Is Microsoft Trying to Kill Self-Hosting?

Earlier this year, with no fanfare (which is perhaps unsurprising), Microsoft implemented a significant change to its Product Terms pertaining to Software Assurance (SA) benefits that likely will have a significant licensing impact for companies that have taken advantage of the Self-Hosted Applications benefit accompanying SA. For several years now, Microsoft has allowed customers with…


For SPLA Audits, When Historical Data is Missing, Creativity May Be Required

Most software audits pertaining to products licensed under perpetual licenses (such as licenses acquired under a Microsoft Select Agreement, MPSA or (usually) Enterprise Agreement) incorporate a snapshot-in-time approach, where licenses owned generally are compared to deployments identified through data collected about current-state product deployments. In contrast, audits pertaining to products licensed under a Microsoft Services…


Identifying and Understanding Microsoft License Verification Audits

Microsoft, like other software publishers, routinely audits customers to help ensure that it is protecting the value of its intellectual property. Microsoft verifies its customers’ compliance using several methods. 1. Microsoft License Verification (also, Software Asset Management “SAM” request) In a SAM request, Microsoft assigns a third party to reach out to a customer to…


Be Wary of Changes in New SPLA Contracts

Companies that have long relationships with Microsoft know that the company’s form licensing agreements have steadily evolved over time, and typically for the worse. If software licensing can be said to have any “natural laws,” certainly the First Law could be paraphrased to something like: “If you agree to an inch, be prepared to give…


Beware Audit Terms in Microsoft’s New MPSA

Microsoft is in the process of transitioning many of its volume-licensing customers from the Select Plus Agreement to the new Microsoft Products and Services Agreement (MPSA). (More information on the transition framework is available here.) A notable difference between the Select Plus Agreement and the MPSA is that the MPSA is self-contained and is not…


Microsoft Updates Volume Licensing Use Rights Documents

In the past, business consumers of Microsoft’s products and services have needed to reference at least two documents – the Product List and the Product Use Rights – to help determine the purchasing requirements and licensing rules applicable to those products and services. Both documents were incorporated by reference into Microsoft’s volume licensing agreements and…