Microsoft concession: You can run our wares in AWS virtual desktop under 'revised policy'

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Microsoft is making a insignificant concession that allows customers pinch circumstantial licenses to tally Office wares successful an AWS unreality – a week aft Europe's title regulators decided to officially probe its biz policies and practices.

The licensing tweak, first noticed by expert Directions connected Microsoft (DoM), successful portion reverses a licensing alteration made successful 2019 that meant customers pinch perpetual licenses would request to bargain caller licenses to tally those applications connected AWS, Google Cloud aliases Alibaba infrastructure.

This, according to Google, made it five times much expensive to usage Microsoft package connected immoderate different awesome unreality computing supplier than Azure. As customers reached nan extremity of their contracts, nan caller argumentation kicked successful and galore past realized really financially achy this could be.

Amid mounting complaints successful Europe astir Microsoft's alleged anti-competitive behavior, nan institution rolled retired immoderate changes to licenses successful October, but these did not reside nan costs rumor of bring-your-licenses to immoderate of nan 3 awesome unreality rivals. AWS wasn't champion pleased.

Fast-forward, and caller licensing position were outlined by Microsoft yesterday which only thief AWS clouds customers.

Microsoft said successful a licensing update that: "Beginning August 1, 2023, users pinch circumstantial licenses whitethorn tally Microsoft 365 Apps for enterprise/business, Microsoft Project, and Microsoft Visio connected Amazon WorkSpaces. The licenses that will beryllium eligible nether this revised argumentation see Microsoft 365 E3/E5/A3/A5 and Microsoft 365 Business Premium. If you presently person immoderate of these licenses, starting from August 1, you will beryllium capable to utilize these Microsoft applications connected Amazon WorkSpaces virtual desktop infrastructure."

AWS said astatine nan aforesaid clip that its AWS "End User Computing customers" would beryllium capable to "use Microsoft 365 licenses done a 'bring your ain license' (BYOL) exemplary connected our Amazon WorkSpaces services."

It added: "Included apps alteration by Microsoft 365 licence plan. Microsoft allows E3, E5, A3, A5, and Business Premium licenses to tally connected WorkSpaces services. Customers tin besides bring licenses for Microsoft Project and Microsoft Visio to WorkSpaces services nether nan caller licensing terms."

Wes Miller, expert astatine DoM, said nan concession gives users a "very premium measurement to tally 'Office' connected WorkSpaces, partially addressing immoderate issues pinch Microsoft connected AWS," but said it remains a costly replacement to Azure.

"You'll request a Microsoft 365 E3 aliases E5 subscription for each personification accessing Microsoft 365 Apps for endeavor connected Workspaces."

"Not Microsoft 365 licensed separately. Not Office 365 E3. You request Microsoft 365 E3, moreover if you don’t request EMS (Enterprise Mobility and Security). And you still request VDA (Virtual Desktop Access) for your WorkSpaces users."

Got that? Effectively it intends Microsoft is "still offering acold amended position pinch Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD) aliases Windows 365 than they do for AWS, Google aliases Alibaba," Miller concluded.

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AWS confirmed nan move itself, saying: "Your extremity users tin now use from Microsoft 365 apps connected WorkSpaces services on pinch their different devices."

Eligible applications – for nan absence of uncertainty – see Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook OneDrive and more. The concession is applicable to each AWS Regions wherever WorkSpaces is available.

"Customers utilizing Microsoft 365 Apps connected WorkSpaces services tin besides bring licenses to instal and usage further Microsoft applications including Microsoft Project, Microsoft Visio, and Microsoft Power Automate," said AWS.

We person asked Google Cloud and Alibaba to comment. And we person asked Microsoft why it chose to connection concessions for AWS, nan largest nationalist unreality biz successful nan marketplace by immoderate measure, if it plans to widen nan concession and why it chose to enactment now.

Cynics mightiness propose it is connected to nan increasing liking from regulatory authorities successful nan complaints being made successful nan EU and across nan pond astir nan alleged anticompetitive behaviour from Microsoft.

There are 2 strands: nan first centers connected nan bundling of Microsoft's Teams pinch its ascendant Office productivity suite, which is nan 1 nan European Commission decided to formally probe from past week.

The different pertains to nan licensing policies mentioned above. Microsoft has already settled a associated complaint pinch OVHcloud, Aruba S.p.a and DCC successful March, but nan contented of this will not beryllium made public. Separately, nan Cloud Infrastructure Service Providers of Europe (CISPE) waste and acquisition assemblage fired disconnected its ain title to nan EU successful November, besides astir Redmond's package and unreality policies. Microsoft tried to settee this, but nan group – backed by AWS – refused.

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Today, Francisco Mingorance, caput wide astatine CISPE, told america nan news that Microsoft 365 customers tin bring licenses to AWS virtual desktop astatine nary other costs was a "positive step" but "does not for acold enough."

"Software licensing restrictions request to beryllium lifted for each unreality customers," he added.

He echoed Google successful saying: "This news demonstrates that location is nary method logic why Microsoft can't clasp adjacent package licensing quickly, and easy region unfair licensing terms.

He went connected to claim: "Despite this concession, Microsoft continues to harm European unreality customers by stalling immoderate substantive negotiations pinch CISPE, nan sound of smaller European providers. Regulatory action must beryllium taken." ®