Microsoft Update January 2018

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

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

  • Licensing – To allow additional time to deliver the full product and services catalog for software to the modern platform, the Select Plus Retirement suspension will be extended another 12 months.
  • Licensing – Microsoft will resume shutting down the remaining commercial Select Plus accounts in April 2019. Extensions have been automatically applied to all active commercial Select Plus accounts subject to retirement. Though Microsoft are not actively shutting accounts down, they are advocating moving customers out of Select Plus to a longer-term solution such as EA, CSP (or MPSA as appropriate). Note: Public Sector accounts are not impacted.
  • Licensing – Microsoft have  announced that for pre-approved SMB customers that cannot transition to CSP, a 12 month Short Term EA Enrollment Extension option available until June 29, 2018.
  • Licensing – Microsoft announced longstanding issue for Skype for Business,  Common Area Phone SKU will launch March 1, 2018. This new SKU will allow customers with phone devices not assigned to users and used in areas such as reception areas, break rooms, shop floors, or conference rooms to purchase just one SKU in order to enable those devices with the ability to make/receive calls. The SKU will include the service plans for Phone System and Skype for Business Plan 2. This new license will be available in EA, EAS, Open, CSP and GCC and will be restricted for assignment to devices only per updated Product Terms. The SKU will also roll out to EES customers in Q4FY18.
  • Pricing – Dynamics 365 for Sales, and Customer Service User CALs SA only have 61% discount empowerment until May 31st 2018. Available across Volume Agreement programmes

Thanks All


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

Tony Mackelworth is Head of Microsoft Advisory Services at SoftwareONE

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