Microsoft Licensing vs Open License: Which is Right for You?

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By Redress Compliance

Key takeaway:

  • Microsoft offers flexible and affordable licensing programs, starting with purchases of as few as 5 licenses for small business owners.
  • Open License and Open Value programs help make software licenses more accessible and scalable while Software Assurance is included in the cost of an Open Value licensing plan, spread out over three annual payments.
  • Enterprise Agreement is designed for larger volumes and offers greater savings.
  • Stay informed about changes in Microsoft licensing, as of January 1, 2022 small and midsize businesses will no longer be able to purchase new or renew software licenses or online services through the Microsoft Open License program.
  • Perpetual software licenses can now be purchased through the new commerce experience for small or midsized customers as part of the Cloud Solution Provider program.

Introduction to Microsoft licensing

Understanding Microsoft Licensing can be daunting. With numerous options, like Open License, deciding what’s best for your business can be tricky. You need to consider factors like size, software needs, and budget.

If you’re a small or medium-sized business, Microsoft Licensing might be what you need. This option offers flexibility in obtaining and managing software. You can purchase licenses for particular products or suites – either perpetual or subscription-based. Microsoft also has programs to help you manage licenses and stay compliant.

Bigger organizations with lots of software needs might prefer Open License. You can buy licenses in bulk with good discounts compared to Microsoft Licensing. Open License also gives you more choice and control over licenses.

Remember, licensing agreements can be complex. So, understand the terms and conditions before buying. Think about your future software requirements too. Make sure the chosen agreement can cater to your needs.

Pro Tip: A Microsoft licensing expert can help you understand your options and make an informed decision that works for your business. If you’re not sure, get some help.

Different types of Microsoft license purchasing options

There are various options available for purchasing Microsoft licenses, each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. In this section, we will explore the different types of license purchasing options, including Open License, Open Value, and Enterprise Agreement, for larger companies. We will help you determine which option is the right fit for your organization’s needs.

Open License

Microsoft’s Open License is great for small to medium-sized businesses. It offers discounted prices and a straightforward purchase process. You must buy at least 5 software licenses, but you can go up to 250 without any extra costs.

Open License has a special feature. It lets you share and manage licenses between departments. That way, you always stay compliant with Microsoft’s terms. You can choose from perpetual licenses or subscription-based licenses.

Organizations who use Open License can also get an annual Software Assurance (SA) agreement. This gives access to version upgrades and minor updates on Microsoft products bought through the program.

In conclusion, Open License is a simple and hassle-free way to buy Microsoft licenses. Perfect for businesses!

Straightforward purchasing process

Microsoft offers many licensing options for different needs and budgets. An easy purchase process is one of them. Here’s a 5-step guide to buying:

  1. Go to Microsoft’s website.
  2. Pick what you need and add to cart.
  3. Enter payment details and pay.
  4. Receive email with activation code, receipt, and install instructions.
  5. Follow instruction to install.

No extra benefits like Software Assurance or upgrades come with this option. It’s better for people who want a simple purchase.

Pro Tip: Take time to evaluate needs before buying.

In conclusion, Microsoft’s easy purchase process is perfect for those wanting fast, hassle-free software buying.

Open Value

Open Value is a great way for businesses to get their software licenses at an affordable cost. It splits the payment into three annual installments, which includes software assurance. This ensures businesses have the latest Microsoft software and product upgrades, as well as access to updates, training, and more.

Plus, businesses can go with Open Value Subscription for even more options. This lets them pay annual fees instead of making a big one-time purchase. It also covers cloud services such as Office 365 and Azure. This allows businesses to outsource IT management, keeping operations running smoothly with the latest technology.

In conclusion, Open Value is a great way to get long-term value. It gives businesses the tools they need to succeed, all while keeping costs low. With Open Value, businesses can make the most of their investment and stay up-to-date with the latest products and services.

Paying for software over three payments and Software Assurance included

Microsoft’s Open Value licensing is great for businesses who want to finance their Microsoft products and services well. This plan breaks the total cost into smaller parts, allowing businesses to pay in 3 instalments and get Software Assurance.

This option gives companies the flexibility they need for budget planning. Also, Open Value licensing makes sure employees have access to the latest software. It has exclusive Microsoft tools included to manage deployment, training, and support.

Open Value Subscription is another licensing option that requires an annual subscription fee. Open Value requires a permanent license payment. Both licenses include upgrades to the latest version of each product, but the frequency differs.

Overall, Open Value licensing helps businesses pay in multiple payments, with Software Assurance. It gives businesses flexibility, control, and access to the latest Microsoft products and services.

Open Value Subscription with annual subscription fee

Microsoft’s Open Value Subscription is an attractive licensing option for those who prefer to pay for their software over time. It includes Software Assurance, so you don’t need to purchase new licenses for new tech. It also gives extra rights and management tools for customers.

The subscription fee is budget-friendly. It’s a convenient and flexible solution with standard support features included. It allows organizations to keep up with tech without breaking the bank.

