, EA)
  • This will be included with Office 365 ProPlus Per User license.

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An Exploration of Downgrade Rights

Binding Documentation

Microsoft provide the software use terms for use of prior versions  via the monthly updated Product List and the Universal License Terms of the Product Use Rights. Microsoft define the extended software use right within the Universal License Terms and then subsequently amend or retract based on product, as specified in either the General License Terms or Product-Specific License Terms and Additional Terms of the Product Use Rights document.

  • The Universal License Terms. These terms apply to all products licensed through Microsoft Volume Licensing.
  • The General License Terms. These terms apply to all products that use a particular licensing model. Each licensing model section includes a list of products that use that particular model.
  • The Exceptions and Additional Terms for the product. Any additional product-specific terms are listed by product.

[See article: Hierarchy of Software Use Terms]


Downgrade Rights (Volume Licensing)

Microsoft provide the following definition in the Universal License Terms of the Product Use Rights,

“For any permitted copy or instance, you may create, store, install, run or access in place of the version licensed, a copy or instance of a prior version, different permitted language version, or different available platform version (for example, 32 bit or 64 bit). You may use different versions of components only as permitted under the Product-Specific License Terms. If you use an earlier version under these downgrade rights, Microsoft is under no obligation to provide security updates or support for the product or service beyond the end of support date listed at http://support.microsoft.com/lifecycle.”

[Ref: Product Use Rights, July 2013, Page 9 of 114]

The Product List states downgrade rights as a universal software use right of Volume Agreements, but are careful to continue to set the parameters of support for older versions: “customers can acquire the latest version in order to use an older version with downgrade rights, but are eligible for support for that product only if it is listed as supported” as maintained in the software lifecycle website.

[Ref: Product List, July 2013, Page 74 of 188]

Microsoft  offer a minimum of 10 years support for business products. This is classified as 5 years of mainstream support or for 2 years after the successor product is released (whichever is longer); and extended support provided for the 5 years following end of mainstream support; or for 2 years after the 2nd successive product is released (whichever is longer) – This is available in detail on the life policy website.


Volume Licensing: Legacy Deployments of Office

The September 2012 Licensing Brief states that downgrade rights “are granted with all application software licenses acquired through the Volume Licensing programs” wherein, Volume Agreements “give you the right to downgrade to any prior version of the same product”.

As an example, the Multi Language Pack, when procured with an application license (for any of the following products) are eligible to version downgrade.

  • Office Standard 2013
  • Office Professional Plus 2013
  • Project Standard 2013
  • Project Professional 2013
  • Visio Standard 2013
  • Visio Professional 2013

“are eligible to use the English/Multilanguage version of a downgraded version of the product in place of the licensed version. Use of the downgraded version of the product is subject to the use rights for the 2013 version of the product. These rights expire when the customers’ rights to either the Office Multi-Language Pack 2013 or the above listed 2013 product expires.”

[Ref: Product List, July 2013, Page 102 of 188]

The Licensing Brief document states that an organisation  “may downgrade Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2010 to the Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2007, Office Professional Enterprise 2003, Office Professional XP” […]You may not, however, downgrade to Microsoft Office Standard Edition 2007 because it is a different product and not considered a prior version of Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2010.”

[Ref: Downgrade Rights Licensing Brief September 2012, Page 4 of 6]

The advisory document does address issues from the consolidation of editions upon general availability of Office 2010:

”In addition, Office Professional Plus 2010 users may not use earlier versions of the Microsoft Office OneNote note-taking program and Microsoft Office Groove software via downgrade rights, because these products are not part of earlier versions of the suite (for example, OneNote 2007 and Groove 2007 are not included with Office Professional Plus 2007)”

[Ref: Downgrade Rights Licensing Brief September 2012, Page 4 of 6]

(For information purposes, I have provided a diagram of the releases of Office illustrating where a component has been upgraded, added or discontinued; Please be aware this is not derived from any Microsoft binding or advisory documentation):
image

IT Asset Managers should be aware, that if attempting to maintain a legacy deployment of Office Enterprise 2007 as  part of your corporate image across your organisation,“Software Assurance (SA) customers who have deployed Office Enterprise 2007 only (i.e., are not using any other edition of Office in their organization), and need additional seats of Office Enterprise 2007, may purchase licenses for Office Professional Plus 2010 and downgrade to Office Enterprise 2007. No other downgrades from Office Professional Plus 2010 to Office Enterprise 2007 are permitted.”

[Product List, November 2012, Page 95 of 175]

[Ref: Licensing Brief September 2012, Page 5 of 6]

In terms of access to software for installation, Microsoft provides guidance via the Fulfilment Website informing customers that software is available for download via the Volume Licensing Service Center (VLSC).

VLSC provides download access only to the current (N) and the last version (N-1) of products. This again drives customer behaviour to upgrade. As of December 2012 Microsoft continued to support a limited set of N-2 and N-3 prior product versions for download on VLSC but should a release be removed, this is via the Product Activation Center.

