Microsoft Licensing Update February 2024

This is our first licensing update for 2024. We decided to skip most of the updates for January 2024. There were not a lot of changes to share and everyone was enjoying their winter break. However, we are back at it, so keep reading to learn what is new in the world of Microsoft licensing.

Microsoft announced some major changes, incl. to From SA licenses, so let’s dive right in. 

Microsoft From SA Licensing

In December, Microsoft already announced that there would be upcoming changes to the From SA licensing policies soon. Changes to both M365 and D365. These changes take effect on Feb 1st and April 1st 2024, respectively. For M365 this means the changes are in effect from today.

What are From SA licenses?

First, let me recap what the idea behind From SA licenses is exactly. From SA licenses were created eight years ago. Their aim is to give Microsoft customers the option to buy Microsoft Cloud User Subscription Licenses at a discounted rate when moving from on-prem to the cloud.

It is a Software Assurance benefit to help people who invested in on-premises products with Software Assurance to move to the cloud at a cheaper rate. As a thank you for their years of investing in SA.

Microsoft now announced that you can no longer buy new From SA licenses. Why this decision? According to Microsoft their customers predominantly procure licenses for Microsoft products and services as Cloud Subscription Licences and thus no longer require this benefit. There is no change to the current existing From SA licenses, you are able to continue to use and renew these as long as you require.

Key takeaways

In a nutshell:

  • Microsoft 365: As of February 1st, 2024, you can no longer order new or additional From SA licenses for any Microsoft 365 product. Any existing licenses can continue to be renewed without an end date. Microsoft will not offer a new way to lower entry costs to the cloud as of today’s date.
  • Dynamics 365: As of April 1st, 2024, you can no longer order new or additional From SA licenses for any Dynamics 365 products. After April 1st, Microsoft plans to introduce a new promotional migration offer for the Enterprise Agreement for any customer that still licenses Dynamics 365 on premises.

Full USL licenses

For any Microsoft customer that still licenses Microsoft products on premises, the option that remains for M365 is to buy Full USL licenses upon renewal or migration to the cloud.

For Microsoft 365, there will be a provision to allow Office Professional Plus use rights in some circumstances for customers who migrate to the Full USL after February 1, 2024. You can find this policy update in the February 1, 2024 Product Terms.

For D365, the new offering will be made available around the April 1st timeframe.

Microsoft Software Assurance explained

Updates to the Product Terms

  • Privacy and Security terms: Online Services excluded from the Microsoft Data Processing Agreement (DPA) have been updated with Microsoft Copilot (formerly Bing Chat Enterprise)
  • M365:
    • From SA licenses removed from the Availability table.
    • Office Professional Plus clause updated to allow for the change in From SA licenses. At the moment you have the option to use an OPP installation if you bought a license for M365 E3/E5 Full USL, but only for licenses that moved from an on-premises SA license to a Full USL cloud subscription. The From SA clause moved down a notch and is the same as before.
    • Microsoft Copilot for Sales clause added to state that any D365 environment and Power Automate Premium connections created by Microsoft Copilot for Sales are limited for use by Copilot for Sales only.
    • From SA section removed almost in its entirety from the M365 page. Only thing that remains is that customers are unable to acquire new or additional From SA licenses and that you still have the option to renew existing From SA Licenses.
  • Azure: Cognitive Services and Applied AI Services renamed to Azure AI Services. All sub-products renamed to AI Services like AI Speech, AI Vision Face API, AI Vision Celebrity recognition (is this a thing?), AI speaker recognition, etc.
  • Dynamics 365:
    • Microsoft added Dynamics 365 Finance Premium to the availability tables last month, but forgot to add this product to the service specific clauses. This is now added. This product is new as of January 1st 2024 and provides creator access to advanced intelligence, insights, planning, and database capabilities that help customers accelerate business performance.
    • A massive clause added for Dynamics 365 Business Central and Dynamics 365 Finance in Denmark. This is specific to bookkeeping laws and regulations for Danish customers, so if you are in Denmark I suggest you check it out here.
  • Intune Advanced Analytics and Intune Enterprise Application Management added to Availability and Prerequisite Tables.
  • GitHub Enterprise added to the Microsoft Customer Agreement availability table.

Windows Server 2025

Microsoft announced Windows Server 2025

If you are part of the Windows Insider program, you can start testing this product. If not, you can either apply for it, or you have to be patient until this is brought to General Availability.

Some points that were mentioned:

  • Windows Server Hotpatching for everyone
  • Next Generation Active Directory and SMB
  • Mission Critical Data & Storage
  • Hyper-V & AI