Windows 10 Upgrade – Licensing

Oh my, if ever there was a complicated subject, it is Windows Licensing!

Actually, when you can wrap your head around the details, it doesn’t begin to make sense.  But until then, oh my!

We know Microsoft is moving everything to a subscription model.  No more disks, and patches and updates.  Instead if they can deliver office productivity applications in SaaS model, do the updating for everyone all at once, charge a monthly fee. they can both make more money and have less effort.

For those of us who PM enterprise projects, Microsoft has a contract process which is similar and a bit more involved.

  • License
    • You get a license to use the OS on a device which may be reusable depending on your contract; it is usually device driven so if someone quits you can use the same license
    • Enterprise purchases are eligible for Software Assurance or SA which can include upgrades, source code, and other corporate benefits
  • Contracts
    • Costs can be prorated for an as needed basis so if you plan to hire 20 people 2 months from now, you can wait until then to order their licenses and you won’t be charged until then
    • Contracts are for 12 months
    • Renewals to your contract occurs 30-days early
  • Activation
    • Is separate from licenses in that they are handled using a server that manages requests from the PC’s you install Windows 10 on
    • Your contract admin has access to see how many licenses are installed verses purchased
    • This means your guess of 20 employees could be higher or lower and could easily be adjusted as needed, termed True Up, matching your estimate with what the server is reporting is actually installed

It is certainly easier than in the days when you needed server CAL’s and application CAL’s and on and on.  Your MS contract admin will be your best friend and can help you through the details of your licensing needs.