Previous product editions available through VLSC

Microsoft provide guidance on support for legacy releases of Office on the Microsoft Office Products Support Lifecycle Website


Visio Professional 2013 Downgrade Rights

IT Asset Managers should be aware, that if attempting to maintain a legacy deployment of Visio Premium 2010; Upon release of Visio Professional 2013 Microsoft extended a downgrade right for Visio Premium 2010 users only with a standardised enterprise-wide deployment of the product.

“Software Assurance customers who have deployed Visio Premium 2010 only (i.e., are not using any other edition of Visio in their organization), and need additional seats of Visio Premium 2010, may purchase licenses for Visio Professional 2013 and downgrade to Visio Premium 2010. No other downgrades from Visio Professional 2013 to Visio Premium 2010 are permitted.”

[Ref: Product List, July 2013, Page 104 of 188]

This caveat, enshrined within the Product List requires strict software asset management controls to leverage this ‘downgrade right’ and is recommended to closely monitor deployed software in your desktop estate.

Under the Software Assurance Migration Path for Visio Premium 2010 Microsoft extended the use right to the Professional 2013 edition under the following conditions of use:

“Customers with active Software Assurance coverage for Visio Premium 2010 as of download availability date for Visio Professional 2013 are eligible to use Visio Professional 2013 in place of Visio Premium 2010.

The right to use Visio Professional 2013 under this offering expires when the right to use Visio Premium 2010 under the corresponding qualifying licenses expires. Use of Visio Professional 2013 is governed by the use rights for Visio Professional 2013 and the terms and conditions of the customer’s volume license agreement. This product condition note and the customer’s evidence of the corresponding qualifying license together evidence the right to use Visio Professional 2013 under this offer. Upon expiration of Software Assurance coverage for Visio Premium 2010, the customer may acquire Software Assurance for Visio Professional 2013 without the need to separately acquire a new license.

[Ref: Product List, July 2013, Page 105 of 188]

This logic is consistent in the advisory brief on Visio Premium 2010 that downgrade rights are version specific, and Microsoft maintain caveats for existing maintenance (SA) customers with legacy deployments:

“Downgrade rights in Volume Licensing agreements provide customers with the right to downgrade to any prior version of the same product. However, Visio Premium 2010 is a new product without a prior version, so downgrade rights do not apply.Only Software Assurance customers who licensed Visio Professional 2007 may continue to use Visio Professional 2007under those licenses despite their Software Assurance migration rights to Visio Premium 2010.

[Ref: Licensing Brief September 2012, Page 5 of 6]


Visio Pro for Office 365 Downgrade Rights

As an express limitation for the Office 365 Pro Plus service; The Product List states that “Visio Pro for Office 365 service has no downgrade rights.”

[Ref: Product List, July 2013, Page 106 of 188]


Office 365 Pro Plus Downgrade Rights

An express limitation for the Office 365 Pro Plus service; the Product List states that the “Office 365 ProPlus service has no downgrade rights”.

[Ref: Product List, July 2013, Page 104 of 188]

Microsoft do address the issue of downgrade rights under O365 Pro Plus subscriptions in a non-binding advisory document:

“In Online Services customers have access to the latest technology with the newest features and releases. As with all Subscription Services, Microsoft generally offers only the latest version of the service at a time. Therefore, downgrade rights are not available with Office Professional Plus for Office 365 licenses

[Ref: Licensing Microsoft Office Professional Plus for Office 365, June 2011, Page 3 of 6]


Is there an exception to the rule….?

Microsoft do elaborate on the topic of on-premise use downgrade rights under the O365 Office Pro Plus Subscription:

“There is a one-time exception during the introduction of Office Professional Plus for Office 365 to Enterprise and Enterprise Subscription customers. If those customers have deployed Office Professional Plus 2010 under their Enterprise or Enterprise Subscription agreement, they may use Office Professional Plus 2010 software in place of Office Professional Plus for Office 365 user authenticated software. Although those customers may be allowed to use Office Professional Plus 2010 software, they are still required to comply with the use rights under their Office Professional Subscription license and no perpetual software rights apply.”

[Ref: Licensing Microsoft Office Professional Plus for Office 365, June 2011, Page 4 of 6]

It is understood this exception, (subject to approval from your Microsoft subsidiary), could be made available for organisations that provisioned an E3 tenant prior to Office 365 commercial availability on 27th February 2013; to support continued access to Office ProPlus 2010 installer until 8th April 2014.

Windows XP will be out of support on 8th April 2014 and may drive some organisations to upgrade Windows to enable access to the new wave of cloud productivity Office 365 applications on Windows 7.

The software use right to install Office 2010 locally under Office 365 is by exception, available under a specifically agreed contractual amendment from Microsoft;  Your procurement strategy should be principally defined by binding documentation for your organisation.

An agreed exception would be notwithstanding anything to the contrary in the Product Use Rights or other binding contractual documentation, to enable an organisation to install Office Professional plus 2010 locally;. However, this would likely be time limited; “[…] All customers will need to comply with Online Services upgrade requirements in the next release” and upgrade to the required version of Office Professional Plus.

