Licensing days can be numbered Microsoft's poetic

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Licensing days can be numbered Microsoft's poetic

 

So many cybersecurity incidents can be chalked up to bad design, configuration mistakes or poor controls over access to SaaS resources. Of the 43% of companies that said they encountered security problems due to a SaaS misconfiguration, 34% said they lacked visibility in the status of changes and 35% said too many employees had the ability to make security changes, according to research released by Adaptive Shield.

 

Microsoft has been almost daring U.S. and European regulators to take a closer look at its business in recent years by flaunting its power in the enterprise tech market, a market that just never seems to register with competition authorities the way shenanigans in consumer tech markets do. That might have just changed.

 

Bloomberg reported Monday that Microsoft plans to make unspecified concessions to the way it licenses its software, including Office and Windows, for customers that want to run it on other cloud providers. The changes come after European competition authorities responded to complaints from French cloud provider OVH by asking Microsoft to provide more details about its licensing practices, which encourage customers to run Microsoft software on its Azure cloud service.

 

  • Microsoft is unique among the major cloud providers in that it has an extensive history in enterprise software dating back to the earliest days of the internet, and there are countless businesses around the world that built tech operations around the old-school licensed versions of Windows and Office.
  • The modern business world is, of course, in the process of shifting to cloud services rather than building and maintaining their own servers and networking infrastructure in order to run all the software they need to operate.
  • But there are some businesses who would like to keep their Office licenses and Windows apps and manage that software themselves on another cloud, and Microsoft does not make this easy.

 

Back in 2019 Microsoft made some changes to the way it licenses Office and Windows for other clouds, according to the report.

 

  • It flat-out barred customers from running their own copies of Office (as distinct from Office 365, which is managed by Microsoft) on AWS or Google Cloud.
  • It also made it prohibitively expensive to run the Windows Server operating system on anything but Azure.
  • If one of those customers wanted to use Amazon Workspaces to run virtual desktops using Office, they were out of luck.
  • And companies that rely on Windows Server apps for critical business functions but wanted to further a relationship with AWS or Google Cloud already faced additional licensing costs to run those apps on any cloud other than Azure, which surfaced in mid-2019 as the January 2020 end-of-support deadline for Windows Server 2008 approached.

 

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