Office 365–Office Pro Plus Subscription


Amidst all the news around Office 365 for Open & FPP and the awesome preview of the 2013 editions, I noticed something else earlier. When it comes to Office Pro Plus as an individual subscription, there are now 2 options:

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As you can see, the Office Pro Plus 1 Year is £10.75 per user per month while the month to month option is £12.75, and limited to 50 users.

I haven’t seen any info on this yet but I assume that this means you can choose to drop the subscription after each month rather than being tied to a full 12 months. This would be good for companies not on Open Value Subscription who find themselves with an influx of temporary staff requiring Office.

I’ve just been chatting to our Marketing Manager and he once did some temp work for Vodafone over in Australia where they brought in 100 temps for 2 weeks to update all their customer records…if they needed Office to do it then this new offering would be perfect!

Office 2013 & Office 365


So today’s secret announcement is what we all thought it would be – Ballmer announcing the public preview of Office 2013. It’s available to download here:

http://www.microsoft.com/office/preview/en

or for more choices head to:

http://www.microsoft.com/office/preview/en/try-more-products

where you can find:

  • Office 365 Small Business Premium
  • Office 365 Enterprise
  • Project Online

I’m just getting everything installed right now so will be back later with a more in-depth look at the new features but for now here are some screenshots of the install process:

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Notice the great new logo below:

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Notice the “Streaming Applications” feature in the installation shot below, this will allow you to stream Office components to devices that don’t have it installed!

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Here’s how it looks pinned to a Windows 7 desktop.

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and here you can see the start of how tightly integrated the Cloud is into the new release of Office:

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There is also…wait for it…Project Online!

This is going to be interesting…especially to see if the full Project Server will be made available online or just the desktop app equivalent.

I’m just installing the Project bits now…head over to the links and get playing!

Windows Server 2012 Licensing Changes


Windows Server 2012 is getting ever closer and today we had some exciting news – changes to the licensing – Yay! This has genuinely got me quite excited Smile

Currently Windows Server has 3 main flavours:

  • Standard / Licensed Per Server
  • Enterprise / Licensed Per Server / Rights to 4 Virtual Servers
  • DataCenter / Licensed Per CPU / Rights to Unlimited Virtual Servers

There are also Web Server, HPC & Small Business Server (SBS) editions.

There are also feature differences between the versions.

Going forward with Windows Server 2012 we will have:

  • Std / Licensed Per CPU / Rights to 2 Virtual Servers
  • DataCenter / Licensed Per CPU / Rights to Unlimited Virtual Servers
  • Each license covers 2 CPUs

Std & DataCenter will have feature parity and the only difference will be the virtual server rights. This is a question I’ve already seen on Twitter:

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So it’s good to get an answer straight away.

Features previously not in Windows Server Std that will be with 2012 include:

  • Windows Server Failover Clustering
  • BranchCache Hosted Cache Server
  • Active Directory Federated Services
  • Additional Active Directory Certificate Services capabilities
  • Distributed File Services (support for more than 1 DFS root)
  • DFS-R Cross-File Replication

This follows the same path as the changes recently made to System Center and, while it may make small installations more expensive, overall it reduces costs and simplifies the licensing for end users.

There are 2 other editions of Windows Server 2012 – Essential & Foundation:

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As you can see, Essentials & Foundation are aimed at the very small networks and both are limited to 1 CPU. Things which are missing from the lower editions include:

  • Direct Access
  • Hyper-V
  • ADFS

To see the full list of feature differences between the various editions, download the Windows Server 2012 datasheet here:

View Datasheet

Web Server

Windows Web Server can only run web facing workloads but does not require any CALs (Client Access Licenses) which makes it perfect for hosting external sites. However Web Server is being discontinued in the next release but before tales of astronomical rises in costs as companies are forced to buy CALs for every single user of their service:

“Despite the removal of Web Server edition, web workloads running on a Windows Server 2012 edition will continue to receive the “CAL waiver” that is in effect for these workloads today. Windows Server CALs will not be required to access the licensed server if it is only being used to run web workloads”

Software Assurance Transition

If you have active Software Assurance (SA) on Windows Server licenses at the time of release for 2012, you will receive rights to the new versions as per the below:

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What about SBS?

Small Business Server has been around for years, combines Windows Server & Exchange Server and is aimed at networks with less than 75 users. Now however it’s time has come to an end…

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SBS has quite a thriving community built around it with many passionate advocates, most of whom are sad/angered to see it go. I on the other hand am really rather happy about it! I’ve always found it to be an extra, unnecessary complication when new sales staff/customers get involved with licensing. I realise I’m not going to be popular with that opinion and I’m equally sure that if I worked more in that area I’d have a different opinion but as it is, from the Mid-market & Enterprise space, this is a welcome move.

You can find the full FAQ here:

Find Answers

JaJah Voice for Office 365


Here’s an interesting bit of software I came across earlier:

Jajah Voice for Office 365

which extends the voice capabilities of Lync Online including:

  • Make and receive phone calls from your Lync online contacts
  • Click-to-call from IM conversations, Outlook, SharePoint and other Office apps
  • Find me/Follow me: set incoming calls to be forwarded or simultaneously ring personal mobile phone
  • ‘Call via work’: make outgoing calls from your smart phone using work number
  • Mid-call transfer to your mobile phone or any other number or user.

I’m really quite excited about this. This takes Lync Online into the world of mobility very well, being able to make/receive calls via Lync Online will surely speed up the adoption of both Lync & Office 365.

The service is currently in closed beta and is expected to go live this month (July 2012)

Jajah’s MS Pinpoint page can be found here:

http://pinpoint.microsoft.com/en-us/applications/jajah-voice-for-office-365-12884930736

and their main site here:

http://www.jajah.com/