[Ref: Licensing Microsoft Office Professional Plus for Office 365, June 2011, Page 4 of 6]

Driving Adoption of Cloud Services

The  Microsoft Office Website does suggest support for dual access rights for on-premise legacy office deployments, permitting customers to “keep older versions of Office side by side on your PCs to mitigate any potential file or add-in compatibility risks”   [last checked: 24.07.2013]. However, this was likely intended as atemporary right, and not aligned to the full term of the service.

The FAQ regarding Office ProPlus website is still active [last checked: 24.07.2013] and Microsoft do make the following statements: “If you have users who installed Office 2010 Subscription,you are required to upgrade to new version of Office 365 ProPlusby 28 February 2014” and “You will be able to install Office ProPlus 2010 until 28 February 2014.”; Microsoft will then remove the installation link on the Microsoft Online Portal and in May 2014 Office Professional Plus users will receive a notice and subsequently enter Reduced Functionality Mode with 30 days notice.

Taken directly from the FAQ regarding Office ProPlus website:

“We don’t want to upgrade to Office 365 ProPlus. Can’t we keep authenticating for Office ProPlus 2010?
No.

The Product Use Rights for Office ProPlus state: “If we provide a major upgrade to software licensed under your User SLs for the online service, you must install the upgrade on all devices using the online service to prevent an interruption of the online service.” Additionally, Office Subscription customers do not have downgrade rights.

If you cannot (or do not want to) upgrade to Office 365 ProPlus by 28 February 2014, you should purchase a Volume License for Office, utilize downgrade rights, and reinstall the perpetual version of Office 2010 on all machines with Office ProPlus 2010.”

This is an interesting statement, as downgrade rights remain enshrined within Volume Licensing. Those organisations seeking to leverage on-premise deployment rights for legacy versions of Office 2010 will need to leverage the use rights under a perpetual license procured under Volume Licensing.

“We purchased Office ProPlus 2010, but deployed the version of Office Professional Plus 2010 from the Volume Licensing Service Center (VLSC). What will happen to us on 28 February 2014?
First off, it you don’t understand this question, it almost certainly doesn’t apply to you.

If you installed Office Professional Plus 2010 via the MSI on the VLSC, you will not have users entering Reduced Functionality Mode, as this version is not cloud-authenticated. You will, however, be violating your Office Subscription license agreement.”

Ref: FAQ regarding Office ProPlus [last checked: 24.07.2013].

In terms of binding-documentation, the Microsoft Product Listprovides the following statement on legacy software use rights for Office 2010:

“Use of Office Professional Plus 2010 or Office for Mac Standard 2011

With the release of the updated service for Office 365 ProPlus your media eligibility right to use Office Professional Plus 2010 or Office for Mac Standard 2011 in place of Office 365 ProPlus software under active subscriptions has been discontinued. You have a year, until February 28th, 2014 to upgrade your devices to Office 365 ProPlus media.

* See February 2013 Product List for full terms of media eligibility rights for Office Professional Plus Subscription”

[Ref: Product List, July 2013, Page 103 of 192]

[Please note another useful resource: Microsoft Service Updates Website.]


The Impact of Office 365 “Add Ons”

It was recently announced that E3 and E4 SKUs under Office 365 will be available as “Add Ons”. This will support organisations to wish to retain perpetual rights to Core CAL and ECAL Suites but want to access cloud services. This was reported as effective August 1st 2013.

This has an important impact for Office. Wherein, organisations will be able to “Add On” E3 and E4 service plans to their existing Enterprise Agreement (EA) without committing to Office 365 Pro Plus. This would support access to Lync, Exchange and SharePoint as a Microsoft hosted cloud service without committing to the software use terms and contractual commitment to Office 365 Pro Plus at outset. This is particularly advantageous to organisation’s with perpetual rights to Office Professional Plus 2013.

  • Add Ons are an “Additional Product”on the Customer Price Sheet (CPS)

  • Add Ons do not change the underlying EA. True up for Qualified Devices as normal.
  • “No minimum” for Add Ons.
  • Add Ons are for a “Primary User” for an existing qualifying underlying License. Add Ons cannot exceed underlying licenses on the Enterprise Agreement.

O365 AddOns 2

This will be reviewed later on this website, referencing available binding and non-binding advisory documentation. This is intended for information purposes only, and I am available for consultation (under NDA) as required to review your Microsoft procurement strategy.


Final Thoughts

The restrictive approach to support legacy Office users was seen by some commentators as restrictive for customers who are looking to adopt cloud procurement, and see the value in signing up to cloud procurement model ‘now’, but have a longer transition roadmap for their legacy office deployed footprint that the Microsoft upgrade cycle.

Those seeking to leverage software use rights for legacy on-premise deployments of Office 2010 leveraged from the Office 365 cloud service plans that include Office 365 Pro Plus, appear to have a narrow and limited grace period (as of writing) until February 28th 2014subject to Microsoft guidance and terms extracted above. The official date for Windows XP end of support is April 8th 2014

Organisations are responding to the User CAL Price Increase and interest in cloud hosted email and collaboration services within the E3-E4 Plans to review cloud procurement models at contract renewal. This is combined with a gradual change in the way incentives are paid to channel partners worldwide to drive cloud service adoption.

