back to article Microsoft explains self-serve Power platform's bypassing of Office 365 admins to cries of 'are you completely insane?'

Microsoft has defended a policy decision for its "Power platform" – part of Office 365 – to let end users bypass Office 365 admins and make their own licence purchases. The company has posted an FAQ here – to which one customer has already commented "Are you completely insane?" Essentially, the change (which is now scheduled …

  1. JohnFen Silver badge

    Employees buying software for their company?

    Are there really employees who are clamoring for the ability to spend their own money on software that will be used entirely on their employer's behalf? I have a hard time thinking that's true.

    But perhaps Microsoft is hoping they can lure people into doing just that with enough marketing.

    1. hellwig Silver badge

      Re: Employees buying software for their company?

      If I recall from a previous article, the idea is that individual users will use company credit cards to purchase these apps on their own behalf, but with company money. I guess Microsoft doesn't offer site licensing or bulk license discounts for these products?

      1. JohnFen Silver badge

        Re: Employees buying software for their company?

        Most employees of any given company don't have a company credit card sitting in their wallet, so for this to make sense, it would have to involve them using their own cards.

        Using the company credit card (unless you already have one) doesn't make sense because the employee would still have to get the card # from their employer, which presumably means they'd have to go through the usual purchasing process -- having to do that eliminates the entire value-add part of Microsoft's proposition.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Employees buying software for their company?

          Where I work everyone that wants a company credit card gets one, its for use when travelling and personal use. When travelling or buying anything for the company, you go into the expense portal and pick the transactions that are to be reimbursed as a company expense and then it gets approved by your manager. The rest then just gets sent to you on a monthly bill.

          1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: Employees buying software for their company?

            It must be about 25 years ago I was sent an unsolicited - by me - Amex card which I promptly cut up. It was then announced that then employer had organised that across a broad swathe of staff. We were supposed to make company purchases on the card and would be liable for any, including accrued interest, that the company didn't refund. Not trusting them an inch I had no regrets about having cut it up.

            1. hawkshaw

              Re: Employees buying software for their company?

              Cutting up the card was the right choice. I used to work for a company that had the same policy. I then started to get billed for business flights made by another employee who had the same initial and surname as me. It seemed that our travel desk had a list of card numbers and had used mine instead of his. It took me several weeks to get refunded for these bills that I was suddenly liable for.

            2. JohnFen Silver badge

              Re: Employees buying software for their company?

              Is that even legal? If so, it shouldn't be.

            3. Stevie Silver badge

              Re: Employees buying software for their company?

              25 years ago Amex didn't allow "revolving credit" - carrying a balance from month to month, did they?

          2. JohnFen Silver badge

            Re: Employees buying software for their company?

            Interesting. Judging by all the downvotes my comment got, I'm assuming that there are others with the same experience (it's hard to tell, though, because aside from you nobody has explained).

            I've heard of places that do this, but in my experience they're a tiny minority.

            1. steviebuk Silver badge

              Re: Employees buying software for their company?

              I gave you an upvote as you were just explaining how it works in some companies so would make MS idea void. I don't understand the downvotes either.

              1. JohnFen Silver badge

                Re: Employees buying software for their company?

                Thanks. I honestly don't mind getting downvotes, but it's very hard to tell why people issued them when they don't say. In this case, it seemed worth speculating.

                1. Argus Tuft

                  Re: Employees buying software for their company?

                  don’t see the point of the downvotes either. where I work most professionals have a company card, and are trusted to not be stupid with it. I could in theory buy $20k of beer & pizza one night but I don’t- because, you know, ‘professional’....

                  we’re not all waiting to burst free and run up bills for software just because we can.. somewhat like the mobile AppStore where we have a curated company one with supported apps (if you can call hour long waits for an offshore IT hell-desk before being hung up on so some IT pleb can make its ticket closed quota ‘support’), and the public Apple one where you can purchase but no support beyond internal self-help forums (which is usually more efficient than IT anyway). Desktops will go the same way to an extent. this is the early stage of that.

          3. LeahroyNake Silver badge

            Re: Employees buying software for their company?

            I wish my employer would give me one!

            No idea how many hours I have wasted emailing links to the account department for random parts that our usual suppliers do not stock. Eg. Rfid cards pack of 100 for £30, sent the link to accounts / they can't figure out the amazon checkout. I then remote into their PC stick the things in the basket and they type in the CC details. FFS all I need is a company card with a £1000 limit, no bloody way I'm using my own and claiming it back as it takes over a month and I have to cover the interest grrrrr

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Employees buying software for their company?

          "Most employees of any given company don't have a company credit card sitting in their wallet"

          Of course not.

          Here, only about 10% of them do.

          Which means almost every team or unit can buy their own software at whim, without annoying paperwork or comments from the dinosaurs in IT.

          ... who will eventually be asked to salvage the resulting train wreck.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Employees buying software for their company?

        Yeah, right. My place just banned the practice of buying IT kit, software or services on personal credit cards and claiming back the cost - everything will have to be ordered officially and assigned to a specific budget. There will be something in place to deal with emergencies, but that's going to be "Vogon firelighters" territory

        1. Lusty

          Re: Employees buying software for their company?

          Do you do the same with stationary? Must be a barrel of laughs working there.

    2. vtcodger Silver badge

      Re: Employees buying software for their company?

      I think this a dubious idea.

      But I do recall that back when I worked for big companies, at some level managers (where I worked at least) had a small discretionary budget they could spend without stumbling through the requisition-purchase order-whatever jungle. Perhaps that sort of thing is what is being targeted.

      1. Benson's Cycle

        Re: Employees buying software for their company?

        I remember back in the day when managements thought PCs were a passing fad, a certain company whose initials included an R and an S was noted for selling computer parts that cost just less than the typical £25 limit for expenses purchases without management approval. I think they gave a massive kick to the homebrew computer industry.

    3. Alan W. Rateliff, II
      Windows

      Re: Employees buying software for their company?

      It is not uncommon for users at any level to be unhappy with what is provided for them, especially with the constant bombardment of tech blogs, ShamWow-type YouTube channels, and the like. IT by Magazine (or IT by Blog) turns into a shadow IT infrastructure in short order... because, like, why can't we use this a-ma-zing software, and it's cheaper than my Netflix, duh.