Enterprise Agreement for larger companies

Microsoft offers the Enterprise Agreement licensing option for larger organizations. It provides flexible purchasing options and optimization of tech investments. This solution ensures comprehensive license coverage and streamlines the procurement process.

The Enterprise Agreement has many benefits for organizations, such as volume incentives, savings on software compared to individual purchases, and customizable terms. Companies can also enjoy budget predictability and simplified license management.

This three-year agreement has customizable payment plans. Organizations can pay annually or multiple years upfront. There are also Training Vouchers, Partner Services Credits, and Software Assurance Benefits included. These grant upgrade rights, technical support, and training opportunities.

In summary, the Enterprise Agreement is perfect for larger companies. It gives seamless software procurement and management while helping them optimize technology investments.

Comparison of Microsoft licensing options

Are you struggling to navigate Microsoft’s complex licensing options? In this section, we will explain the differences between Volume, OEM, and Full Packaged Product licensing. We will also compare and contrast the nuances of Open License and Open Value licensing structures. Finally, we will discuss the important role of Software Assurance in pricing. By the end, you will have a better understanding of which Microsoft licensing option is best suited for your business needs.

Volume, OEM, and Full Packaged Product

When buying Microsoft licenses, there are 3 main options: Volume, OEM, and Full Packaged Product. Each has pros and cons, so it’s important to understand them before deciding. Let’s take a look at them in a table:

Licensing Option Definition Pros Cons
Volume Licensing Bulk purchase of licenses for many users/devices under one agreement. Discounts & easy management. Requires upfront payment for all licenses.
OEM Licensing Purchase of licenses preinstalled on hardware devices. Cheaper & seamless integration. Limited flexibility – license tied to device.
Full Packaged Product (Retail) Licensing Buying individual software licenses online/in-store. Immediate delivery & hassle-free installation. No min. purchase. Expensive & limited discounts.

It’s worth noting each option may not be suitable for all businesses, depending on their needs & budget. Also, the licensing options differ based on number of users/devices, while pricing remains constant. Analyzing IT asset inventory is recommended before selecting, to avoid any costs or compliance issues.

Finally, keeping track of expiry dates is needed to avoid additional costs from late renewals. By taking all these factors into account, businesses can make informed choices when selecting the licensing option that best suits their needs and optimizes cost savings.

Differences between Open License and Open Value

Open License and Open Value have differences. To see them, look at payment options, software prices, and extra benefits. Here’s a comparison:

Open License Open Value
Payment One-time payment Three annual payments
Software Software sold at full retail price Discounted software prices
Assurance Optional Software Assurance Built-in Software Assurance

Open License customers make one payment for software. Open Value has three payments and comes with Software Assurance as standard. Also, Open Value has an annual subscription fee. This is good if you want to budget your licensing costs.

It is important to remember, no Software Assurance means no protection if something goes wrong. It’s like buying a car without airbags.

Importance of Software Assurance in pricing

It’s essential to consider Software Assurance when pricing Microsoft licenses. This factor lets customers make the most of their investment. It provides access to the latest technology, updates, upgrades, and security features. It also ensures that Microsoft offers full lifecycle support, such as technical assistance, training resources, and company-wide usage rights.

Software Assurance covers new software versions, upgrades, and platform migrations. Customers with active Software Assurance get access to e-learning courses, online tutorials, and planning services.

Not all Microsoft licensing options have Software Assurance. Open Value Subscription doesn’t include it in the base price. Enterprise Agreements generally include Software Assurance.

To choose the right Microsoft licensing option, understanding Software Assurance is crucial. It allows ongoing support and tech updates without extra costs. Microsoft licensing changes aim to simplify the experience of buying perpetual software licenses through the CSP program.

Changes in Microsoft licensing

The landscape of Microsoft licensing has undergone significant changes in recent years. This section will examine these updates, including a new commerce experience aimed at simplifying licensing and the impending sunset of the Open License program. Furthermore, we will explore the Cloud Solution Provider program and its ability to facilitate perpetual software license purchasing. Lastly, we will examine the role of Cloud Solution Provider partners in providing expert services and solutions.

New commerce experience to simplify licensing

Microsoft unveiled a new commerce experience to make licensing more manageable for customers. This innovation’s aim is to smooth out the purchasing process and make products and services more available.

To do this, they created a portal to provide access to all licensing needs. Customers can also access a personal dashboard to view license agreements, product usage reports, and billing information. The portal has tools to help manage licenses like renewals, upgrades, and cancellations. It also simplifies pricing structures, so customers can save money and get quality products and services.

In conclusion, this innovation promises customers a hassle-free licensing process to help them scale their businesses faster. So, customers can look forward to an easier licensing experience!

Perpetual software license purchasing through Cloud Solution Provider program

Microsoft’s Cloud Solution Provider program now offers businesses an alternative to annual licenses or subscriptions. This gives customers more freedom in software usage.

The program makes it easier to purchase Microsoft products with installments, as opposed to a large one-time cost. It also consolidates purchases into one agreement, reducing administrative costs.

Businesses can access expert services and solutions from Microsoft’s trusted partners. This option through the Cloud Solution Provider program allows companies to use their budget while utilizing innovative software. It is necessary for success in today’s ever-changing business landscape.