Many organisations have adopted a longer upgrade cycle than the software release cycle of a software vendor, but often choose to leverage new procurement contracts to leverage price protection, better price level, special rights of purchase, or extended software use rights, often enabled under an ‘active’ contract with Software Assurance (SA) (maintenance). This has long driven ‘net new’ volume procurement even when the technical reality in the customer would not support spend.

The role of downgrade rights has been critical for Microsoft to drive relational procurement contracts under Volume Licensing. The consistency in overall approach for common productivity applications like Office was useful, but this has since caused customer confusion with the emergence of Office as a cloud service offering within Office 365.

Those customers with existing perpetual rights to Office 2013 may seek to opt out of cloud subscription model for Office 365 Pro Plus, but may be under increasing scrutiny to prove compliance; Microsoft will continue to leverage the popularity of mobile working (and the explosion of companion devices) to incentivise adoption of the User based metric available under Office 365 Pro Plus. The up-date to the Office 365 cloud service commercial licensing model is welcomed in the support for customers who want to migrate to the cloud ‘on their terms’.

– If you would like to book an in-depth Licensing Workshop / Microsoft Strategy Workshop please drop a quick email or connect with Tony on Twitter


About

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 a Senior Licensing Specialist at SoftwareONE

If you would like to book an in-depth Licensing Workshop / Microsoft Strategy Workshop please drop me an email or connect with Tony on Twitter

Tony lives with his wife in Oxford, England.



Disclaimer

This document is provided “as-is”. Information and views expressed in this document, including URL and other Internet Web site references, may change without notice. This document does not provide you with any legal rights to any intellectual property in any Microsoft product.

Please be aware that nothing on this website constitutes specific technical advice. Some of the material on this website may have been prepared some time ago and therefore may have been superseded. Specialist advice should be taken in relation to specific circumstances.

The contents of this website are for general information purposes only. Whilst the author(s) endeavour to ensure that the information on this website is correct, no warranty, express or implied, is given as to its accuracy and the primary author and website owner or it’s contributing Authors do not accept any liability for error or omission.

The contributing authors and owner of the website shall not be liable for any damage (including, without limitation, damage for loss of business or loss of profits) arising in contract, tort or otherwise from the use of, or inability to use, this website or any material contained in it, or from any action or decision taken as a result of using this website or any such material.

10 Minute Webinar Series – SQL Avoiding The Fiscal Cliff

Join my new 10 Minute Webinar Series on avoiding the SQL ‘Fiscal Cliff’.

Thursday April 18th  3:00 PM BST https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/518723547014018048

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Don’t be caught out at renewal.
I will highlight the key areas to review to ensure you are protected from any potential financial exposure, and in some cases, help you identify additional licensing entitlement for your SQL Server estate.
Acting now can make all the difference.

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After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar View System Requirements

If you would like to book an in-depth Licensing Workshop / SQL Workshop please drop me an email or connect with me on Twitter


About

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 a Senior Licensing Expert at SoftwareONE

Tony lives with his wife in Oxford, England.


Microsoft 2013 Lync Licensing Guide

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In February 2013, Microsoft provide additional guidance to commercial licensing of Lync 2013.

  • This article will provide a brief overview of Lync 2013 Volume Licensing and Cloud Service Plans
  • This article is not intended to replace the Product Use Rights or Product List
  • Please be aware that any licensing information could be subject to change. This article confers no rights and is provided for information purposes only.

Volume Licensing

Server SKU Consolidation

Lync Standard Edition and Enterprise Edition Server 2013 have been consolidated into a single edition across all on-premise deployment types.

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Organisations who purchased and maintain active Software Assurance (SA) with Lync Server Standard Edition OR Lync Server  Enterprise Edition will receive rights to Lync Server 2013


Client Access Licenses (CALs)

Microsoft have maintained the CAL (Client Access License) licensing metric on a Per User or Per Device model

Access to premium functionality features, are determined by adoption of a ‘base’ Standard CAL and then an ‘additive’ Enterprise CAL and Plus CAL

Enterprise CAL and Plus CAL are supplemental to the Standard CAL; allowing organisations to choose to add the Enterprise CAL feature set, the Plus CAL feature set, or adopt both, in addition to the Standard CAL. 

Microsoft have also extended presence display, IM and audio/video communications with Skype Users. This is available in all CALs and Online Use Subscription Plans.

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Standard CAL

The Lync Server 2013 Standard CAL offers IM (Instant Messaging) and Presence, as well as PC-PC audio and video communication. Importantly, this does support authenticated attendee access to internal Lync Meetings.

Notably, Microsoft have broadened the Standard CAL to include an “Attendee and Presenter Experience”. Users with a Lync Standard CAL can attend meetings and then be promoted to presenter in conferences initiated by an Lync Enterprise CAL user.

Please be aware that a User would require the additive Enterprise CAL to initiate or schedule conferences for their organisation.

Enterprise CAL

The Lync Server 2013 Enterprise CAL provides users the ability to Initiate and Schedule multi-party Lync Meetings.

  • Lync Room Systems in Enterprise CAL
  • Lync Multi-view Video in Enterprise CAL
    • Lync Server 2013  introduces a new Gallery View feature allowing for up to five active video streams (plus your own) to be displayed at one time.

