One of the fundamentals of MS licensing has been changed. It’s always been the case that:
“the only way to get Windows Enterprise is to buy Pro + SA”
Well not anymore!
As of March 2014, there is a standalone Windows 8.1 Enterprise SKU available via Volume Licensing.
This means organizations who can’t/won’t enter into an agreement with Software Assurance can now benefit from things such as:
- Direct Access
- Windows To Go
Other SA benefits are not effected so things such as:
- New Version Rights
etc. are still only available with SA.
What else has changed?
It is now ONLY possible to attached SA to the Enterprise Upgrade SKU.
This takes away one relatively common practise. Organizations would often buy machines with Windows Pro OEM and then attach Windows SA within 90 days. This is no longer possible as SA can be attached only to Enterprise – and that won’t come pre-loaded on machines.
If you bought the OEM devices before July 1st 2014, you still have the 90 days to purchase SA. Once that date passes, it will no longer be possible.
Business Intelligence is an ever growing area and I think it will continue to grow for quite some time. Taking note of the data you have, analysing it and making decisions based on it is becoming more and more prevalent – think what Billy Beane has been doing at the A’s for years, what Bill James does with the Red Sox, look at how Opta stats have become such a huge thing within premier league football…all these are examples of business intelligence.
The old way:
The new way:
I’m amazed at some of the things that are being done with Power Bi, especially combined with Excel 2013! The opportunity for organizations to become so much smarter with how and what they’re doing is huge – the fact that it’s cloud based so allows access from anywhere is a big deal, especially with the Windows 8 & RT apps AND HTML5 support.
It’s available now so pricing is in the pricefiles – to see some of the things you can do with Power BI, head over to:
In a very encouraging move, Microsoft have announced that, from April 1st 2014, customers will be able to purchase both Windows Intune through the Open licensing program.
Currently Intune is available only via the MS portal but will now sit alongside Office 365 (and soon Power BI too) on the regular pricelists.
See more here:
Hat tip to Licensing School for finding this.
This is a new licensing program that will be available on the January 2014 SPLA price list. It is aimed at Service Providers who run heterogenous environment – that is environments with a mix of Operating Systems such as Windows, Linux & Unix.
It is licensed in a “Host and Guest” model – the Host license covers the hardware and you will then purchase a Guest license for each Windows VM you wish to run.
Host SKU: Includes Windows Server 2012 R2, System Center 2012 R2, and Windows Azure Pack, host capabilities and rights to manage all guests
Guest SKU: Includes Windows Server 2012 R2 guest capabilities
For more info, check out my good friends over at Licensing School:
Permalink to Cloud Platform Suite
It’s now easier than ever for customers to add Windows Azure to their Enterprise Agreement (EA).
You commit upfront to a monthly amount that you feel will cover all your needs, and that monetary commitment can be utilised in any way within Azure.
Previously, you would receive great payment terms for your monetary commitment but – should you go over that amount (known as “overage”) – the extra usage would be charged at much higher rates. This effectively punished organizations who thought “wow, this Azure stuff is cool” – but no more, Overage is now charged at the same rates as the initial agreed amount. This makes increasing the usage of Azure a much more compelling proposition.
See Josh Waldo’s full post here:
Office 365 Wave 15 (the current release) brought with it a new admin console, that consolidates and streamlines access to most requirements. That said, one of the common worries for IT managers is around loss of control when compared to administering their on-site infrastructure.
A great tip from @12knocksinna shows how to gain access to an extra level of features:
To access this, simply fire up OWA and then change /OWA to /ECP in the URL an hey presto - you’re in!
I’m sure I remember these features being available in the beta release of Wave 15 – anyone else?!
See Tony’s full blog about it her:
To get yourself up & running with a 30 day trial of Office 365 E3, click below:
Office 365 free trial with Bechtle
If you have any questions about the trial, please let me know on:
01249 467 932
This is a great, nifty invention that’s just come out of Microsoft Research.
I quite like wandering around…out in town, at work and in general. When I’m presenting, I can’t really do it though, as I need to be close to my machine to click “next”…well no more!
Office Remote turns your Windows Phone 8 device into a remote control for your Office 2013 presentation apps (Word, Excel & PowerPoint). I’ve just downloaded the bits and tested this out with my upcoming Cloud presentation – it took about 2 mins to setup and works perfectly. You need:
It shows the elapsed presenting time, clear forward/backwards buttons and even shows your speaker notes on your phone!
I’ll definitely be using this when I present at Old Trafford on Thursday
Other use scenarios include:
PowerPoint: Large, easily accessible buttons on the phone enable you to start a presentation, advance slides forward or backward, view thumbnails and jump to a particular slide, access speaker cues while viewing the presentation time and the progress of slides, and deliver accurate, non-shaky direction with the on-screen laser pointer.
Excel: Simple gestures enable jumping not just between spreadsheets and graphs, but also among any named objects. Spreadsheets can be changed with a mere finger swipe, and navigation is available through rows or columns. In addition, you can use PivotTables or filters and change zoom levels, all with an Office Remote-equipped phone.
Word: Zoom control is available in this application, as well, and Word docs can be scrolled by screen or by line.
You can see more about it here: http://blogs.technet.com/b/inside_microsoft_research/archive/2013/11/18/advance-your-presentation-with-your-phone.aspx
At the 2013 WorldWide Partner Conference (WPC), Microsoft announced plans to make it easier for customers to switch between Office 365 plans – this was greeted by smiles & cheers from many!
The initial introduction worked only for a few cases but the supported switching scenarios have now been expanded to include:
|Small Business Premium
|Exchange Online Plan 1
Exchange Online Plan 2
“We continue to work on transition solutions for both additional scenarios (e.g., Exchange Online to Midsize Business) as well as for Open subscriptions and Government/Academic SKUs”
So there will continue to be additions and improvements around this – making Office 365 even more relevant for businesses everywhere.
Exchange Online Archiving (EOA) is now available as an add-on for Office 365 MidSize Business; this gives MidSize users unlimited archiving as well as legal hold capabilities.
It’s great to see Microsoft continuing to improve and add to their Office 365 platforms, and this move really helps SMBs to attain Enterprise levels of service.
The Ordering Process
Currently, EOA can only be added to MidSize Business licenses purchased via the Advisor model, that is via the Microsoft Online Portal. If you purchased via Open Licensing (so from your reseller partner – and you pay them rather than MS), you need to add just 1 license of MidSize Business via the Advisor Model. That way, you’ll then be able to attach EOA to that license but fear not, the subscription can be applied to all mailboxes on that tenant – including those purchased via Open.
The process is nice and simple, which is good:
- Login to your Office 365 account as the Administrator.
- Go to the “Purchase Services” tab in the Admin Console.
- Click “Add” to purchase one additional seat of Office 365 Midsize Business.
- You can add Exchange Online Archiving at the same time as you add the direct bill seat of Midsize Business:
- Select the “Optional Add-ons” dropdown and enter the number of licenses of EOA you want to purchase.
- Add to the cart and proceed to payment by clicking “check out.”
- Follow the wizard to complete your payment with a purchase by credit card or other locally available payment method.