I do not know about you, but I find Microsoft licensing to be confusing. Here is a summary of Microsoft Open License vs Open Value vs Cloud and other licensing options. Microsoft has three main on-premise license types that are relevant to small business technology procurement - Volume, OEM and Full Packaged Product. Within Volume licensing, there are many options, but two are particularly useful for small businesses - Open License and Open Value. For both types, one must purchase a minimum of 5 licenses. Finally, there is the Online Subscription which is somewhat difficult to compare directly, but offers a Cloud alternative to on-premise deployments.
While this is a substantial oversimplification to Microsoft's extremely complex licensing, it attempts to boil down some of the key trade-offs when considering different options. One of the main drivers of pricing and license types is Software Assurance. This provides access to new versions of Microsoft software when they are released, provides training advantages and, for appropriate products, the Home Use Program (HUP) among other things.
What do you think about Microsoft licensing?
- If the strategy is stay on top of Microsoft technology, it is more economical and less up-front to purchase Open Value
- In order to have the flexibility of imaging or moving licenses, purchase one of the Volume licenses (Open License or Open Value)
- Cloud offerings add an additional option which may be helpful for certain scenarios where on-premise control is not needed