Plus CAL

The Lync Server 2013 Plus CAL offers enterprise voice capabilities that can enhance or replace traditional PBX systems. These capabilities include:

  • Initiate an ad hoc multi-party meeting with audio and video
    • This includes dial-out to PSTN or PBX Users
    • This is also included in Lync Enterprise CAL
  • UC and PBX Call Control
  • Visual Access to Voicemail
  • Define Routing Rules
  • Delegation

[Ref: Lync Licensing Guide]

An overview of the current product components of the Microsoft CAL Suites is available in this article.


Requirements for a CAL

“The Standard CAL is the base CAL and required for all authenticated internal users accessing Lync Server functions.”

[Ref: Lync Licensing Guide, February 2013]

Microsoft define “authenticated” as a user or device who has an identity in the Active Directory Domain Services or Lync Server.

“An unauthenticated, or anonymous, user is a person or device that does not have an identity in the Active Directory Domain Services or Lync Server.

[…] an anonymous user is not authenticated. With the Lync 2010 Attendee client, unauthenticated users can a join Microsoft Lync Server 2013 hosted meeting. There are no required licenses for unauthenticated users of Lync Server 2013”

[Ref: Lync Licensing Guide, February 2013]

This is also defined in the Product Use Rights,

“You do not need CALs for any user or device that accesses your Instances of the server software without being directly or indirectly authenticated by Active Directory or Lync Server.”

[Ref: Product Use Rights, January 2013, Page 35 of 116]


Licensing External Users

Microsoft, have now removed the External Connector for Lync. [Ref: Product Use Rights, January 2013, Page 34 or 116]

Microsoft have now clarified that external users to the organisation are now incorporated within the Server licensing model, defined as “Licensed with Server”. This removes both the External Connector licence and the CAL requirement for external users;  “An unlimited number of authenticated external users may access a Lync Server 2013 in scenarios where the number of CALs is uncertain”.

As always, vendor definitions are important when determining licensing requirements, and under this criteria, an external user is defined as “typically not an employee and not defined in the [Volume] agreement”.

[Ref: Lync Licensing Guide, February 2013, Page 8 of 24]

Upon review of the Product Use Rights the definition of External User “means users that are not either your or your affiliates’ employees, or your or your affiliates’ onsite contractors or onsite agents”.

[Ref: Product Use Rights, January 2013, Page 8 of 116]

As always, it is recommended to refer to your specific contract(s), the Product Use Rights and Product List as source documentation in determining licensing requirements. The licensing guides,while useful information resources, are not binding documents.


Lync Federation

Importantly, this has been defined for organisation’s that are adopting Lync Federation. (As an example, SoftwareONE UK is Lync federated with Microsoft UK)

“A federated user is an external user that possesses valid credentials with a federated external Lync deployment and is authenticated on that basis by Lync Server 2013. Federation is a feature provided with the licenses of Lync Server 2013. Users connected by federation with another Lync deployment do not require a CAL as the federated party will already own the appropriate number of licenses.”

[Ref: Lync Licensing Guide, February 2013, Page 7 of 24]


Introduction of ‘Basic’ Lync Client

Microsoft continue to enable access to Lync via Client Software. This has now been extended via the provision of a  Lync Basic 2013 Client aimed at organisations with Lync Online or Core CAL.

The ‘feature rich’ version of the Client continue to be available  for purchase stand-alone and as a component within Office Pro Plus 2013.

Lync Basic 2013 provides access to ‘basic’ functionality in Lync Server 2013 (omitted 2013 functionality detailed below)

  • Gallery video view
  • Calendar delegation
  • OneNote sharing
  • Recording
  • Skill search (not available with Office 365)
  • Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) (not available with Office 365)
  • Advanced call features [Not available in O365 Subscriptions]

If a User signs into Lync Server 2010 with the  Lync Basic 2013  client, functionality would be limited to Lync Server 2010 (minus the omitted functionality in the list above).

The 32bit and 64bit Lync Basic Clients are publicly for download at the Microsoft Download Centre.

Lync Software is available for download from the SoftwareONE Lifecycle Portal for organisation’s that use SoftwareONE as their software management partner.

Microsoft will continue to provide access to Lync Mobile Clients for access from Windows Phone, iOS, Android and Symbian devices.

Ref: The Microsoft TechNet Team have provided a useful Lync Mobile Client Comparison Table 

When external webinar conference attendees access a Lync web conference, and don’t have a Lync Client installed on their accessing device – Lync will enable access through a WebApp Client

Ref: There is a list of supported OS platforms and Web browsers for 2010 are available for reference here and 2013 here 


Product Licensing Dependencies

The Microsoft Product Stack continues to be an integrated platform often leveraging other Microsoft core server technologies.

Microsoft Office and Lync Client can be thought of as a “traffic light” that are turned on via activation of the Microsoft Server technologies:

Licensing for the modern end user computing is complex and entirely dependent on the specifics for your organisation, and final technology choices. In the current economic climate, it has never been so important to minimise unnecessary spend.