      Google showed the way with Chrome early on when it became possible for a user to "install" it without local machine administrative privileges. That turned out to be quite successful for a free product. Microsoft is not stupid. It sees that and says, "huh, imagine if we could push a product out to users for $5 or whatever a pop the way Google pushed Chrome for free." Even better is the product will get pushed out with a subscription model similar to that of a gym membership. Cha-ching.

      1. Tikimon Silver badge
        Mushroom

        Re: Employees buying software for their company?

        "Google showed the way with Chrome early on when it became possible for a user to "install" it without local machine administrative privileges."

        Yeah, it mysteriously appeared on our whole network one day, including MY computer. I immediately set a group policy uninstalling it, blocking its install, preventing it running if present. After a land grab like that, Chrome is totally unwelcome here.

        It also took weeks to undo the damage, since Chrome had set hooks into everything and Uninstalling didn't remove them. Stupid things like users clicking a PDF and getting a warning that Chrome could not start because it had set itself as default for PDFs. Horrible company, away evil beast!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Employees buying software for their company?

          Here it seems I have no choice but to allow the use of it. It seems that our dip-shit outside web developers can't seem to write code that works on any other browser than Chrome.

          Our entire call center staff uses our web platform, and any other sane browser choice is glitchy. When I ask management about how our e-commerce customers are supposed to make purchases from our retail sites with other browsers, I'm told "everyone uses Chrome now, so it's okay". Fuckwits!!

          1. cdrcat

            Re: Employees buying software for their company?

            > and any other sane browser choice is glitchy

            There is no other sane browser.

            Safari, Internet Explorer, Edge (before Blink), and Firefox are all dogs to develop for. I've written and supported a custom web framework, I know the pain. Edge changed engines in part because theirs was so hideously shitty.

            You are implying web developers are lazy mindless scumbags, but supporting borken non-conforming browsers takes up 25% to 50% of dev time, so understandably web developers are keener to deliver new work than fight their platforms.

            I hate Google's tentacles as much as any card carrying geek, but the Chromium team's engineering is unquestionably superb (and the other browser teams are weenies in comparison).

    4. phuzz Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Employees buying software for their company?

      I had loads of fun* at my last job, where the marketing department decided that rather than waiting for us to get a quote, and find a good price for software or hardware, and to set it up, it would be much easier if they just bought stuff, and then came complaining to us when it didn't immediately work.

      (Apparently it was our fault that a brand new MacBook didn't automatically contain all of the user's files, despite us not even knowing the MacBook had been bought, and being a mostly Windows shop).

      So yes, I can very easily see the problems that this will bring.

      * actual fun content my vary

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Employees buying software for their company?

        "(Apparently it was our fault that a brand new MacBook didn't automatically contain all of the user's files, despite us not even knowing the MacBook had been bought, and being a mostly Windows shop)."

        I'm reading this as you not having configured your systems to support what the business needed, and having a lengthy purchasing process that frustrated your colleagues to the point they cut you out of the loop. Sorry, but everything you said sounds like you were not supporting business needs but instead creating pointlessly bureaucratic IT processes for your own purposes.

        1. hmv Bronze badge

          Re: Employees buying software for their company?

          Seeing as most 'pointless processes' involve extra work for the IT department, your logic fails. Supporting the needs of the business doesn't always involve doing everything that is requested by an individual.

          And in this case, the IT department wasn't even given the opportunity to support the needs of the business; it was assumed it would 'just happen'.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Employees buying software for their company?

            "involve extra work for the IT department"

            Known as empire building. There is always a reason that business users are buying things outside of IT, and that's usually the IT department. They are business users by the way, they are generally at least as aware of what the business needs and its obligations as IT are. Sadly IT folk tend to be so arrogant as to assume everyone else in the business knows nothing about compliance and regulation. Quite often these requests are reasonable and suitable for the business. In almost every case if IT were doing their jobs the users wouldn't bypass them in the first place.

            1. JohnFen Silver badge

              Re: Employees buying software for their company?

              If this really is how your IT department works, then the solution is to fix your broken IT department.

              The solution is not to allow employees to just install whatever they want. That sort of activity brings immense problems along with it (including, but not at all limited to, serious security risks) that will cause even greater harm to the company.

            2. Cynic_999 Silver badge

              Re: Employees buying software for their company?

              Depending on their job description, business users can be dazzled by marketing hype into *thinking* that they need a particular item of software that the IT department knows will not fulfil their needs at best and will cause conflict with the system at worst. Like the example of the guy who bought an Apple PC that the adverts led him to believe would be a superior replacement for the Windows machine he presently used. He did not of course realise that the MAC would not run any of the bespoke applications the company used, nor that it would have no support from the Windows-trained IT staff.

            3. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Employees buying software for their company?

              "In almost every case if IT were doing their jobs the users wouldn't bypass them in the first place."

              Wow.

              It sounds like you have never met a real IT department. And you have an amazingly Pollyanna view of user departments.

              Clearly you haven't realized how often those user departments totally misunderstand what it takes to make a system that works reliably and delivers the needed services in a useful way.

              The fact that someone knows where they want to go is no excuse to let them design and build the airplane.

              It's hard enough for experts who know how things work, and how they can go wrong. People who neither know nor care about those factors are not to be trusted to implement business solutions.

              The history of IT in terms of end user aspirations and vendor promises is one of 'silver bullets' that will eliminate programmers, analysts, and IT departments, allowing users easy, inexpensive and fast access to whatever they want, without having to formulate an accurate description of what they want.

              Among the magic bullets that were heralded as the way to eliminate IT professionals were COBOL, Fortran, spreadsheets, timesharing, relational databases, personal computers, Java, OOP, subroutine libraries, and graphical interfaces.

              One key reason why these all failed is that the key isn't the tool, it's the craftsman. Unless you know how to analyze and structure a system, and design the logic to achieve the end goals, all the fancy tools will not really help.

              It is the specialized knowledge and the ways of thinking about the issues that are crucial, and very very few end users have the time and aptitudes to acquire those.

              Almost every magic bullet has simply raised the bar on the number of things that must be understood and supported. Relational databases did not eliminate the IT staff, but rather gave us DBAs.

