October 3, 2022

As of October 1, 2022, Microsoft has implemented significant upgrades to our outsourcing and hosting terms that benefit customers worldwide. Added benefits enable new scenarios for how customers can license and run workloads with cloud providers1, including with partners in the Cloud Solution Provider program. These changes support customers’ ability to move their licenses to a partner's cloud, leverage shared hardware, and have more flexibility in deployment options for their software licenses.

Read more below about what we’re doing to give customers more flexibility and choice, and make working with partners for hosted cloud easier, whether customers bring their licenses or get them from a partner.

  • We’ve introduced a new Flexible Virtualization benefit for customers that greatly expands customer choice when outsourcing. Under this benefit, customers with Software Assurance or subscription licenses may use their own licensed software to build and/or install solutions and run them on any cloud provider’s1 infrastructure—dedicated or shared. This gives customers more flexibility to run their software on multitenant clouds.
  • We’ve adding the option for customers with Software Assurance or subscription licenses to license Windows Server on a virtual core basis. Under this model, customers can buy licenses for only the virtual cores they need (subject to a per VM minimum), without being tied to a physical number of cores on the server. With the virtual core licensing option, customers can license Windows Server by the number of virtual cores they are using in virtual machines, making Windows Server easier to license when virtualizing or outsourcing. 
  • We’ve made it easier to virtualize Windows 10 or Windows 11 by eliminating the Virtual Desktop Application (VDA) add-on license requirement for Microsoft 365 F3, Microsoft 365 E3, and Microsoft 365 E5 users who want to virtualize Windows 10 or Windows 11 on servers and don’t have a primary Windows Pro device.
  • Under the new Flexible Virtualization benefit, customers can work with partners in the Cloud Solution Provider program to get pre-built hosted desktop and server solutions and either bring their own license or get the license from the partner. A Microsoft Customer Agreement with the participating partner and proof of license will be required to run these hosted solutions.  
  • Customers have the choice of one- and three-year subscriptions for many products including Windows Server, Remote Desktop Services (RDS), and SQL Server, through partners in the Cloud Solution Provider program, to offer price stability with long-term subscriptions.

With these changes, customers have additional choices to deploy their solutions with more flexibility. For additional information, you can talk with your Microsoft representative or get in touch with your cloud provider partner to talk about your hosting needs. To find a cloud provider, use the AppSource tool to search your location and criteria.

1Note that these changes exclude what we term Listed Providers: Alibaba, Amazon, Google, and Microsoft. Customers that want to use a Listed Provider for outsourcing can acquire licenses directly from the Listed Provider.