back to article Microsoft: Enterprise Advantage will be 'a step in quite a long journey to modernize our licensing'

Recognizing it has to do something about its tortuous licensing deals, Microsoft has come up with a new program: Enterprise Advantage. Enterprise Advantage – not be confused with an Enterprise Agreement – will be available from early 2017 to companies with a Microsoft Products and Services Agreement (MPSA). It's aimed at …

  1. redpawn Silver badge

    Moore's law of Microsoft

    License terms double in complexity every two years while claiming simplicity.

    1. Aitor 1 Silver badge

      Re: Moore's law of Microsoft

      Not only complexity, prices also go up.

      And if you start buying from them, it is very difficult to go away from them....

    2. DougS Silver badge

      Re: Moron's law of Microsoft

      Corrected your typo.

    3. Gray

      Re: Moore's law of Microsoft

      Appears to me that the first law of regulation is complexity, as demonstrated by US Gov't tax codes, for instance. And isn't that what MS licenses essentially are? Terms and codification so complex that the citizen/customer is ALWAYS in violation of SOME provision? Thus the FUD of audits, whether on premises or a future threat, is a sure whip to increased fees and levies?

      Business as usual: pass the costs up & down the line, whatever the market will bear. Possible fear: the day the logjam breaks and some disgusted licensee discovers how to escape the snares by switching to a free (free as in: no licensing entrapment) alternative, and gains a significant competitive advantage. One can always... hope.

  2. thondwe


    MS should just charge a flat fee per "user" (FTE) to cover all users for all products - or at least in groups of products. Fire all the licence people and pass the savings on to the users....

    How many years are used up devising, enforcing, and understanding/purchasing licences - life's too short.

    1. John Sanders

      Re: Arrrggghh!

      Fear will keep the local systems in line. Fear of this license agreement.

  3. MrTuK

    LOL - So by the looks of things you will be eventually forced to use CSP - So it can data slurp your client data !!

  4. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    And if you're an SME that doesn't trust cloud?

    1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      You ought to be questioning why you use MS in the first place?

    2. DavidRa

      No Cloud? How COULD you?

      Oh well then it's fairly simple, you're just "wrong". See there's no scenario which having a one size fits all solution (like Cloud) doesn't suit perfectly.

      Want offsite and archived backups? No, you don't. You don't have a need for them. They're archaic - just replicate the data it's the same thing because no-one would ever accidentally delete something, and you never have a regulatory or legal requirement to show "the way it was" 20 years ago.

      Want the ability to work when your office Internet connection is on the fritz for a week because someone cut 2,000 fibers tearing up the main road to replace it with a tramway? Pfft. That could never happen.

      Work somewhere you don't have 1000Mbps Internet? No, no way - there's no such place on Earth!

      Oh, you think you have a critical application that can't be licensed for the Cloud? Just throw it out - you don't need it even if it runs your entire business!

      Besides - you aren't one of the high priests of IT, so bow to your betters. Mainframes in space was never a better description, we're right back in the 70's with longer console lines to someone else's computer.

  5. chivo243 Silver badge

    What about Volume License shops?

    I'm in education, and we have Volume License (VLK) anybody have any info regarding the likelihood of that changing?

    1. localzuk

      Re: What about Volume License shops?

      Education licensing is handled separately to Enterprise. The schemes I know of are Schools Agreement, EES/OVS-ES, EES/CASA, Campus Agreement, and then there's Open. I've not heard anything about any of them going away, although the UK's scheme's are increasing in price soon due to MS standardising things across Europe.

      Oh, but they do want us all to move into the cloud too.

  6. M7S

    Danger Will Robinson, Danger!

    One of my employers has Software Assurance, or maybe its an Enterprise Agreement, I can't keep track.

    Under the previous scheme we had the option of the MS Home User Program. Those staff without a copy of Office at home, and unwilling to try things like Office Libre could purchase a copy of office for home use for around a tenner. If you were a Mac user at home you could also buy that version. There was a caveat that the HUP Office was only licenced whilst you remained employed by the company, but given that MS used to want people to use their stuff and were reputed to turn a blind eye to some forms of "piracy" I guess removal was probably not enforced from their point of view.