              Of course, none of that will prevent sales types from peddling expensive high tech snake oil to the insufficiently informed end users, many of whom have been convinced that they know more than enough whip off an IT project in a few weeks or months... after all, it can't be as hard as the real, important side of the business.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Employees buying software for their company?

                "The fact that someone knows where they want to go is no excuse to let them design and build the airplane."

                No, but to use your analogy, they might be better off cycling accross a continent than waiting for IT to design the plane by committee and never deliver it.

                If your default answer to users is "no" then don't be surprised if their default position is DIY.

            4. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Employees buying software for their company?

              "[business users] are generally at least as aware of what the business needs and its obligations as IT are."

              Hahaha, now pull the other one.

              "In almost every case..."

              Citation please.

              Clearly you have an axe to grind against IT. Sorry your own experience with IT is poor, don't assume the rest of the world feels the same.

        2. Stevie Silver badge

          Re: I'm reading this as you not having blither blah drool

          Could have shortened your post considerably without losing any of the value by re-phrasing that as "I'm reading this as a git".

          In my opinion.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Employees buying software for their company?

          "everything you said sounds like you were not supporting business needs but instead creating pointlessly bureaucratic IT processes for your own purposes."

          I've seen the problem many times. Some sales rep comes into an end user department, tells them that buying 10 of X and networking them will solve all their problems. The users, suffering delusions of technical competence, buy a bunch of stuff, assuming it will be easy to make it do what they want.

          In one event, when they were totally confused, they called IT and asked a very limited direct question. The next day, it was another question. The next day two more. After a week, we asked them what they were doing, and they admitted buying a bunch of computer gear, and that for some unknown reason, it wasn't magically solving their problems.

          It took a couple of months and some additional equipment to get it more or less working... a feat given that it was the wrong hardware and the wrong software for (a) doing what they wanted and (b) integrating with the rest of our IT environment.

          Our web designers are slightly less clueless, and massively more convinced that they know all there is to know. They are completely naive with respect to underlying technology, architectural considerations, security, backup, fault mitigation, and so on... but assume that if they can coax the site into doing what they want once or twice, it's ready for hundreds of thousands of public users, and that 'nothing will go wrong'.

        4. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Employees buying software for their company?

          I'm reading this as you not knowing what you're talking about and taking a 1-sided view to a situation which isn't yours, so you're only speculating at best.

    5. Lee D Silver badge

      Re: Employees buying software for their company?

      Have you never worked in IT?

      I've seen people blow entire budgets on things like MP3 editing software without the IT department being involved and then complaining that they don't automatically connect to some WMA-only dictaphones that they bought the year before.

      Procurement is a process with sign-off required for a reason, not least because people running off and installing software, throwing data around, and purchasing things willy-nilly is rampant even with that kind of process.

      Over the last two decades I've had people who "buy" software all the time on company credit cards, and then just bring me a disk and expect me to "install it everywhere". No checking of compatibility, viability, licensing arrangements (I once had a guy argue full-force in front of my boss how fonts were "all shareware" and we could just pay for one licence and then use them on every machine), what account they were purchased on, whether that account is a personal or business account, whether we could even have got them cheaper by going through proper channels, etc. I've even had people claim back software purchases as "staff expenses" to try to bypass IT, by buying it on their own credit card and then claiming it back under a different budgeting code.

      Employees are really this tricky, and it happens all the time. Especially if IT are "being obstructive" and "just saying GDPR" to everything, and won't let them just put in some CD-R that they bought off eBay which has full copies of the entire Macromedia Dreamweaver suite on every machine in the building.

      1. Stevie Silver badge

        Re: Employees buying software for their company?

        Trudat. Back in '96 I remember a privileged member of the team using his company credit card to buy Adobe Illustrator (about 0.85 Kilobux). He fully intended to re-imburse the company at the end of the month, but couldn't understand why his boss and fellow colleagues were furious about:

        a) mis-use of the card for personal needs (a distinct and explicit no-no because our strategic partnerships entitled such purchases to be discounted heavily)

        2) how this would set a precedent of mis-use and therefore make the issuing of company credit cards that more rare and difficult to negotiate

        $) that bragging about this whole sorry affair did not paint *him* as a wronged hero

    6. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

      Re: Employees buying software for their company?

      In my experience other department managers rather than users would much prefer to buy their own stuff. Normally they leave a few months after adding it to their CV.

    7. Matthew 3

      Re: Employees buying software for their company?

      In my experience getting a line manager to sign off on a business expense is fairly straightforward. And a few quid for software 'which you need for your job' is hardly going to make your manager wince.

      The issue here is that IT management have policies and procedures for a reason, done in the best interests of the entire company. So this approach lets anyone with a company credit card bypass the whole of IT administration, and any carefully considered policies and procedures by persuading *one* line manager to tick a box on an expenses form. Far easier to do than get corporate approval for a company-wide IT policy change.

      And Microsoft know that down the line when, for whatever reason, the credit card source dries up the clamour from affected users who can't lose their data will create massive pressure on IT to 'just fix it'. Which means Microsoft still get the money.

  2. jglathe
    Pint

    Desperate attempt at generating revenue

    ... so the whole thing is on the brink of being shit-canned. Wait and see, I guess.

    1. LDS Silver badge

      Re: Desperate attempt at generating revenue

      Well, games in-app purchases works so well - some bright spark at MS should have proposed to "gamify" Office365 for additional revenues...

      1. Benson's Cycle

        Re: Desperate attempt at generating revenue

        Does this mean that in future you might have to complete a long complex set of puzzles* (or short circuit the process with a substantial cash payment) in order to unlock PivotTables or Bibliography? And buy the latest most expensive Surface in order to unlock ODBC or JDBC?

        A whole business model seems to be opening up.Perhaps Larry Elison will sue.

        *aka "jump through hoops".

        1. hakuli
          Coat

          Re: Desperate attempt at generating revenue

          "Congratulations, you completed Word Town!

          Next stop, Excelville!

          Don't want to wait? Purchase a Fast Travel for $2.99!"

          - Office 365 Saga

          1. Charlie van Becelaere
            Unhappy

            Re: Desperate attempt at generating revenue

            "Congratulations, you completed Word Town!

            Next stop, Excelville!

            Don't want to wait? Purchase a Fast Travel for $2.99!"

