About the Briefs

The briefs presented here some of the work that we have done for clients, usually in association with Software Licensing Advisors, and have elected to make public. These documents, most of which are in PDF form, cite verbatim language from Microsoft licensing documents and are linked to the original contract or licensing language so that customers can see the context of the licensing rule. We hope you enjoy the resources you find here.

These briefs represent the views of the author only. They are not endorsed by Microsoft and are not a substitute for further research by customers and conversations with Microsoft and their reseller about applicable licensing rules and concepts.

New! Microsoft Online Services User Licensing a Poor Fit for Shared Devices

Microsoft desktop products like Windows and Office that have heretofore been licensed per device are now available as user licenses through subscription programs such as Office 365. While the change delivers greater flexibility in some scenarios, it causes serious problems for shared-PC scenarios, such as factory floors, call centers and in health care, where shared devices are the norm in laboratories, nursing stations, and patient rooms. Only recently did a crude workaround become available, but it introduces new complications and higher costs. In this brief, written with a health care focus but applicable to other shared-PC environments, we explore the issue, using Office 365 ProPlus user licenses as an example. [Download PDF]

EA Changes Complicate License Management, Give MS More Control

Changes to the Enterprise Agreement in late 2014 make significant changes to the EA true-up process that are certain to increase licensing management costs and complexity for customers. Microsoft will also enforce segregation of PCs licensed per user and those licensed per device. Several changes give Microsoft staff more discretion to permit (or not) certain customer choices. Microsoft may also make greater use of audit terms that supplant true-ups and penalize customers who do not continuously monitor license usage. [Download PDF]

Recent Changes to SQL Server Additional Software Rights

When Microsoft released SQL Server 2014 in April 2014, it made several licensing changes and one of the least visible, hidden 80 pages down in Product User Rights, was stripping out customers' rights to run some SQL Server utilities, such as management tools, without requiring a SQL Server license. We're happy to report that Microsoft has reversed that decision and most of the functionality that was switched from free to requiring a license has been switched back to free. [Download PDF]

User Licensing for Windows

New "user" licenses for Microsoft's desktop operating system offer some incremental value for customes, but they could also increase costs significantly. Many customer may not find much correspondence between how much more they will pay and the additional benefits they receive, particularly when possible compliance risks are taken into account. [Download PDF]

SQL Server Processor-to-Core Conversion

The migration of SQL Server from per-processor to per-core licensing brings both perils and opportunities. [Download PDF]

SQL Server Virtual Server Mobility Without Software Assurance

By taking advantage of some lesser-known SQL Server licensing options, customers can significantly reduce their costs, eliminating the requirement to pay for Software Assurance on SQL Server to ensure Licensing Mobility. [Download PDF]

Windows Server External Access and Authentication

Changes in Windows Server 2012 permit External Users to access corporate data at lower cost [Download PDF]

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