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.
These benefits will be available to most customers beginning October 30, 2018 and expand to China and Japan beginning April 1, 2019.
Current customers with SA for Office will continue to have access to discounts on Office Professional Plus and Office Home & Business – in addition to the new discounts on Office 365 Home and Office 365 Personal – through June 30, 2019.
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
To help support Microsoft 365 E3 or E5 From SA customers transition to Office 365 ProPlus apps the “dual use” policy retirement has been moved to August 1, 2019.
The “dual use” policy was intended to provide Microsoft 365 customers, specifically those with the From SA version of Microsoft 365 E3/E5, more time to transition to the Office 365 ProPlus apps. However, customers who continue to use Office 365 workloads (e.g., Exchange Online, SharePoint Online) with the perpetual Office client apps are more likely to experience more technical issues. This change will help improve supportability and user experience.
Beginning August 1, 2019, new and renewing agreements that include the “From SA” version of Microsoft 365 E3 or E5 will no longer have rights to deploy the perpetual Office client. Customers with active Enterprise Agreements will not be impacted by these changes until their current agreement expires. There are no changes to the use rights of Productivity Servers or Productivity Server CALs that are programmatically included for all Microsoft 365 E3 and E5 customers.
We recognize that not everyone is ready to make the shift to the modern desktop. Microsoft is committed to helping customers manage this transition through the Microsoft FastTrack program as well as additional new investments and policy changes. If you haven't already deployed Office 365 ProPlus, or if you have questions about deploying Office 365 ProPlus, we encourage you to engage with FastTrack for deployment assistance as well as options for resolving technical blockers.
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.
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.