            - Office 365 Saga

            Oh, sorry, you just died of dysentery.

            1. onceuponatime

              Re: Desperate attempt at generating revenue

              What did poor Terry ever do to you?

          2. brotherelf
            WTF?

            Re: Desperate attempt at generating revenue

            I have two words for you: Ribbon Hero. Look it up. I still hope that was an elaborate hoax.

      2. Stevie Silver badge

        Re: in-app purchases

        Agree, and not just games.

        I guess this was bound to occur to someone eventually.

        Fast forward to the RDBMS of the Future:

        "Select from trans-table where x='y';'

        "Delete from trans-table where x='y';"

        "You have chosen a feature that is not yet installed. Purchase now(y/n)?

  3. N2 Silver badge

    Well

    Its a great idea from Microsofts perspective, almost like 'ooh, heres a way to print some more free money'...

    For the short staffed and busy IT department and accounts, its more of a: 'why the flying f*** have those idiots done this to us?'

    Would MS hand your IT dept a blank cheque? So why the reverse should happen is beyond me

    1. oiseau Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Well

      ... more of a: 'why the flying f*** have those idiots done this to us?'

      I have to wonder just why anyone is surprised.

      I mean ...

      After all the assorted crap we have seen from MS in the past 30+ years?

      Not surprised at all.

      O.

  4. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

    "Microsoft will provide standard support for self-service purchasers."

    So the end-user will contact Microsoft for support. There will no doubt be situations where there is a difference of opinion between what MS Support says and what In-House IT Support says. Will refunds be issued on the basis that the software cannot be effectively used by the purchaser? Will MS Support suggest ways to put pressure on In-House IT Support? (Oh I see this is locked down, you need to ask your IT people to do this), leading to needless disputes between consultancy-focused IT staff and management.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "Microsoft will provide standard support for self-service purchasers."

      @Ken - until the user has built a significant chunk of business around "his" apps, probably bypassing the proper tools and processes on the way. When the sales director comes along and complains that the self-purchased apps he uses to "manage" his teams' orders no longer work after the last update and the year-end figures are at risk then, trust me, the support will be local, fast and IT will get the blame for not managing things properly.

      (This is based on a real situation I was hired to fix in an FMCG co. after a combination of a NetSuite update and someone leaving borked the macro-tastic Excel system the sales team used to manage orders because they "didn't like" Netsuite. The sales team believed then, and probably still do, that this was all someone else's fault.)

    2. steelpillow Silver badge

      Re: "Microsoft will provide standard support for self-service purchasers."

      >brrp brrp<

      ...

      [an hour later]

      >brrp br...<

      "Hi, Microsoft support here."

      "At last! I still have problem X with your magic app I purchased."

      "That is because your admins have misconfigured the system. Get them to fix it."

      "They refuse, they say they have done nothing wrong, you promised to make it work for me and it is your responsibility to do that."

      "If you read the small print, we only promise to do that if your admins have done their job properly, and yours haven't."

      "Yes they have, they are all Microsoft certified and they all followed your instructions to the letter. I sent you printouts of the config details, remember?"

      "Well they can't have or this would be working for you. It's their job to find their mistakes, not ours."

      ...

      ad nauseam

      1. Stevie Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: "Microsoft will provide standard support for self-service purchasers."

        Oh yeah.

    3. David Austin

      Re: "Microsoft will provide standard support for self-service purchasers."

      So sfc /scannow ?

  5. Headley_Grange Silver badge

    A very long time ago in a company far far away..

    Early 90s I guess, when laptops were new, huge and cost a lot of money. I'd tried to convince the company to buy me one; I had the budget but IT did all the IT purchasing and they said no. I assumed that they were just being awkward-as-usual.

    I was PM on a big comms project which used a PC as a control and monitoring system and the customer requested a contract change to provide a laptop version instead of the usual desktop. As a result we had to find a suitable laptop and then give it a part number so that we could buy it, configure it, create a drawing and config. pack, etc.

    It went on the system (IBS) described as a Portable CMS Base Unit. Realizing that it was now just a part, I simply raised a P/O for one on my budget. Purchasing didn't recognize it as IT kit, so IT were bypassed and a few weeks later I got a shiny new Compaq laptop. As I unpacked it in my office I stuck two fingers up in the general direction of IT, plugged it in and turned it on. It worked OK, but there was only DOS, no Windows, no installation disks, nothing ....... you all know where this is going. I called IT to explain my problem and a senior IT bloke turned up instead of the PFY loaded down with installation discs that I was expecting. He politely reminded me that all IT kit had to be approved by IT, told me it wasn't supported by them and he'd only set it up if instructed by the IT director. He also told me not to bother calling the IT director because the second word would be "off". He was professional enough not to laugh at me until a few years later when we had developed a good working relationship due to one of us growing up a bit.

    So I was the cocky PM with a £2k Compaq brick in my office.* Every time I went near IT for anything they always asked after my laptop. A couple of years' later when laptops were eventually rolled out mine was always "due in the next couple of weeks" and I was probably the last PM to get one.

    *I transferred it onto the project --not without a lot of embarrassment-- so it wasn't wasted.

    1. P. Lee

      Re: A very long time ago in a company far far away..

      Now translate this story from "laptop" to "integrated business process with ongoing costs."

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I can't speak for other countries, but certainly in the UK company directors are personally liable for unlicensed software being used in their company. As a result, most companies once they get to a certain size have pretty draconian software policies and centralised licence administration. My last employer even had spyware installed on all company PCs that looked for unlicensed software and deleted it. So if it was something you'd bought yourself it would only get deleted anyway as it wouldn't be in the central licence database.

    1. Cederic Silver badge

      Trickier to manage when it's a cloud service.

      SAM isn't even the issue. Data is the issue. Microsoft are basically enabling users to (inadvertently or otherwise) subvert the data governance of their employer. Are they providing indemnity for the 4% of turnover this could cost in each of 28 countries?

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        "Are they providing indemnity for the 4% of turnover this could cost in each of 28 countries?"

        Not to mention any other costs, including reputational, of dealing with a breach. I suppose their defence would be that it's up to the customers to deal with things by their own policies but if they're promoting this as a way to get round those policies - or it it can be presented that way in court, there could be some interesting cases coming up. Of course it will take long enough for legal shit to hit the fan that whoever in MS marketing thought it up to have got their bonus, cashed in their shares and moved on.

