Microsoft Closes the Open Door for All Customers

  • 20 October 2020

Update February 2021: Microsoft made a recent announcement which will see the retirement of one of their oldest licensing programs. The Open License program is over 20 years old, serving as an agreement aimed at small to medium sized organizations for purchasing multiple perpetual software licenses. But as Microsoft continues to drive the new commerce experience, some of these older purchasing options may need to be set aside to make room for the newer options being offered.

As of January 1st, 2022, all customers will be unable to purchase new perpetual licenses or renew Software Assurance (SA) or online services through the Open License program. The Software Assurance will continue to run until the current expiration, even if that date falls after 31st December 2021.

  • There are no changes to the Open Value or Open Value Subscription presently.
  • Perpetual rights to software purchased under the Open License program will remain.

If you are an Open License customer and have active Software Assurance under the Open License Program after 31st December 2021, the recommendations are, if minimum requirements are met:

  • The Open Value program, with perpetual use rights, for Software Assurance renewals.
  • The Open Value Subscription agreement which also offers Software Assurance benefits. Note there is a company-wide commitment condition that must be met in order to transact within an Open Value Subscription agreement.

Also, as an option, Microsoft recently announced that commercial perpetual software licenses will be available through the CSP (Cloud Solutions Provider) program. From January 1st, 2021 Micromail will be able to supply perpetual licenses under CSP along with the online services already available.

The overall aim here by Microsoft is to simplify the purchasing experience for customers but unfortunately when it comes to licensing nothing is ever straightforward. For customers who have been purchasing perpetual software under the Open program, potentially for the last two decades, this new announcement will bring challenges. Especially for customers who need to maintain Software Assurance on perpetual on-prem server products. Make sure you talk to a licensing specialist who can help you navigate through the complicated world of Microsoft purchasing programs and licensing.

If you are impacted by these upcoming changes to the Open License program please contact your regular Micromail account manager or email to organise a call.