Updates to Microsoft 365 Licensing

Updated December 1, 2018
A modern desktop powered by Windows 10 and Office 365 ProPlus not only offers your organization the most productive, most secure end user computing experience available — it also saves IT time and money so you can focus on driving business results.
Today we would like to share three updates to our Microsoft 365 Licensing policies that will help you make the shift to a modern desktop:
  • Single SKU launch 
  • Microsoft Home Use Program update 
  • Dual Use Rights update 
We also want to make sure that you saw the updates to system requirements for Office 365 ProPlus and Office 365 services, announced earlier this month. Together, these changes are part of a larger effort to remove obstacles, simplify the experience, and help our customers adopt Microsoft 365 and the modern desktop.

Single SKU launch

We are making changes that will make it easier for you to assign and manage licenses via the Admin Center. Beginning November 1, 2019, existing Microsoft 365 E3 and E5 component SKUs will each have a corresponding new single SKU shown in the Admin Center and License Summary.
Currently, each individual Microsoft 365 component (Office 365, Windows Enterprise, EMS) has a separate SKU in the Admin Center and License Summary. The new single SKUs will be available to customers who purchase Microsoft 365 E3 and E5 subscriptions through the EA, EAS, and MPSA channels. After November 1, the original component SKUs will be retained as ‘Original Microsoft’ SKUs.

Microsoft Home Use Program update

Over the next few months, employees at eligible organizations will have a new option to purchase -- at a substantially discounted rate -- Office 365 for use on personal devices. We are updating and expanding the Home Use Program (HUP) as follows:
  • Office 365 Home and Office 365 Personal annual subscriptions will be available for purchase at a 30% discount through HUP for employees of eligible organizations. The current SA-only benefit extends only to Office Professional Plus and Office Home & Business in terms of the Office suites available. 
  • In addition to current customers with Software Assurance (SA) for Office, discounted Office 365 Home and Office 365 Personal annual subscriptions will also be available to cloud customers with at least 2,000 licenses of Office 365 E3/E5 or Microsoft 365 E3/E5 (or at least 13,000 licenses of the corresponding Education and Nonprofit SKUs). 
  • The expanded HUP benefit will be available to all employees at eligible organizations. The current HUP benefit is limited to only employees with SA for Office-covered devices. 
The new HUP offering of 30% discount on Office 365 Home or Personal is available in Japan as of July 17, 2019.
Office Professional Plus 2019 and Office Home and Business 2019 are no longer available through the Home Use Program.
Software Assurance customers who qualify for HUP discounts on Project Professional and Visio Professional will continue to receive this benefit for as long as they stay current on their Software Assurance licenses for those products. There are no plans to change the current HUP benefit for those products.
Microsoft will be communicating details around how to access to the new HUP benefits for Office 365 Home and Office 365 Personal closer to the October 30th launch date.

Dual Use Rights update

Update: May 23, 2019: Based on customer feedback, we will be retaining rights to deploy the perpetual Office client in the Microsoft 365 E3 and E5 From SA product terms. See updated news post: www.microsoft.com/en-us/licensing/news/microsoft365-dual-use-rights-update

Additional announcements

On September 6, 2018, we announced two updates to the Windows system requirements for Office 365 ProPlus, revisiting some announcements that were made in February:
  • Office 365 ProPlus will continue to be supported on Windows 8.1 through January 2023. 
  • Office 365 ProPlus will continue to be supported on Windows Server 2016 until October 2025. 
Office 365 ProPlus will be supported on Windows 7 with a paid Extended Security Update (ESU) up to January 2023. 
In addition, we also announced an update to the Office 365 services system requirements related to service connectivity. In February 2018, we had announced that starting October 13, 2020, customers would need Office 365 ProPlus or Office 2019 clients in mainstream support to connect to Office 365 services. To give customers more time to transition fully to the cloud, we are now modifying that policy and will continue to support Office 2016 connections with the Office 365 services through October 2023.
You can learn more here: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-365/blog/2018/09/06/helping-customers-shift-to-a-modern-desktop/