      2. Will 11

        Personally don't see how MS are making your data loss scenarios more likely. If anything, power BI in tenant means your data stays within your walled garden. Users intent on finding shadow IT without this will sign up for services off your tenancy shifting data somewhere else.

        IMO, IT departments scared of this change are fighting a losing battle. You cannot lock down your systems to prevent this sort of thing without rendering your business crippled

        1. DryBones

          Perhaps.

          But you can discover it with analytics (Microsoft Azure provides them even), and remedy it with IT and HR actions.

      3. Lusty

        "Microsoft are basically enabling users to (inadvertently or otherwise) subvert the data governance of their employer."

        Utter nonsense. If I don't have permission to access data, Power BI WILL NOT magically give me that permission.

        If your data governance isn't sufficiently strong to include permissions on your data sources that is not Microsoft's fault. Neither is it their fault that you've not provided the users a suitable way to access the data they need to do their job (and pay for you to do yours!).

        1. Cederic Silver badge

          Access to data is a tiny aspect of Data Governance. Understanding the provenance and use of that data, controlling its dissemination and specifically preventing specific uses are all legally required.

          Even something as simple as meeting a Subject Access Request under the Data Protection Act 2018 requires an understanding of where and how data is held and processed. "Some uncontrolled cloud service" is not the answer the ICO are seeking.

          Now add in uncontrolled and unmonitored use of 'Export to CSV' and..

    2. Benson's Cycle

      "but certainly in the UK company directors are personally liable for unlicensed software being used in their company"

      I would like chapter and verse on that. I refer you to Lord Denning's famous judgment.

      Can anybody better informed tell us if, as I suspect, this applies to the use of software permitted by a director, or negligence in properly licensing approved software? Because it is hard to see how a director could be personally liable if a naughty person installed, in some way, unlicensed software without anybody further up the food chain being told.

  7. revenant Silver badge

    "we're being responsive to our customers who have requested this capability"

    Maybe users have requested it, but Microsoft are forgetting that their customers are the businesses/organisations that employ those users. Attempting to bypass their controls on what is purchased and installed is a trifle arrogant and might backfire big time if businesses defend themselves by blocking all such purchases as a matter of principle.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: "we're being responsive to our customers who have requested this capability"

      "if businesses defend themselves by blocking all such purchases as a matter of principle."

      Or move away from Microsoft altogether.

    2. N2 Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: "we're being responsive to our customers who have requested this capability"

      This must be the first time they have ever taken notice of their 'customers', but not in a good way!

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A few problems I see...

    First up - users come up with something super-whizzy, but it grows to a size and scale they can't afford. Rather than abandon it, they'll just try to make it IT's problem.

    Secondly - if someone comes up with something good and the company comes to rely upon it, what happens if that person leaves/gets handed a P45/falls under a bus ? The company holds the data, but the user apps evaporate when the money stops flowing.

    Finally - some 365 services only store their data in the States. This doesn't affect PowerBI directly, but things like Sway and Whiteboard hold their data on the left side of the pond regardless of where your 365 tenancy lives. Embedding PowerBI reports into Sway could be interesting in terms of data protection, depending on the output of the embedded report.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: A few problems I see...

      There are very few regulations which prohibit data being stored in the States, and those that do would usually indicate an industry that wouldn't use cloud for that data in the first place, such as intelligence agencies. For the rest of us, this isn't a problem at all.

      Sadly, I have this conversation repeatedly with IT "professionals" who couldn't be arsed to read the 80 pages of GDPR and just assume they need their data in UK data centres. Those same people have yet to realise the UK DPA and all other GDPR implementations stipulate that UK becomes a third country after Brexit (they all point to the same central list of countries), so UK is literally the last place you'd want your data from a GDPR perspective!

  9. LateAgain

    Ha ha ha...

    Microsoft said that "IT departments and partners aren't expected to provide support for products bought through self-service purchase. "

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. batfink Silver badge

      Re: Ha ha ha...

      Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

      None of us have ever been there...

  10. Raphael

    Many moons ago

    back when I was a junior dev in South Africa I worked for a large forestry company. This company had a lot of research staff who liked to fiddle.

    One several occasions we would have this scenario: there would an MS Access db application that one of the researchers had cobbled together to help him in his day to day work. He would then share this with his colleagues. And in some cases the researcher would have moved on to a new job, shuffled off from this mortal coil, or simply forgot what was happening in the back ground of the app

    Then suddenly IT would get a support ticket as something had gone wrong, and as the whole department was now using this Access App it was mission critical.

    Ok, where is the documentation? What's that.

    Ok, what does it do in the background? Not sure (often some very complicated modelling).

    Do you really need it? Yes!

    And so a rewrite of the MS Access App into Oracle and .NET1.1 would start.

    My boss eventually banned all users from having MS Access.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Many moons ago

      "My boss eventually banned all users from having MS Access."

      So then they probably just used Excel instead.

      1. Strahd Ivarius

        Re: Many moons ago

        Like this one perhaps?

        https://github.com/s0lly/Raytracer-In-Excel

    2. MiguelC Silver badge

      Re: Many moons ago

      We've had a user who, over the years, move a lot in the company.

      In every department he was in he left one or several MS Access apps that all became business critical.

      And over the years we've been trying to port them all into our internal platform, but they seem to keep popping up where you least expect them.

      1. Stevie Silver badge

        Re: Many moons ago

        All these stories of MS Access apps becoming Mission Critical in the enterprise ought to say something to the IT bods complaining about the remediation needed, but apparently it isn't getting through.

        If people can craft applications so useful from MS Access without IT's help, why aren't there processes in place to intercept the requirement and do the job "properly" *before* someone else does the job?

        Having worked in IT for decades, and in DBA for most of those, I can probably answer for the majority: That by the time IT got back with an answer, the question didn't matter any more.

        And yes, MS Access can easily be pushed beyond it's capabilities before a developer knows it, but as a prototyping tool it is phenomenal. In the MS world it could be argued that it occupies the same sort of place in the database application development path as shell script was supposed to when Unix was fresh and shiny.

        "Prototype ideas in shell, then write the finished application in C". Lightly paraphrased from several of my umpteen Unix text books.

