Microsoft Open License changes: What you need to know

In addition to Microsoft’s Office 365 and Microsoft 365 price changes due in March 2022, Microsoft have announced that after 20 years of providing SMB customers with multiple perpetual software licenses at a volume price (eg. Windows Server 2019 license purchased with On-Premise servers), the Open License Program will be replaced with the new NCE experience available through Microsoft Partners such as Alliance Business Technologies, through our cloud marketplace as of January 1st, 2022.

To help understand Microsoft’s justification for the removal of the program:

  • Removing purchasing options that no longer meet customer needs.
  • Small and midsize customers will benefit from a simplified approach and greater flexibility in how you purchase software licenses in a way that’s easy to understand, that directly improves licensing asset management, and with predictable costs. 

Program changes

Please note that all pricing changes are per month per user:

Programs due to change:

Microsoft Open License Program:

No longer available as of January 1st, 2022:

  • Microsoft Windows Server Standard 2019 Open Business License
  • Microsoft Windows Server Standard 2019 Open
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2019 Client Access License
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2019 User Access License
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2019 Remote Desktop Service License
  • Microsoft SQL Server Standard 2019 Open Business License
  • Microsoft SQL Server Standard 2019 Open License
  • Microsoft SQL Server Standard 2019 User Access License
  • Microsoft SQL Server Standard 2019 Client Access License

Programs with no change:

Microsoft Open Value Program:

  • Recommended for future purchases that include Software Assurance.

Microsoft Open Value Subscription:

  • Doesn’t offer perpetual software licenses but is a lower-cost subscription that gives you rights to use the software during the agreement’s term and also includes Software Assurance.

The new Microsoft NCE Licensing Skus

To help you out ahead of time, here are some of the licensing skus that will be available after January 1st, 2022:

Available for Microsoft Azure:

Available in 1 or 3 yr subscriptions:

  • Microsoft Windows Server Standard – 8 Core Lic Pack (Soft Sub Pre-Paid)
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2019 User Access
    – 1 U CAL (Soft Sub Pre-Paid)
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2019 Remote Desktop Service – 1 U CAL (Soft Sub Pre-Paid)
  • Microsoft SQL Server Standard 2 Core Lic Pack
    (Soft Sub Pre-Paid)
  • Microsoft SQL Server Standard -1 U CAL –
    (Soft Sub Pre-Paid)

Available for Microsoft On-Premise Servers:

Available in 10 yr subscriptions:

  • Microsoft Windows Server Standard 2019 – 2 Core Lic Pack (Perp Pre-Paid)
  • Microsoft Windows Server Standard 2019 – 16 Core Lic Pack (Perp Pre-Paid)
  • Microsoft Windows Server Datacenter 2019 – 2 Core Lic Pack (Perp Pre-Paid)
  • Microsoft Windows Server Datacenter 2019 – 16 Core Lic Pack (Perp Pre-Paid)
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2019 User Access – 1 U CAL (Perp Pre-Paid)
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2019 Remote Desktop Service – 1 U CAL (Perp Pre-Paid)
  • Microsoft SQL Server Standard 2019 Core Lic Pack (Perp Pre-Paid)
  • Microsoft SQL Server Standard 2019 User Access License – 1 U CAL (Perp Pre-Paid)

How does this affect you?

While these price changes are unavoidable, as a Microsoft Gold Partner, we can give you the clarity you need to make the best decisions regarding your licensing.

Important things to note:

  • If you have Software Assurance coverage through the Open License Program, your Software Assurance term, including benefits, will continue until its expiration, even if the expiration is after December 31, 2021.
  • If you’re buying perpetual software licenses only (without Software Assurance) and want to continue doing so, it is important to talk to your Customer Relations Manager or one of our Sales Representatives. As your Managed Services Provider, we can help evaluate online services and flexibility to address your hybrid use needs with both software licenses and cloud offers.

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