Accordingly it is recommended to work pro-actively with a global licensing expert to get a holistic view of requirements. Working with a trusted advisor to evaluate both strategic technology decisions and software license procurement strategy.


Lync Plus Grandfathering Policy

Upon the release of new functionality within a Product that requires a new extended licensing mechanism, Microsoft look to support existing relational customers (those with active Software Assurance (SA)) with a logical transition policy or licence grant.

Customers who have purchased Office Communications Server 2007 R2 Enterprise CAL or ECAL Suite and have maintained active Software Assurance (SA) will benefit from one of the two following entitlementsimage

  • ECAL Suite with Active Software Assurance (SA) prior to June 30th 2009:
    • Entitlement: Lync 2010 Plus CAL, Lync 2013 Plus CAL
    • Renewal: 1st Renewal Point after release of Lync 2013
  • ECAL Suite with Active Software Assurance (SA) after June 30th 2009 and before Lync 2010 General Availability (GA)
    • Entitlement: Lync 2010 Plus CAL
    • Renewal: 1st Renewal Point after release of Lync 2013
  • When is the cut off point for ‘Grandfathering Rights’ for Plus CAL?
    • Your organisation must be enrolled in active Software Assurance (SA)for the OCS Enterprise CAL or the ECAL Suite before December 1, 2010 in order to be eligible for the Lync Server 2010 Grandfathering Policy.
  • “Do I need a Lync Enterprise CAL to buy Plus CAL?”
    • No. The Lync Server Enterprise CAL and the Lync Server Plus CAL are each additive licenses for the Lync Server Standard CAL; the Enterprise CAL is not a prerequisite for the Plus CAL

image 

  • The source documentation for the Lync Grandfathering Rights Policy is the Microsoft Product List and should be the primary reference.
  • For a bespoke review of Lync, evaluating Migration Path, Use Rights and SA (Maintenance) Coverage and True Up reporting requirements please engage with SoftwareONE who will be able to benchmark and evaluate your current license & maintenance footprint, Subscription(s), and managed contract portfolio.

Lync Cloud Service Plans (O365)

For reference purposes, please see a ‘snapshot’ of the Lync functionality sets across CALs and Online Service Plans.

image

  • Lync Room Systems in Lync Plans 2 + 3
  • Lync Multi-view Video in Lync Plans 2 + 3
    • Lync Server 2013  introduces a new Gallery View feature allowing for up to five active video streams (plus your own) to be displayed at one time.
  • Lync-to-Phone (PSTN access) in Lync Plan 3
  • Microsoft have extended presence display, IM and audio/video communications with Skype Users. This is available in all CALs and Online Use Subscription Plans (see below)image
  • Useful link Ref: Lync Online Service Description
  • Useful link Ref: Clients for Lync Online
  • The Microsoft TechNet team have provided useful Client Comparison Tables.

Further Resources

If you would like to book a Licensing Workshop,  please drop me an email or connect with me on Twitter


About

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 a Senior Licensing Expert at SoftwareONE

Tony lives with his wife in Oxford, England.



10 Minute Webinar Series – SQL Avoiding The Fiscal Cliff

Join our new “10 Minute Webinar” Series, Wednesday 10am GMT on avoiding the SQL “Fiscal Cliff”.

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If you would like to book a Licensing Workshop / SQL Workshop please drop me an email or connect with me on Twitter


About

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 a Senior Licensing Expert at SoftwareONE

Tony lives with his wife in Oxford, England.


Windows OS – Desktop as a Service (DaaS)

This guide takes you through the Microsoft licensing options available and the required licensing components for providing Desktop as a Service (DaaS)

  • This article will give you a brief overview of the different desktop delivery models and the corresponding licensing model(s) supported by Microsoft.

If you would like to book a Licensing Workshop please drop me an email or follow me on Twitter 


A Comprehensive, Structured Approach

The licensing requirements for delivering DaaS are dependent on the total software solution stack, and the software delivery model selected, and enabling technologies.

There should be clarity from the Service Provider as to how their service is being delivered, ensure  definitions are made at the Service Level, and should be made at each Service Level to comply with all applicable Vendor licensing model(s)

It is recommended to work with a Licensing Expert to understand the optimum, and correct, product licensing configurations and procurement model(s) to support your business goals.

Your Service Provider or SI may not incorporate all applicable licensing metrics, and vendor software terms in response to your RFP. This analysis should be comprehensive to understand complete TCO.


Looking at VDI

VDI is a popular topic when I’m conducting customer Licensing Workshops . From experience, this is a top area to identify unanticipated vendor spend implications and product licensing dependencies, often across multiple vendor solutions. In most proposed implementations it will include a combination of Vendor technologies to implement the service and this can incur unanticipated (or unnecessary) cost.

As an overview, in VDI, each user is assigned their own complete OS, which is then used to host whatever apps the user needs within a VM (Virtual Machine) running on a server in a datacenter. This will require an underlying Virtualization Platform, whether VMware ESX or vSphere, Citrix XenServer or Microsoft Hyper-V.