        I've used it for just that - a proof of concept that I ran off in about three hours (with the help of ER Win) and was then ported into SQL server after the hard bits and gotchas were spotted and worked into the answer.

        1. Lusty

          Re: Many moons ago

          "why aren't there processes in place to intercept the requirement and do the job "properly" *before* someone else does the job?"

          Because most people in IT don't actually know how and are too busy hiding that fact to learn. Instead, they divert attention by moaning about lack of policy and requirements or documentation until the business gives up and cuts them back out of the loop.

          The business only approaches IT when they forget how incompetent IT is

          1. The Dark Side Of The Mind (TDSOTM)

            Re: Many moons ago

            "The business only approaches IT when they forget how incompetent it(self) is"

            FTFY

  11. Alan W. Rateliff, II
    Black Helicopters

    The honeymoon is over

    "there are no current plans to extend it to other Office 365 services"

    No current plans, so it says.

    "we're being responsive to our customers who have requested this capability", adding that "organizations can rely on their own internal policies, procedures and communications to ensure that those individuals making self-service purchases are complying with company policies"

    Users often demand things outside of the way things are done, ignoring situations in which things are done a certain way due to silly little things like regulatory compliance or statutory requirement. While user input is not always ignored or rejected out-right, sometimes they have to be told "no" until a later time. In any case, Microsoft knows damn well that users will violate policy if it suits their convenience. The three precipitants of user misbehavior are a motivated user, an attractive feature, and lack of hard prevention on the part of the administrators. The first two parts are already present, and Microsoft is prying custodianship away from administrators.

    "'Microsoft will provide standard support for self-service purchasers.' In practice, though, users may well channel queries to their internal IT support and this is something Microsoft cannot control."

    Neither does Microsoft care to control how users get support. Users will demand in the most obnoxious ways their organizational IT support provide assistance with their surreptitiously purchased product, and they will get it the same way iPhone users eventually get support in an Android-only shop -- to shut them up.

    "Admins may choose to assign a centrally purchased license to users of the cancelled subscription."

    Translation: once your users become accustomed to their new processes under your IT know-it-all noses, then train new hires and the work-flow becomes dependent upon these products, even when stymied by the short-comings, when the department manager who bought the crap in the first place leaves and takes the license with them, YOU will get to foot the bill on a new, central license for a product you never approved, never wanted, and probably already purchased an alternative product in the first place. (Was there a place for a period in that sentence?!)

    In environments where administrators do not have necessary controls, many due to management requirements, users will happily bring in elicit licenses from home or improper licensing from school for a business to use. Then managers ring up IT wanting to know why suddenly they cannot get some program working, and they need it working right now because of a deadline tomorrow.

    "Currently the company is in effect stating that it knows better than IT admins what is best for their users. That this move is unpopular with those admins is unsurprising."

    Microsoft does not give a flying flip about the IT admin in the field. Even with the love-fest of the early 2000s with all the free TS2, inexpensive TechNet and Action Packs, it was all a ploy to make us feel good about being on the ground floor of an IT workplace revolution and turn us into support drones making enough money from it to keep us happy. But Microsoft no longer needs us as the users can plug in directly to Microsoft's systems management and product licensing and, having done our jobs, we can bugger off.

    This is like being the guy at school whom all the other guys want as a friend, but what they really want is to bang your sister.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: The honeymoon is over

      'Microsoft will provide standard support for self-service purchasers.'

      What is this support and what it it's standard?

      And just wait until a database of purchases gets leaked to India and pro-active support calls start arriving.

      1. Cynic_999 Silver badge

        Re: The honeymoon is over

        "

        And just wait until a database of purchases gets leaked to India ...

        "

        No, it will never be leaked. Sold maybe, but not leaked ...

  12. Mike 137 Bronze badge

    Translations

    "The intent of the self-service purchase option is to enable users to develop their own solutions to unlock productivity [...]"

    either

    "The intent of the self-service purchase option is to increase our revenues by bypassing corporate budgetary controls in the face of a dwindling market".

    or

    "The intent of the self-service purchase option is to force an many folks as possible onto the subscription-based cloud".

    or maybe both.

  13. Rich 11 Silver badge

    Daft levels of daftness

    Microsoft claimed only that "we're being responsive to our customers who have requested this capability", adding that "organizations can rely on their own internal policies, procedures and communications to ensure that those individuals making self-service purchases are complying with company policies".

    Customers will also request that their password be made the same as their house number and be automatically updated if they move home. Just because a bunch of people request something doesn't make it a good idea, especially if it's a bunch of people who may very well have a narrow understanding of the situation and no concept of the implications. Bad Microsoft. Go sit on the naughty step -- and don't fidget!

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Daft levels of daftness

      "we're being responsive to our customers who have requested this capability"

      They seem to have lost sight of the fact that their big customers are enterprise IT departments who aren't going to like it.

      It looks to me as if this is the brain-fart of a marketing department within MS that doesn't deal with those enterprise customers and possibly a battle in an internal MS war. Quite possibly, if the enterprise marketing bods win it gets pulled and the licences end up being orphaned.

  14. Wellyboot Silver badge
    FAIL

    respecting organizations’ data governance and compliance

    Those would be the policies that get you fired for installing unauthorized software on company equipment.

    Are we going to see pop up adverts for this direct from the O/S?

    1. rmason Silver badge

      Re: respecting organizations’ data governance and compliance

      @Wellyboot

      MS have said (indeed have begun) emailing end users directly with this "info".

      MS comms used to goto the MS365 admins, this they are spamming the users direct.

  15. simpfeld

    IT Screwed over by Microsoft

    This has pretty much always been MS's modus operandi. The always sold to other staff (in the past senior management and let IT pick up the pieces later). Things like Outlook, pretty much needed Exchange with this, but certainly (esp in the early days) wasn't the best email/groupware server out there, IT just had to suck it up.

    We are going to see a lot more of this as the cloud becomes the only option, easy to get into for management, "hey we can save money on IT, we don't need to buy all this stuff", to "wow this is expensive to run month to month, IT how did you let this happen!".

    1. oiseau Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: IT Screwed over by Microsoft

      ... as the cloud becomes the only option.

