We license software to organizations under arrangements that allow the end-user customer to acquire multiple licenses of products and services. Our arrangements for organizations to acquire multiple licenses of products and services are designed to provide them with a means of doing so without having to acquire separate packaged product through retail channels. In delivering organizational licensing arrangements to the market, we use different programs designed to provide flexibility for organizations of various sizes. While these programs may differ in various parts of the world, generally they include those discussed below.
Designed primarily for small-to-medium organizations (5 to over 250 licenses), Open licensing programs allow customers to acquire perpetual or subscription licenses and, at the customer's election, rights to future versions of software products over a specified time period (two or three years depending on the Open program used). The offering that conveys rights to future versions of certain software products over the contract period is called software assurance. Software assurance also provides support, tools, and training to help customers deploy and use software efficiently. Under the Open program, customers can acquire licenses only, or licenses with software assurance. They can also renew software assurance upon the expiration of existing volume licensing agreements.
Designed primarily for medium-to-large organizations (greater than 250 licenses), the Select program allows customers to acquire perpetual licenses and, at the customer's election, software assurance over a specified time period (generally three years or less). Similar to the Open program, the Select program allows customers to acquire licenses only, acquire licenses with software assurance, or renew software assurance upon the expiration of existing volume licensing agreements. Online services are also available for purchase through the Select program, and subscriptions are generally structured with terms between one and three years.
Services Provider Licensing
The Microsoft Services Provider License Agreement ("SPLA") is a program targeted to service providers and Independent Software Vendors ("ISVs") allowing these partners to provide software services and hosted applications to their end customers. Agreements are generally structured with a three-year term, and partners are billed monthly based upon consumption.
Enterprise Agreement Licensing
Enterprise agreements are targeted at medium and large organizations (greater than 250 licenses) that want to acquire licenses to software products, along with software assurance, for all or substantial parts of their enterprise. Enterprises can elect to either acquire perpetual licenses or, under the Enterprise Subscription program, can acquire non-perpetual, subscription agreements for a specified time period (generally three years). Online services are also available for purchase through the Enterprise agreement and subscriptions are generally structured with three year terms.