Virtual desktops are  accessed remotely by the end users across various devices, using a Remote Desktop Technology including but not limited to, Microsoft’s RDP (Remote Desktop Protocol) or Citrix’s Independent Computing Architecture (ICA) to effectively optimise delivery of a GUI to individual computer’s over a network.

  • Microsoft RDP 8.0 server is incorporated within Remote Desktop Services (RDS)  and sold within Windows Server 2012.
  • Citrix products adopting ICA include XenDesktop and XenApp.

image

Implementation of VDI will require a Management Platform to orchestrate User access to individual VMs and console to provision, amend, and decommission VMs. Microsoft provide this within a recently consolidated offering:  System Center and VMware with vCloud Suite

It is often acknowledged that while VDI is more flexible and customizable than session virtualization it can be expensive to implement without support from a competent technical advisory and software licensing partner.

For quick reference on the specifics of Desktop OS Product Licensing read the following articles

If you would like to book a Licensing Workshop please drop me an email or follow me on Twitter 


Session Computing

Session (or Presentation) Virtualization, is a well established and scalable delivery model. This may be referred to as delivering a ‘desktop’ but commonly adopts a limited user shell GUI to run applications.

The most common solutions are Microsoft Remote Desktop Services (RDS) commonly still referred to as Terminal Services (TS) and Citrix’s XenApp (Presentation Server).

In Session Virtualization (Remote Desktop Services) users access a Windows Server OS hosting their application with often a limited number of OS run on the hardware, with multiple users able to share that OS to run the application(s)

Session virtualization isolates the processing of the operating system and applications from the graphics and the Input and Output devices (keyboard and mouse). Once isolated, session virtualization sends the graphics from a central server and application out to an accessing device where the end user sees the display in real time. It is just as if the user were watching a ‘live feed’. However, session virtualization also captures the keyboard and mouse events of the remote user and replays them on the central datacenter.

image

This allows a user to instantly interact with the remote system. This design makes the user feel like the OS and application are actually running on the device in front of them, even though the application is sourced from a central datacenter.

This has real benefit in deploying one shared copy of the software to the server, allowing greater user density and centralised patching and updates. This can extend security by having all data stored and managed centrally.


App Virtualization

Organisations need to meet both the current and evolving needs of their employees and the provision and use of client computing services can be an emotive subject.

Within the organisation the objective of client computing is primarily to provide employees with the right level of access to corporate applications and data from a variety of access devices for a increasingly distributed and mobile workforce

To support, IT departments can reduce application management costs and improve  deployment speed . Secondly, end users want to have their business critical apps available on any authorised device. To achieve this, Microsoft Application Virtualization (App-V) decouples applications from the OS and helps to eliminate app-to-app incompatibility, because applications are no longer installed on the local client device.

Remote App programs enable software to be accessed remotely through Remote Desktop Services (RDS) and appear as if running on the end user’s local PC. These are hosted apps, and can be accessed through a web browser.

A brief overview of Application delivery models are illustrated below:

image

As virtualization isolates an application and all of that application’s files and resources from the operating system (OS) , and any other application on the system; Applications can be streamed out to a desktop when the user needs them. 

For desktop administration this can drastically reduce the time and cost implications of desktop management, bringing patch and upgrade management to one central location and  accelerate the deployment of any new applications. It also ensures the entire desktop environment is configured to be secure and consistent.

Microsoft’s application virtualization solution, App-V, can also stream only the parts of the application needed by the user and have instant click start-ups. Once the user logs off, the application can be removed, and is no longer there risking access by a non-authorised or unlicensed user.


Delivering the Desktop as a Service

It has been acknowledged by Microsoft that Service Providers would like to enable hosted Desktops as a Service (DaaS) as an alternative way to consume the Windows OS. This is often presented by Service Providers as a way to reduce TCO, presented within a simpler ‘Per User’ cost model.

A critical point in evaluating Microsoft do not support Service Providers to host the Windows Desktop in a public cloud

Microsoft licensing models are restrictive, only accepting delivery of DaaS via Windows Server.

This may be in part, due to uncertainty whether VDI can deliver an excellent customer experience across Wide Area Networks (WAN) and the increased investment in Microsoft providing direct Cloud Services.

Microsoft will allow Service Providers to customise the Windows Server Remote Desktop Session Host (RDSH) experience for customers, offering a ‘similar’ experience to the Windows Desktop OS. Microsoft are careful to remind Service Providers that their service should be clear in distinguishing between Windows 7/8 OS and a solution based on Windows Server and Remote Desktop Services (RDS).

RDS (Remote Desktop Services) allows Service Providers to deliver remote apps and remote desktops at scale via the Service Provider Licensing Agreement (SPLA) model in partnership with an accredited SPLA Reseller to ensure the service is appropriately licensed for use of Microsoft software.

This approach adopts Windows Server Remote Desktop Services (RDS) as a centralised desktop and application platform solution, delivering presentation and application virtualization technologies. RDS offers Service Providers a mechanism to deliver and manage hosted desktops for customers via an established, proven technology.

Applications deployed using this delivery method (Presentation Virtualization) are available under the Microsoft Service Provider License Agreement (SPLA) model.  The Service Provider will be responsible for working with an accredited SPLA Reseller adopting a SAL (Subscriber Access License) for each authorised User accessing the service.