      This as long as companies are run by DH directors/managers and bean counters who (99% of the time) don't know any better and cannot see past the end of their nose.

      In my opinion (constantly being criticized for it) the cloud is not a good solution, means huge problems looking forwards and a company/outfit that relies on it in any way is headed for trouble.

      O.

      1. simpfeld

        Re: IT Screwed over by Microsoft

        "In my opinion (constantly being criticized for it) the cloud is not a good solution"

        It's remarkably hard to find any critical analysis or comment of cloud solutions from a brief internet search. Seems to largely be treated as a "you just don't get it Grandad", if you ask for any analysis of the approach vs on prem.

        One of the biggest issues I see are backups. Seems like even telling people that this cloud solution esp SaaS, will not really be able to be backed up by us (even if we have the data we probably won't have the software to run the backup against, if vendor goes tits up etc), is just being old fashioned.

  16. wolf29

    Microsoft is enabling "Shadow IT"

    Not surprising. Companies buying tons of licenses for office suites, and who will be fined by the BSA for having unlicensed copies (or where the license cannot be located) are leery of shadow IT where end users buy whatever software they want. Microsoft is still working from the idea that "Really, all PC users are hobbyists who are running a little non-networked machine to play with Basic programming."

    They are really pushing for the world of cloud computing where a lot of companies are unable to control department-level shadow IT. At least in the cloud model, the licenses are sorted.

  17. batfink Silver badge

    "As employees become more independent and better versed in technology"

    Yes they may be becoming more independent but sure as shit they're not becoming better versed in technology.

    It's bad enough with "DevOps" teams running rogue and building plies of crap with dodgy support schemes to prop them up. Now MS are making it easy for random punters in an organisation to throw in whatever they want.

    What could possibly go wrong?

    But that's ok - it's "boosting productivity".

  18. MrKrotos
    WTF?

    Microsoft said, and there are no current plans to extend it to other Office 365 services.

    Bolox! to quote Microshaft's announcement "Based on customer demand, we’ll soon be enabling self-service purchase and license management capabilities, which will allow users within your organization to purchase products directly, starting with the Power Platform family of products: Power BI, PowerApps, and Flow."

    Key words "starting with..."

    1. N2 Silver badge

      Re: Microsoft said, and there are no current plans to extend it to other Office 365 services.

      Bollox

  19. anthonyhegedus Silver badge

    This is of course the thin end of the wedge. One day it'll be other O365 products, like extra office 365 Premium licences. As a managed service provider, we rely on selling these to customers (usually small businesses), and for that we provide a service. If the customer can just bypass this can get their own licences (possibly cheaper), then we'll have to start saying "no, we can't support the new employee you just hired and bought your own licence for, bypassing us". It's just going to create more problems than it solves.

  20. big_D Silver badge
    Facepalm

    GDPR and data protection

    One of the ground rules of GDPR is that you must involve the Data Protection Officer in all decisions for new systems - and they must be integrated at the planning stage, otherwise you are out of compliance.

    If users can install new software and services willy-nilly, without having to go through formal approval services, they are opening a whole bag of hurt for their employer.

    1. Stuart Castle

      Re: GDPR and data protection

      This is the point I was going to make. If you give users the freedom to do things like this. you could be opening the company up to all sorts of Data Protection problems, not to mention security. If someone decides to set up their own online database of the clients they are dealing with (say), they could not only be in violation of the GDPR, but if they haven't secured their work on Office 365 properly, they could be sharing your client list with the entire world. This is bad enough for most companies, but what if your company deals with clients who'd rather not have their identity revealed to all and sundry? They aren't going to be happy if someone leaks their data via one of the these apps, just because they didn't know how to secure it.

      And what if someone discovers a security flaw in the software itself? It could conceivably be used to breach a company's systems. I know that can happen whether the user set up an app, or the IT department did, but if the IT department set up the app, they should at least be aware of a potential source of a security breach, and may be able to shut it down if someone does breach it.

      1. big_D Silver badge

        Re: GDPR and data protection

        It isn't just external. The GDPR rule is the rule of the minimum. If you don't need to see the data to perform your job, you don't see the data.

        For example, sales people have no need to see the contact information of the suppliers and vice-versa and production and support don't need to see either datasets.

        Not setting that up properly is a breach. If the company was audited and they found undocumented systems to which employees had unrestricted access to, they would have a big problem.

  21. Wade Burchette Silver badge

    Microsoft knows best

    "Currently the company is in effect stating that it knows better than IT admins what is best for their users."

    This has been Microsoft's attitude for a while.

    "We don't like the ribbon." -- "SHUT UP! We know what is best."

    "We don't like the Windows 8 touch interface." -- "SHUT UP! We know what is best."

    "We don't like not having control of updates in Windows 10." -- "SHUT UP! We know what is best."

    It is hubris, plain and simple. Microsoft is in a a powerful position because they know people have little choice. OSX is Apple only and Linux is an unknown to most. They know they can get away with a lot because you have little choice except to take it. One day they may go too far.

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      Re: Microsoft knows best

      One day they may go too far.

      Don't you really mean

      One day they WILL go too far.

      1. cdrcat

        Re: Microsoft knows best

        Microsoft have already gone too far.

        We had two true Microsoft believers in a team, deep into the cult, but they have slowly become more and more quiet about the wonders of their religion as the OS and development tools have become shittier and shittier.

        I have slowly become luke-watm towards some of their open source efforts, but frankly they have to work hard to recover from decades of abuse.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Microsoft knows best

      Linux has its own problems.

      "Systemd keeps breaking and making things more complicated and fragile. -- SHUT UP, I know best. [Poettering]"

  22. adam payne Silver badge

    "As employees become more independent and better versed in technology,

    What? who? where?

    The intent of the self-service purchase option is to enable users to develop their own solutions to unlock productivity and drive business impact, while respecting organizations’ data governance and compliance."

    Users developing their own solutions, no just no! We all know governance will be straight out of the Window/s. Data Protection / GDPR?!?

    Microsoft said that "IT departments and partners aren't expected to provide support for products bought through self-service purchase. Microsoft will provide standard support for self-service purchasers."

    Good theory but in practice it's the IT department that will get the calls.

    1. Strahd Ivarius
      Pint

      We already warned our MS account manager that ALL calls about these new "features" will be forwarded to him...

