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Microsoft ending Open License Programme for SMBs in Jan 2022


Microsoft has announced to end its 20-year-old Open License programme for small and midsize organisations from January 1, 2022. The organisations can continue to renew and purchase new software licenses, software assurance and online services through the Open License programme 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 programme," the tech giant said in an update. "New license-only purchases should be transacted through partners in the Cloud Solution Provider programme".

The Microsoft Open License programme was created over 20 years ago for small and midsized customers to buy multiple perpetual software licenses at a volume price. Microsoft said it is taking a significant step to simplify licensing by introducing perpetual software license purchases through the new commerce experience, as part of its Cloud Solution Provider programme 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," the company said. Some companies may have purchased "tokens" to use Microsoft's online services. Those tokens will remain "active for five years from the purchase date," Microsoft said, adding that its is committed to support every organisation "wherever they are in their digital transformation journey".

Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) partners will offer perpetual licenses after the end of the Open License programme. Perpetual licenses are pay-once, non-subscription licenses that don't expire.