End of purchasing through Open License program

Microsoft has announced the end of purchasing licenses or renewing Software Assurance (SA) through the Open License program after December 31, 2021. This is to simplify procedures and shift to modern commerce experiences. Introducing the Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program instead. This allows customers to buy licenses, receive expert services and solutions, with more flexible license management which can be tailored to business needs.

Existing Open Licenses remain valid until their expiration date. But customers who wish to make new purchases or renew SA after December 31, 2021 must switch to the CSP program or an alternative option. Microsoft suggests starting the transition process as soon as possible for a trouble-free changeover.

To sum up, this decision to phase out the Open License program is part of Microsoft’s plan to make licensing easier and focus on modern commerce experiences. Customers are recommended to check out alternative licensing options such as the Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program or talk to a CSP partner for expert services and solutions.

Cloud Solution Provider partners for expert services and solutions

Cloud Solution Provider partners are the perfect choice for businesses seeking help with their Microsoft licensing. They provide tailored coaching sessions to ensure customer satisfaction. The program simplifies licenses by offering a subscription-based option that meets many needs.

If you need help implementing or renewing your Microsoft licensing, Cloud Solution Providers have the perfect solution. They offer a seamless deployment of the software. Plus, businesses can purchase hassle-free subscription-based licenses from existing infrastructure.

Cloud Solution Providers have extensive knowledge of multiple licensing options that fit any business. They also support larger firms through an Enterprise Agreement which is tailored to business needs and reduces costs.

When choosing a Microsoft licensing option, partnering with a Cloud Solution Provider is a great idea. They offer expert guidance, more flexible payment models, and reduced costs all in one platform.

Conclusion: Making a decision on Microsoft licensing options

Microsoft proposes variant licensing selections for its wares. Choosing the correct one is crucial for organizations with respect to funds and efficiency. This decision can be troublesome, but it is requisite to dodge legal and monetary problems. The article “Microsoft Licensing vs Open License: Which is Right for You?” furnishes precious discernment into the two licensing options and aids organizations make wise decisions.

For picking the proper licensing option, organizations must first get to know their needs and usage designs. Microsoft offers a comprehensive licensing program that caters to enterprises of different sizes and IT infrastructures. Open Licensing, however, is mainly focused on small and medium-sized organizations that need suppleness and cost-effectiveness. Both options come with benefits and disadvantages, and organizations must ponder them based on their special needs.

A major point to take into account is the cost of ownership. This includes licensing fees, support costs, and maintenance charges. Though the up-front costs for Microsoft Licensing could be higher than for Open Licensing, it provides better value in the long haul. Open Licensing’s flexible payment choices may be advantageous for small businesses, yet organizations must be conscious of hidden costs and that they might end up paying more than predicted. Plus, Microsoft Licensing offers better support and security features than Open Licensing.

Five Facts About Microsoft Licensing vs Open License: Which is Right for You?

  • ✅ Microsoft Office can be purchased through flexible and affordable programs, starting with as few as 5 licenses. (Source:
  • ✅ Small business owners don’t need to purchase hundreds of copies to qualify for volume licensing discounts. (Source:
  • ✅ There are three main categories of license purchasing types: Open License, Open Value, and Enterprise Agreement. (Source: and
  • ✅ Open License is the most straightforward license purchasing where you simply purchase the license up front and own it forever. (Source:
  • ✅ Microsoft is simplifying licensing through a new commerce experience and introducing perpetual software license purchases through the new commerce experience as part of their Cloud Solution Provider program for partners. (Source: and

FAQs about Microsoft Licensing Vs Open License: Which Is Right For You?

Understanding Microsoft Licensing

Microsoft offers flexible and affordable programs for purchasing licenses for its software, with options starting as few as five licenses. Small business owners do not need to purchase hundreds of copies to qualify for volume licensing discounts.

The three main categories of license purchasing types are Open License, Open Value, and Enterprise Agreement.

The Open License program is the most straightforward, allowing you to purchase the license up front and own it forever. Open Value licensing is similar but spreads the cost of the license over three annual payments and includes Software Assurance. Open Value Subscription allows you to access the software for an annual subscription fee, but if you stop your subscription, you no longer have access to the software.

The Enterprise Agreement is designed for larger volumes and offers larger savings.

Microsoft licensing can be confusing, with many license types and purchasing options available, each with its own trade-offs. It is best to consult with a licensed Microsoft reseller or consultant, or visit the Microsoft website for more information.

Microsoft is always working to simplify licensing for its customers. The Microsoft Open License program, created over 20 years ago for small and midsized customers to buy multiple perpetual software licenses at a volume price, is being discontinued for commercial customers as of January 1, 2022. Small and midsize customers will be able to purchase perpetual software license through the new commerce experience as part of Microsoft’s Cloud Solution Provider program for partners starting in January 2021. The target availability date for this change is January 2021.

You can continue to renew and purchase new software licenses, Software Assurance, and online services through the Open License program until December 31, 2021. After that, new license-only purchases should be transacted through partners in the Cloud Solution Provider program.

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