Microsoft Update March 2018

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

  • Licensing – Microsoft re-confirm that Inactive User Mailbox licensing is “postponed indefinitely”  – and reiterate Exchange Online Plan 2 or Office365 E3/E5 is assigned for Litigation Hold of Inactive Mailboxes. Minimum license re-assignment of 90 days.
  • Licensing – Microsoft announce effective May 1st 2018, Outlook Mobile will become part of all Exchange Online SKU service plans
  • Licensing – Microsoft also confirm, effective May 1st 2018,  ‘Commercial Use Rights’ for Office Apps will extend to F1 and E1 and Business Essentials. A long overdue and welcome announcement.
  • New Feature – Enable GDPR with DSR (Data Subject Requests) in Office365 Data Privacy Tab of Office365, and Azure DSR Portal.
  • Pricing – Microsoft market “transparent” pricing, but SQL Hybrid Benefit can mean one customer with VL pricing anchored at Level A, another at Level D, +/- discounts etc. Enabling strong competitive advantage over AWS for Azure SQL DB Managed Instances
  • Roadmap Lifecycle – SQL Information Protection enters public preview. The ‘advanced’ moniker indicates it may be a premium offering in-line with the other notable GDPR enabling features.
  • New Feature – Microsoft Teams guest access expands to consumer accounts
  • Roadmap Lifecycle – Azure Migrate is now Generally Available in March 2018. Microsoft step into commercial TCO with scenario planning inclusive of Azure Hybrid Use Benefit, Right-Sizing, No Charge Dependency Visualization   further enabled by  Azure Advisor. This does move native functionality of Microsoft services into the PyraCloud space, but do you want commercial and technical governance owned by the vendor, and does this address Multi-Cloud?
  • SQL Server Hybrid Use Benefit emerges in the March 1st Product Terms. Specified use scenarios, with a key limitation on concurrent use when comparing to Windows Server Datacenter. Notably no Azure Analysis Services included.
  • Microsoft  announce that Azure Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) was generally available on March 1st. Azure ATP resides within EM+S E5.

  • Licensing – Added terms to allow customers licensed with Azure Advanced Threat Protection for Users install and use Advanced Threat Analytics locally to manage client OSEs (or Server OSEs used as client OSEs) that are used solely by users to whom licenses are assigned. This right expires when Customer’s subscription expires. Ref: March Product Terms
  • Licensing – SQL Server Standard in Power BI in the March 2018 Microsoft Product Terms, clarify that SQL Server Standard Edition is included with PowerBI Report Server
  • Licensing – Dynamics NAV and GP 2018 in the March 2018 Microsoft Services Provider Use Rights (SPUR)
  • Licensing – Microsoft Qualified Educational User (QEU) definition limits CSP to Academic & Government institutions
  • Licensing – Azure Advanced Threat Protection in the March 2018 Microsoft Online Services Terms:
  • Licensing – Windows Client OS re-written in the March 2018 Product Terms.
  • Licensing – Added language to clarify that customers may renew From SA SLs up to the number of corresponding From SA SLs expiring. Ref: March 2018 Microsoft Product Terms:

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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