App-V (SPLA) allows hosted service providers to use App-V to deliver virtual applications all the way to a desktop and run them locally. 

As with Windows Desktop OS, Microsoft are restrictive in the supported delivery models for Office, hosters are not allowed to deliver Office via App-V and are careful to state this extends to competitive application virtualization technologies.


License Mobility for Software Assurance (SA) : Adopting a Hybrid Licensing Model

In July 2011 Microsoft bolstered the value of their maintenance model with License Mobility for Software Assurance. This extended software use rights for organisations that committed to Software Assurance (SA) for specific products, providing the right to deploy specific application server workloads with a Service Provider, provided that the end-customer continued to maintain active Software Assurance (SA) coverage on those licenses.

The Microsoft Product Use Rights state that “All Products that are currently eligible for “License Mobility within Server Farms” and covered by Software Assurance are eligible for License Mobility through Software Assurance.”

Microsoft also extended some product specific exceptions within Appendix 2 Software Assurance Benefits section of the Product use Rights to extend this right via Software Assurance (SA)

[Ref: Product Use Rights, January 2013, Page 101of 116]

image

While SPLA is commonly advocated as the primary vehicle to license the shared infrastructure,; License Mobility can provide an additional licensing model leveraging the on-going investment in Volume Licensing (VL).

License Mobility for Software Assurance is a clearly defined licensing mechanism for specific licensed software and management of end-customer OSEs on third party shared servers. Microsoft are careful to define that Service Level, and ask that the software and managed VMs are used solely for the use and benefit of the end-customer.

This precise approach extends to the a specific list of accredited partners that Microsoft trust. A list of qualified License Mobility through Software Assurance Partners is available at http://www.microsoft.com/licensing/software-assurance/license-mobility.aspx and could be valuable to check prior to working with a Service Provider. Further, adopting this model will require reporting the specific licenses being leveraged under this extended rights model via an accredited SPLA Reseller 

[Ref: Product Use Rights, January 2013, Page 101of 116]


The importance of identifying Service Layers

It is recommended that there is clarity from the Service Provider as to how their service is being delivered, ensure  definitions are made at the Service Level, and should be made at each Service Level to comply with Vendor licensing model(s)

image

Microsoft do support use of end-customer Volume Licensing (VL) for “dedicated outsourcing” for a hosted Windows virtual desktop on fully dedicated servers, within a fully isolated hardware environment.

Under this specific use scenario, the end-customer remains the licensee, abiding by the Product Use Rights (PUR) document and the program specific terms in which the end-customer licensed the product.


SoftwareONE: A Systematic, Comprehensive Approach

Many world leading organisations work pro-actively with a global licensing expert to get a holistic view, and many of the Top-Tier Solution Integrators work with us on Customer Projects leveraging our core-competency and focus on Software.

We can support on Technical Advisory and Licensing Expertise, including but not limited to:

  • Impact of respective Ownership and Service Levels of the Service Infrastructure.
  • Balance of extended benefits and total cost of ownership against  Vendor “lock-in”.
    • Awareness of “lock-in” when reviewing procurement models.
    • Awareness of associated rights and benefits aligned to vendor licensing and maintenance programmes.
      • Awareness of associated Extended Software Use Rights
      • Awareness of associated Product Licensing Dependencies
      • Awareness of requirements for accessing Extended Functionality
      • Awareness of requirements for special Rights of Purchase
  • Comparative analysis of available Software Procurement“Packages”, often across multiple Vendors.
  • Availability and Analysis of Price Protection for committed spend  versus transactional procurement model(s)
  • Vendor Procurement Contract Management and consolidation
  • Full Software Asset Management (SAM) capabilities. 
  • Advising on optimum datacenter strategy aligned to Vendor licensing metrics. Able to use in-house expertise and resources to support multiple vendor environments.
  • Vendor Negotiation Support leveraging a global company with access to truly global software sourcing with tax optimisation.
If you would like to book a Licensing Workshop please drop me an email or contact me on Twitter 


About

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 lives with his wife in Oxford, England.


Disclaimer

This document is provided “as-is”. Information and views expressed in this document, including URL and other Internet Web site references, may change without notice. This document does not provide you with any legal rights to any intellectual property in any Microsoft or other Vendor product.

Please be aware that nothing on this website constitutes specific technical advice. Some of the material on this website may have been prepared some time ago and therefore may have been superseded. Specialist advice should be taken in relation to specific circumstances.

The contents of this website are for general information purposes only. Whilst the author(s) endeavour to ensure that the information on this website is correct, no warranty, express or implied, is given as to its accuracy and the primary author and website owner or it’s contributing Authors do not accept any liability for error or omission.

The contributing authors and owner of the website shall not be liable for any damage (including, without limitation, damage for loss of business or loss of profits) arising in contract, tort or otherwise from the use of, or inability to use, this website or any material contained in it, or from any action or decision taken as a result of using this website or any such material.

This Disclaimer is not intended to and does not create any contractual or other legal rights. This website is not run by Microsoft or my current employer.