Put it another way:
After paying up-front for an Azure instance, you are now permitted to turn it off and run it on your own hardware instead (at your own expense of course).
What a fantastic deal.
Microsoft’s revealed a new way to buy Windows Server and SQL Server – a subscription offer tied to Azure. The new offer is tied to Azure Reserved Instances plan that Redmond announced last year, under which you can pay up-front for one or three years of Azure servers. As of July 10th, Reserved Instances are alive and breathing …
"Subscriptions are dangerous for companies with economic problems. Be late with payment or unable to pay one month and see your business go tits up and die."
And also are the most likely to take up subscriptions if they can spread big lump sums out over a monthly payment plan. One company I worked for even changed the wages pay date from the 28th to the 1st at end of tax year to make a one off saving by only paying wages 11 times that year.
"What are the goals here: subscriptions?"
An easier way of generating revenue would be my guess.
You see quite a few software companies suddenly also providing subscription models, and it makes (some) sense from a business perspective. The only problem is that customers are usually not really getting their moneys worth.
"I wonder how long Microsoft will be making a version of SQL Server available that can be run on a local server or desktop which requires neither a tether to the Internet nor a subscription?"
Well at least if they do, they offer a proper hybrid cloud solution in Azure Stack. So you can still choose to run it on premises.
"Well at least if they do, they offer a proper hybrid cloud solution in Azure Stack. So you can still choose to run it on premises."
Wait, what? You're actually saying that if they stop making a database server, at least you can buy their cloud stack? Don't get me wrong, I like SQL Server as much as the next person, but have you ever considered putting down the Koolaid for a moment?
I don't think it takes a genius to realise that nobody saves money moving to the cloud. Initial sign-up incentives and cloud license bundles are offset by other costs that will eat up any savings you thought you'd make, and often in the end cost you more. Cloud is about lock-in, then selling you other services on top. Once they've got you, they've got you, and it's very difficult to get out.
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