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Microsoft Open License Program Changes

Learn about how Microsoft are simplifying licensing through the new commerce experience

The Microsoft Open License program was created over 20 years ago for small and midsized customers to buy multiple perpetual software licenses at a volume price. Microsoft is taking a significant step to simplify licensing by introducing perpetual software license purchases through the new commerce experience, as part of our Cloud Solution Provider program for partners, with a target availability date of January 2021. Small and midsize customers will benefit from a simplified approach and greater flexibility in how you purchase software licenses in a way that’s easy to understand, that directly improves licensing asset management, and with predictable costs.  
You can continue to renew and purchase new software licenses, Software Assurance, and online services through the Open License program until December 31, 2021. As of January 1, 2022, commercial customers won’t be able to buy new or renew software licenses or online services through the Microsoft Open License program. New license-only purchases should be transacted through partners in the Cloud Solution Provider program. 



Please note: 

  • There are currently no changes to the Open Value or Open Value Subscription programs.  
  • You continue to have full rights and access to all perpetual software licenses acquired through the Open License program. 



Your options for existing and new purchases after January 1, 2022 are outlined below.1 


  • If you’re buying perpetual software licenses only (without Software Assurance) and want to continue doing so: 
    1. Buy perpetual software licenses from qualified partners participating in the Cloud Solution Provider program. These partners also offer guidance if you’re evaluating online services and looking for value-added solutions, and offer the flexibility needed to address your hybrid use needs with both software licenses and cloud offers.
    2. For alternatives, talk to your current licensing partner.
  • If you have Software Assurance coverage through the Open License program:  
    1. Your Software Assurance term, including benefits, will continue until its expiration, even if the expiration is after December 31, 2021.
    2. The Microsoft Open Value program is recommended for future purchases that include Software Assurance.
    3. The Microsoft Open Value Subscription program doesn’t offer perpetual software licenses but is a lower-cost subscription that gives you rights to use the software during the agreement’s term and also includes Software Assurance.
  • If you have online services through the Open License program:
    1. Any unused online services tokens can still be assigned and used, even after December 31, 2021, provided it occurs within the five-year term of token purchase.
    2. If you want to purchase additional online services subscriptions, you can work with a partner in the Cloud Solution Provider program to purchase online services subscriptions or you can buy additional online services tokens through the Open Value program or Open Value Subscription program.
With the changes Microsoft are making to the Open License program and the expansion of offers through the new commerce experience, you’ll get a consistent and simplified purchase experience to help you digitally transform your organisation at your pace, with greater flexibility in how and where you buy. Talk with your partner about which option is best for your organisation.


Speak to a Specialist today to learn more 


Speak to a Specialist



1If you are an enterprise customer, or you have special terms or requirements to consider, other Microsoft commercial licensing programs may work better for your organisation. Talk to your CCS Media Account Manager to learn more
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