Microsoft Open License program changes for public sector customers

Learn about how we’re simplifying licensing for public sector customers through the new commerce experience.

December 17, 2020

In September 2020, we announced another step toward our new commerce experience to support your digital transformation with new offers through the Microsoft new commerce experience and removal of purchasing options that no longer meet customer needs. This was announced for commercial customers only. Today we’re sharing several related changes that impact public sector—education, government, and nonprofit—customers.

Key changes

1. Perpetual software licenses

Microsoft is taking a significant step to simplify licensing by introducing perpetual software license purchases through the new commerce experience, as part of our Cloud Solution Provider program for partners. Targeting July 2021, all partners enrolled in the Cloud Solution Provider program will be able to sell perpetual software licenses (without Software Assurance) to government, education, and nonprofit organizations for on-premises deployment. Software licenses will be available to commercial customers in January 2021.

What’s already available through Cloud Solution Provider for public sector

What’s coming through Cloud Solution Provider for public sector

  • Online services for government community cloud
  • Online services education offers

  • Online services nonprofit offers

  • Software licenses for government
  • Software licenses for education
  • Software licenses for nonprofit

2. Open License program change

Starting on January 1, 2022, commercial, government, education, and nonprofit organizations won’t be able to buy new or renew software licenses, Software Assurance, or online services through the Open License program. New license-only purchases should be transacted through partners in the Cloud Solution Provider program. You can continue to renew and purchase new software licenses, Software Assurance, and online services through the Open License program until December 31, 2021.

3. Open Value for education and nonprofit organizations

To support the change to the Open License program, we’re adding software licenses and Software Assurance offers to the Open Value program for eligible education and nonprofit customers. This will provide like offers with the Open License program. Education and nonprofit customers that want to continue buying new licenses with Software Assurance and online services can buy through the Open Value program starting in March 2021. Open Value is already an option for government customers.

What’s already available through Open Value for public sector

What’s coming through Open Value for public sector

  • Government licenses and subscriptions*
     
    • License and Software Assurance

    • Software Assurance renewal

    • Online services

  • Education and Nonprofit licenses and subscriptions
     
    • License and Software Assurance

    • Software Assurance renewal

    • Online services

*Open Value for Government available in Canada and Denmark on January 1, 2021

Options for software licenses and online services

Your options for existing and new purchases after January 1, 2022 are outlined below.

  • If you’re buying perpetual software licenses only (without Software Assurance) and want to continue doing so: 
    1. Buy perpetual software licenses from qualified partners participating in the Cloud Solution Provider program. These partners also offer guidance if you’re evaluating online services and looking for value-added solutions, and offer the flexibility needed to address your hybrid use needs with both software licenses and cloud offers. Talk to your software reseller to find out if they are a Cloud Solution Provider or find a partner
    2. For alternatives, talk to your current licensing partner.
  • If you have Software Assurance coverage through the Open License program:  
    1. Your Software Assurance term, including benefits, will continue until its expiration, even if the expiration is after December 31, 2021.
    2. The Microsoft Open Value program is recommended for future purchases that include Software Assurance. Available for government organizations now and in March 2021 for education and nonprofit organizations.
    3. The Microsoft Open Value Subscription* program 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.
  • If you have online services through the Open License program:
    1. Any unused online services tokens can still be assigned and used, even after December 31, 2021, provided it occurs within the five-year term of token purchase.
    2. If you want to purchase additional online services subscriptions, you can work with a partner in the Cloud Solution Provider program to purchase online services subscriptions or you can buy additional online services tokens through the Open Value program or Open Value Subscription* program or from the Microsoft Store. Purchasing through the Open Value program is available for government organizations now and in March 2021 for education and nonprofit organizations.

*Nonprofit pricing isn’t available through Open Value Subscription.

Key Dates

Software licenses available through Open Value

Software licenses available through Cloud Solution Provider

Last day to buy/renew through Open License

Government

Available now

July 2021

December 31, 2021

Education

March 2021

July 2021

December 31, 2021

Nonprofit

March 2021

July 2021

December 31, 2021

If you’re evaluating cloud services and looking for value-added solutions, you can get guidance from a qualified and trusted partner. If you want to continue with Software Assurance on your licenses, the Open Value program is an established way to get it. Talk with your partner about which option is best for your organization.

Frequently asked questions

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All services, products, and offers in Open License program today will remain available until January 1, 2022. To plan for future purchases, ask the partner you’re currently buying software licenses from about your options. Your partner can help you decide the best steps for you, whether that’s new licenses or online services subscriptions.

 

Find a Microsoft partner.

Software Assurance coverage with expirations on or after January 1, 2022, stay active until their original expiration.

 

Any unused online services tokens can still be assigned and used, even after December 31, 2021, provided it occurs within the five-year term of token purchase.

You can continue to buy software licenses through the Open License program until January 2022. If buying through a partner in the Cloud Solution Provider program isn’t a good option after that, you can purchase through the Open Value program, or through another volume licensing program like the Microsoft Products and Services Agreement or Enterprise Agreement if you meet the minimum purchase requirement.

If your government organization purchases through a Framework agreement or rate card using Open License expiring on or after January 1, 2022, please contact your Microsoft or partner sales team to discuss your options for future purchasing.

You can review the eligibility requirements for your region with the below links.

 

Find the Qualified Education User requirements

 

Find government eligibility requirements

 

Find nonprofit eligibility requirements

The choices for nonprofit organizations will be the Open Value and Enterprise Agreement programs.

 

Learn more about Microsoft support for nonprofit organizations.

Please contact your current licensing partner and they will be able to help you through this change.