  23. Pirate Dave Silver badge
    Pirate

    I guess MS is out of "good" dumb-ideas, so they are floating one from the "bad" dumb-ideas list.

    I fail to see how this will make things better for corporate users or admins. Looks like it will just be a big PITA from the get-go. Because, you know, some damn VP will get the email and decide it's a BRILLIANT idea, and then hit corporate IT for support when he gets himself into a mess. Why should he have to talk to "Frank" in India for support when the company has an entire IT department? Isn't that what they're for? Oh, and God help if it's a small shop with only a few IT bods who know NOTHING about the POWER crap when this VP needs help. Will MS Support work with the company's IT folks, even though the licenses are in the VP's name?

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    When I was a BoFH, the disk failed in a server that held a lot of vital data. I was called into the CEO's office and asked to explain why this server wasn't backed up. I replied that it was not my problem. The department concerned had bought it and set it up themselves without involving the IT department.

    Things did not go well for the manager of that department.

    Meanwhile I got a lot of credit by using some fancy low-level disk tools to recover most of the data.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      You deserve a pint for the first bit, nevermind the 2nd where you saved their bacon too.

      Undeserving lot that they were ....

  25. Nunyabiznes Silver badge

    On site Office

    I guess this is why MS is making purchasing on site Office installs progressively harder. They have really been pushing O365 the last couple of years (and we know they wouldn't do that if there was less money to be made) and now they are providing scope creep to the users. Nice.

  26. Mark192

    I'm just a user

    I'm just a user here for the puns in the headlines, but even I can see this is a clusterfuck of an idea...

  27. eldakka Silver badge

    Microsoft said, and there are no current plans to extend it to other Office 365 services.

    There might not be plans to extend it, but I bet they have goals of extending it.

  28. steviebuk Silver badge

    Same old bollocks just in the "cloud"

    Such a bad idea and not even new. So a certain place I was once at decided to bring in "low code" so "Departments can create their own apps. No longer will we be locked to external companies and their apps that are no longer updated". Then they realised low code isn't as easy as it was sold so the departments can't have it. A "Development" team are required to managed them all. What? So Inhouse development that years ago you abandoned and outsourced to all the 3rd party companies and their apps.

    Ooo, what were you doing before that then? You bought it the "low code" idea and let everyone free to create apps with MSAccess, this was over 10 years ago. What happened with that idea, the idea that sounds exactly like what you're doing again! and the idea that MS are touting in this article. Oh, what’s that? I can't hear you. Did people create MSAccess apps for their department, with no thoughts on security and no thoughts (because they are also busy having to do their actual day job) of writing up documentation for that app. So, then what happened? That person was made redundant or retired you say? So, then you had to employ actual developers to maintain those undocumented apps. And because those developers also had their own work to do, they had to try and work out how this legacy app works. I know of two such MSAccess apps that were REALLY old but they so heavily relied on but the everyday joe/jane that was allowed to create them was LONG gone.

    I have no problem with non-developers developing, that's how we all learn, but this isn't the way too do it Microsoft! And even if this isn't developing as such, the setup of said app still won't be documented by these departments. Especially if it's not something they are used to.

    Same old bollocks but now in the cloud with a more costly bill because instead of being a one off purchase app, that a company with little money can carry on, reluctantly supporting way past end of life, it will be a monthly sub instead. Same old bollocks is going to happen again. People/departments are going to get excited. Buy the apps, create what they need that suits them. Not think about security. Not think about creating documentation and then decide to quit, retire or be made redundant.

  29. This post has been deleted by its author

  30. Wabsys

    This is a totally stupid move by MS and it makes me think, is all the shit from this really worth it? Maybe time to run ggogle docs through its paces again!

  31. Kiwi Silver badge
    Windows

    Just OOI..

    "we're being responsive to our customers who have requested this capability"

    (Dammit missed this till just now! :( )

    OOI, how many customers requested the telemetry, the remote profiles, by default cloudyness, the spyware in W7, the crappy advert-invested menu system, and all the other fun-features of W10? How many requested forced updates, especially considering the regularity of borked updates these days. How many requested being beta testers for pre-alpha quality code?

    Thank you Mr Torvalds. Without you this world would be much scarier!

  32. steviebuk Silver badge

    Appears the complaints have amassed

    And they are now putting in the option for IT Admins to disable the option to purchase on an app by app bases via Powershell.

    Is in the Weekly Digest get sent for Office 365.

    "MC193609

    Plan For Change

    Published On : 21 October 2019

    UPDATE as of October 31, 2019: Over the past week, we’ve been listening to your feedback regarding the rollout of our self-service purchase capabilities for Power Platform products. To those of you who provided your input, thank you! Based on your feedback, we’ve adjusted our approach to better address the needs of both IT admins and end users within organizations. We’re making the following changes to our plan:

    On November 19th, we will provide IT admins a way to turn off self-service purchasing on a per product basis via PowerShell. More details will be forthcoming.

    To provide more time to prepare for this change, we are updating the launch for self-service purchase capabilities for Power Platform products to start with Power BI on January 14, 2020 for all commercial cloud customers.

    Thank you again for taking the time to provide your feedback. We look forward to a continued partnership to help empower organizations to achieve more."

    1. Kiwi Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: Appears the complaints have amassed

      "...we’ve been listening to your feedback..."

      Has MS been hacked? Or just bullshitting by implication? But this doesn't sound like their normal 'listen to but totally ignore'.

      I think they have a hacker/rogue agent in their midst!

      That or.. The method of turning if off is going to be a nightmare of complex commands and configs (completely different per app). each of which will be silently buggeredupdated to "better" (read : even more complex and idiotic) versions requiring a complete re-build from scratch.

      Individualised for each and every machine. No auto-discovery functionality available so each config option has to be hunted and manually set, somehow even cut'n'paste disabled. Ah yes, I remember the days of pissing around with MS crapware all too well :(

      (--> Thanks for posting this ray of hope)

      1. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

        Re: "we will provide IT admins a way to turn off self-service purchasing"

        Beware the well-known mantra of IT...

        "Turn it off, wait 30 seconds and then turn it back on again"

        Phase one is currently in process. The timing before phase two kicks in is not 30 seconds but a closely guarded secret within the bowels of Redmond.

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