Licensing updates for April 2023

Microsoft made many changes to the Product Terms this month, however they are all small amendments and nothing major. Scroll through this blog to find out more. For any licensing queries, visit our Microsoft License Desk page to find out more about how we can help.

This month we have decided to write the monthly licensing update as a blog instead of creating a video. What do you think? Would you rather have the video? Let us know.  

1. Clarification to the Online Services Terms

>Usage exceeding the Online Service’s documented entitlement(s) and/or usage limits require additional purchase of licenses to cover overage.

Microsoft felt required to add the above line to the terms for online services. It specifies that a customer needs to order additional licenses for their subscriptions if they are using more than they had originally purchased. The addition specifically mentions Azure usage.

2. OpenAI Services addition

The addition states: “Online Services may incorporate the Azure OpenAI Service. Unless otherwise indicated, the following service-specific terms for the Azure OpenAI Service apply to relevant features in those Online Services:

  • Use Limitations (Product documentation, Reverse engineering, Extracting data)
  • Data Use and Access (Data)
  • Third-party Claims”

This clause reiterates that the terms are relevant and should be followed if you want to use Azure OpenAI services.

3. Azure documentation updated for OpenAI Services

Azure documention was updated again with additional clauses for OpenAI Services.

Please check the Azure section to learn more about product documentation (Microsoft may limit output if it is in violation with the terms), acceptable use (restricted output if not in line with the usage policy), reverse engineering (not allowed), extraction of data (you may not use web scraping, web harvesting or web data extraction methods to extract data from Azure AI services), and more!

Microsoft Licensing Wordcloud

4. Azure Hybrid Benefit language revision

A revision was made to the Azure Hybrid Benefit language. No material changes were made for SQL except improved readability.

For Windows Server:

  1. Elimination of requirement that allocation of licenses needs to be done in packs of eight
  2. Elimination of requirement that 16 licenses need to be allocated before starting to use AHB. This still means you need a minimum of 8 cores per VM, but it is easier to start using AHB. You should understand this clause and make sure you allocate enough licenses to your AHB VM’s in Azure.


5. Azure Kubernetes Edge Services

Microsoft added language on Azure Kubernetes Edge Services, check the Product Terms. 


6. Windows Server amendment

The minimum requirement of 16 core licenses per customer when licensing per VM has been removed for Windows Server.

7. Datacentre images for Windows Server Standard subscriptions

CSP customers are now allowed to run datacentre images when purchasing Windows Server Standard subscriptions.

Customers with Windows Server Standard subscription licenses acquired through CSP and assigned on a Virtual OSE basis may run Windows Server Datacentre images instead of Standard images.

This is subject to the following conditions:

  1. Customer may run Datacentre images as guest OSEs only.
  2. Customer must use its existing Windows Server Datacentre Activation Infrastructure to activate Datacentre guests (e.g., existing KMS server) or access the Datacentre guests provided by a Cloud Solution Provider-Hoster.

!! All other Windows Server Standard Use Rights apply.

How to deal with a Microsoft licensing audit

8. Cloud Solution Provider – Hoster exceptions

Two cloud hoster program exceptions were added that reduce licensing requirements in this program. This is in line with the SPLA program making it a more even matched option.

Below are the entries:

  1. Users do not need Windows Server CALs when accessing server software acquired from, fulfilled and hosted by a Cloud Solution Provider-Hoster.
  2. Customer does not need a Windows Server External Connector license for External User access to server software acquired from, fulfilled and hosted by a Cloud Solution Provider-Hoster.

9. New product added Intune Endpoint Privilege Management

The licensing prerequisites table was updated to also include Education license (M365 A3/A5), which were omitted previously.


10. Project Online licenses

In the Products Terms there was still a reference to QMTH for Project Online licenses. This reference has been removed.


11. Amendment to Software Assurance page

Microsoft made an alteration to the Software Assurance page. If you want to have a better understanding of “Purchasing Software Assurance” and “Renewing Software Assurance”, these have now been added to their own page here: Purchasing & Renewing Software Assurance.  

Microsoft Software Assurance explained

12. Entry added to Software Provider Use Right page

The entry was specifically added to the Dynamics AX and Dynamics NAV pages. Effective now (post april 1st) AX and NAV licenses can only be purchased by customers who already had an active SPLA contact as of March 31st, 2023. These customers can continue to purchase the licenses until 31st of March, 2026. After this, these products will probably be end of life (at least in SPLA).