Microsoft Tweaks License Agreement to Encourage Cloud Migration

Microsoft Tweaks License Agreement to Encourage Cloud Migration

Microsoft is not leaving any stone unturned in an effort to get companies to switch over to cloud computing, the Microsoft cloud that is. Last week at the Microsoft Hosting Summit in Bellevue, Washington, the company announced that it had made changes in its license agreement in order to encourage companies to go on the cloud.

According to a Microsoft spokesperson, the new licensing option “enhances business opportunities [for partners] by paving the way for qualified Microsoft customers to take advantage of cloud computing without having to bear the economic burden for products that they already own and have covered through Software Assurance.”

Microsoft provided a detailed FAQ section where this update was discussed in detail:

Why is Microsoft making license mobility available to customers?

Microsoft is making enhancements to license mobility because our customers and partners have asked us to enhance the flexibility of our licensing to support the range of IT deployment options that are available to them today, including on-premises, Microsoft delivered cloud services and partner delivered cloud services.

How does this impact your customers who are thinking about or are moving “to the cloud”?

License mobility gives customers an additional licensing option to take advantage of cloud and other multi-tenant environments. Not only will license mobility make the transition easier for existing SA customers, it provides customers who prefer to purchase perpetual licenses the ability to continue doing so while still taking advantage of the efficiencies that the cloud offers. The cloud is critical to our customers’ business and we want to do whatever it takes to provide them with the support needed as they make the change.

Each customer is approaching the cloud at their own pace. That’s why it’s important that we offer them the flexibility that license mobility provides. This new licensing right helps disconnect the purchase decision from the decision of where the customer deploys the license.

If a customer moves their license to the cloud, will they have the right to move it back to their on premise server in the future?

Yes, for Volume Licenses, customers will have the flexibility to move the license once every 90 days between environments. This is similar to the current 90 day policy on license movement between on premise servers.

The Volume Licensing Mobility plan, as it’s been titled, will be effective from July 1 this year. Through it, customers will be able to deploy their application server licenses to the cloud without any additional purchases, while continuing to retain their Software Assurance benefits.

The press release is available at:

By Sourya Biswas


Sourya Biswas is a former risk analyst who has worked with several financial organizations of international repute, besides being a freelance journalist with several articles published online. After 6 years of work, he has decided to pursue further studies at the University of Notre Dame, where he has completed his MBA. He holds a Bachelors in Engineering from the Indian Institute of Information Technology. He is also a member of high-IQ organizations Mensa and Triple Nine Society and has been a prolific writer to CloudTweaks over the years...

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