Microsoft Enterprise Agreement: Updated for the Cloud


Microsoft’s top level licensing model, the Enterprise Agreement, has recently been overhauled to make it more cloud friendly…which is a good thing for organisations looking to adopt this new model now, or in the future.

What is an Enterprise Agreement?

The Enterprise Agreement (EA) is Microsoft’s highest level model, for companies of 250 seats and above. It requires an Enterprise Wide (EW) licensing commitment, includes Software Assurance (SA) on all licences and offers the best discounts.

The common way for an organization to licence under the EA is with the “Professional Desktop”, comprised of:

  • Windows OS
  • Office Pro Plus
  • Core CAL

The Core CAL itself is a bundle, comprised of:

  • Windows Server CAL
  • Exchange Server CAL
  • Sharepoint Server CAL
  • SCCM Client ML

With the exception of Windows Server & SCCM, all these products are now available online via Office 365 and Intune.

If a company with an existing EA wanted to take advantage of these products, they would be on top of their existing Professional Desktop licences, as they are required to maintain the Enterprise Wide commitment. This would mean double licensing, not an effective use of budget and of course, not the way customers want to do things.

So in a very quick move, Microsoft have produced an amendment to their Enterprise Agreement terms making it possible for organizations to “mix & match” between online & onsite licensing.

Product LineUp

Windows OS –> Windows Intune

Office –> Office 365 E3 or E4

Core CAL –> Core Bridge

Enterprise CAL –> ECAL Bridge

What’s a Bridge CAL?

Bridge CALs are a new licensing item that bridge the gap between the CAL suites and their closest online relatives.

For the Core CAL offering, the bridge CAL covers the organization for:

  • Windows Server CALs
  • SCCM Client MLs

thus completing the Enterprise Wide commitment, without duplicating any functionality and keeping them compliant with the contract terms.

Example

The following diagram gives a good example of how the online and onsite licensing models can co-exist within an organization.

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There are certain differences when it comes to the Software Assurance benefits available with Online products too, for example:

Windows Intune does NOT give

  • Training Vouchers
  • TechNet Subscriptions

There are a variety of different combinations possible when it comes to these licensing scenarios, some more complex than others! I have left out a fair amount of information from this post as I don’t want to cause confusion, however if you have a specific scenario I would be more than happy to help Smile

It’s great to see Microsoft making such changes as this and at such a good speed. Many people criticised Microsoft for taking too long to update their licensing models to accommodate the changes brought about by Virtualisation and, while that may be true, Redmond are definitely ahead of the curve this time!

Microsoft Windows Phone 7 at Mix 11


Microsoft’s MIX development conference has just finished and there have been a lot of great announcements for the future of Windows Phone 7.

Microsoft’s next update “Mango” will most probably bring about Windows Phone 7.5 as well as a number of huge updates.

Internet Explorer 9

Windows Phone Mango will bring with it a new browser which will have the same rendering engine as their new, much lauded desktop browser. That will mean:

  • Hardware Acceleration
  • HTML5
  • CSS Standards Support

all on a mobile device. Demos comparing an updated WP7 device to an iPhone and an Android handset showed it to be much faster.

Third Party Multitasking

Currently, only the built-in Microsoft apps can multi-task but that will all change, allowing:

  • Fast Application Switching
  • File Transfers
  • Background Audio

and more.

Developer access to hardware/software & Better tools!

Devs will be able to target and use more of the hardware already there, including camera data and motion sensors…bringing Augmented Reality (think Layar) to Windows Phone 7 Smile They will also be able to access contacts and calendars, which I think will bring some great possibilities to the world of WP7 apps.

Not only this but Microsoft are improving the tools that developers can use which will allow them to mix Silverlight with XNA in a single app and emulate location and accelerometer features during the development phase.

Random Extras:

Don’t forget that Microsoft have already told us that Twitter will be getting much deeper integration with the Mango update – that will be pretty great!

TCP/IP support will allow a Skype app.

ANGRY BIRDS IS COMING ON MAY 25TH <—Yes that’s all in caps!

Nokia Windows Phone Devices


Microsoft & Nokia have joined forces to improve, build and push Windows Phone 7 going forwards, this we know. Now the rumours and conjecture have moved, logically, to the next thing – what will Nokia’s first device be, and when will we get them?!

I’ve never had a Nokia.

I’ve had numerous other phones (Motorola, HTC etc) over the years but never Finland’s biggest (?) export, and that’s mainly been down to the OS. I’ve long admired their hardware but couldn’t make friends with the Symbian Operating System…so this could be a first for me now they’ll be running Windows Phone 7. Actually, my Samsung Omnia 7 is the first Samsung device I’ve ever had come to think of it…anyway, back to the Nokia devices!

According to various sources on the internet, the first Windows Phone 7 from Nokia will be the “W7”…based on the Nokia X7 innards but looking like the HTC Mozart. However continuing Nokia’s theme for great cameras, it will have 8 Mega Pixels and a flash.

The next device will be the W8, based on the current N8, although there are apparently a dozen Nokia WP7 devices coming in 2012…should be good times!