    Now the "benefit" available to employees to take home has changed from HUP to a full fat subscription to Office 365. Not so bad you might think but one of the technical requirements on first logging in/"installing" 365 is that under this scheme it requires you to uninstall any version of MS office on your PC before it can run. Given that your getting the latest/constantly updated version in 365, "not a problem" you might think but now when you leave the company, as your account is deleted there, within a month it reports back to the mothership and your 365 becomes "limited" so that you cant really do much with your email, files, all those home spreadsheets on which you did your tax etc and of course you no longer have your old version of office installed to fall back on. And of course many users will have opted in ignorance to put their files "in the cloud" for convenience's sake, thus making it even harder to continue independently.

    I am sure many readers here will be able to reinstall or use an alternative, but for the majority of users, its going to be an embuggerance (as Sir TP would say) when this hits.

    1. Sandtitz Silver badge

      Re:No Danger Will Robinson, No Danger!

      "Not so bad you might think but one of the technical requirements on first logging in/"installing" 365 is that under this scheme it requires you to uninstall any version of MS office on your PC before it can run."

      Office 365 refuses to co-exist with Office 2013/2016 but can exist with Office 2010 and earlier. That's nothing new.

      "and of course you no longer have your old version of office installed to fall back on."

      I think it should be very obvious that you are not entitled to your former employer's software licenses when you leave the company. In which case you are to remove O365 and re-install your earlier, personal copy of Office if it was removed during O365 installation.

      "And of course many users will have opted in ignorance to put their files "in the cloud" for convenience's sake, thus making it even harder to continue independently."

      The files "in the cloud" can be downloaded to your personal computer or another cloud. with the earlier Office version the user probably used local files and that's what he/she can always revert to.

      What exactly is the problem?

      1. John Sanders

        Re: Re:No Danger Will Robinson, No Danger!

        >>What exactly is the problem?

        Your computer is technically not yours any more.

        That my dear friend is the issue, and it is a big one.

        1. Sandtitz Silver badge

          Re: Re:No Danger Will Robinson, No Danger! @John Sanders

          "Your computer is technically not yours any more."

          What's that supposed to mean? You're a) free to install the company supplied O365 on personal computer and b) free to uninstall it. The computer is technically still yours. If the O365 installation requires you to uninstall your old Office (for technical reason) you're free to reinstall it afterwards once you're no longer part of the company.

      2. M7S

        Re: Re:No Danger Will Robinson, No Danger!

        The problem is that I purchased a copy of office, not under the HUP, a proper copy. I would be required to uninstall this. Now I can manage, but many users might not, thus leaving them worse off than when they started.

  7. banalyzer

    Obviously some non-MS people

    have managed to understand the gargantuan complexity that is MS licensing, it therefore must change to correct this.

  8. Mikel

    The plan

    The plan is never to coax less money from the same customer. Never.

    As for the license, if you are doing something useful with Microsoft software you are almost certainly in violation of some clause of the license agreement. And likely not using it as intended as well.

  9. Richard Plinston Silver badge

    360-degree view

    > a 360-degree view of what they’re buying from us.

    That sounds like they are completely surrounding the customer so that he can't see (or buy) anything other than what Microsoft sells (eg in their store).

    1. John Sanders

      Re: 360-degree view

      That's the new Microsoft, that was the plan all along.

  10. ITS Retired

    This whole thing can be avoided by

    going to Linux. Leave Microsoft to play with themselves, instead of you.

  11. ben_myers

    Long journey?

    A long journey, eh? I've got my backpack ready and my waders are just high enough for me to make it through all the bullshit.

    1. oldcoder

      Re: Long journey?

      Waders "just high enough" are not enough... You forget the rising tide of more complexity.... and overlapping, contradictory terms.

  12. NJobs

    "TOLD TO CONSIDER..." Oh come on Microsoft...

    "If you have fewer than 250 users or devices, you'll be 'TOLD TO CONSIDER' the Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program...". Well there's a surprise - after years of failing to flog the Cloud to the levels boasted in the media, Microsoft now resorts to patronising the 'small' businesses with an oxymoron...this is not a dictatorship guys - there's no one size fits all in software.

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