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Microsoft Cloud Mobility Licensing Changes


Microsoft are making a big push with their hosted application offerings (BPOS & Office 365) but are also aware that many customers and partners base their businesses on 3rd party hosted solutions. In an effort to make that easier and more cost effective, the Redmond based company recently announced some changes to their licensing rule, referred to as “Licence Mobility”.

Essentially, these changes will allow customer organizations to deploy their licences in-house or hosted in a 3rd party datacenter. Not all products are covered with these changes, in fact, here are the products that are:

  • SQL Server
  • Exchange Server
  • Sharepoint Server
  • Lync Server
  • System Center Servers (note the plural – this seems to be any and all SC products)
  • Dynamics CRM

If these products are licensed with Software Assurance they

“can be run in service providers’ datacenters on shared hardware for that customer’s dedicated use”

Products that are NOT included are:

  • Windows Server Operating Systems
  • Windows Client Operating Systems
  • Desktop Applications
  • Developer Tools

Other Changes

Also, Microsoft are expanding the Subscriber Access Licences (SALs) for SA SKUs to cover Enterprise licences for

  • Exchange
  • Lync
  • Sharepoint

For more information, see here:

http://www.microsoft.com/licensing/about-licensing/value-of-volume-licensing.aspx#tab=4

April Fools Day 2011


I do like a good April Fools prank and so am going to keep a little list of my favourites today. Here we go:

Royal Charging:

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Control Google Mail with your Body!!!

How it works

Gmail Motion uses your computer’s built-in webcam and Google’s patented spatial tracking technology to detect your movements and translate them into meaningful characters and commands. Movements are designed to be simple and intuitive for people of all skill levels.

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Google have helpfully made a list of common actions and phrases to help you get started with this GROUND BREAKING new method of communication:

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Already they’ve got the next implementation of this lined up – Motion in Google Docs:

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For more information and Health & Safety tips, visit:

http://mail.google.com/mail/help/motion.html

Google AutoComplete:

Google’s innovation keeps on coming…now they’re making AutoComplete even better…

The role: Autocompleter

Are you passionate about helping people? Are you intuitive? Do you often feel like you know what your friends and family are thinking and can finish their thoughts before they can? Are you an incredibly fast Google searcher? Like, so fast that you can do 20 searches before your mom does 1?

If, like me, you’re thinking this job sounds pretty brilliant, your enthusiasm may be tempered by the required skills. I think only a few great people will be up to scratch for this:

Responsibilities:
  • Watch anonymized search queries as they come in to Google.
  • Predict and type completions based on your personal experience and intuition.
  • Suggest spelling corrections when relevant.
  • Keep updated with query trends and offer fresh suggestions.
Requirements:
  • Excellent knowledge of English and at least one other language.
  • Excellent knowledge of grammatical rules (e.g. parts of speech, parsing).
  • Understanding of the search engine space.
  • Proven web search experience.
  • Good typing skills (at least 32,000 WPM).
  • Willingness to travel (in order to provide local autocompletions) or relocate to obscure places like Nauru and Tuvalu to develop knowledge of local news and trends.
  • Certificate in psychic reading strongly preferred: palm, tarot, hypnosis, astrology, numerology, runes and/or auras.

New Domino’s iPhone App:

NEW ‘SM-APP’ RELEASES PIZZA SCENT WHEN ORDERING

“The new ‘sm-app’ from Domino’s uses the latest in aroma technology to release a small amount of pizza scent from the iPhone when customers place an order. The ‘scratch and sniff’ page within the new sm-app, is displayed after the ordering section and simply by rubbing the iPhone screen, the mouth-watering smell of a Pepperoni Passion wafts straight out of the phone”

The new sm-app is compatible with all iPhone models. For more details on how to download it, visit Domino’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/DominosPizza

Linkedin

Check out the “People I Might Know” section on LinkedIn:

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Blizzard Entertainment

Blizzard, one the world’s most successful gaming companies, are also pretty great at April fools…here are the FOUR they hit us with today!!!

Horadric Cube:

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To learn how to make your Angry Birds become ninjas, and more, fly to:

http://us.blizzard.com/diablo3/media/horadrapp/

Tomb of Immortal Darkness:

Bringing true realism to WarCraft and using “Deep Dark” technology, the world of “Omgsogoth” is almost completely pitch black…all the way through:

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As the tagline says, In the dark, no-one can hear you scream!

To see more (pun intended) head over to:

http://eu.battle.net/wow/en/game/dungeon/tomb-of-immortal-darkness

Crabby, the WarCraft Helper:

The World of Warcraft can be a cold, lonely, unforgiving place and wandering the lands alone can be a daunting prospect. So having someone to keep you company and help you in your quest would be good right? Blizzard certainly think so…say hello to Crabby:

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See more at:

http://eu.battle.net/wow/en/game/dungeon-helper/

Future of StarCraft…with Kinect Support!

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Perfectly optimised for Microsoft’s Xbox 360 Kinect system, you can use gesture-based controls to direct your forces and out-move your enemies. Wave your arms in the air like you do, in fact, care.

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To see the video of this in action, jump to:

http://us.blizzard.com/en-us/games/console/