Microsoft Hikes Licensing Costs For Its Software On Rival Clouds

Cloud Pricing

Expected? You bet. Microsoft has made some licensing changes recently, changes that make its software more expensive for customers on rival clouds.

As in, those that rely on AWS, Google and Alibaba for their cloud computing needs.

The Redmond based technology giant made these sly revisions when it introduced a preview of Azure Dedicated Host, a service that provided users with a physical server hosted on the Azure platform, one that is not shared with other customers.

Apparently, this was enough to trigger this massive change.

Microsoft was quick to clarify that this is not a bare metal as a service, since these dedicated hosts are architected for running Azure virtual machines. In addition to that, dedicated hosts are still subject to automatic maintenance.

So, the long and short of it is that prices for this new offering exclude licensing costs.

Updated Outsourcing Licensing Terms

As clarified:

“The emergence of dedicated hosted cloud services has blurred the line between traditional outsourcing and cloud services and has led to the use of on-premises licenses on cloud services. Dedicated hosted cloud services by major public cloud providers typically offer global elastic scale, on-demand provisioning and a pay-as-you-go model, similar to multitenant cloud services.

 

As a result, we’re updating the outsourcing terms for Microsoft on-premises licenses to clarify the distinction between on-premises/traditional outsourcing and cloud services and create more consistent licensing terms across multitenant and dedicated hosted cloud services. Beginning October 1, 2019, on-premises licenses purchased without Software Assurance and mobility rights cannot be deployed with dedicated hosted cloud services offered by the following public cloud providers: Microsoft, Alibaba, Amazon (including VMware Cloud on AWS), and Google. They will be referred to as “Listed Providers.””

The implications of these are extensive, and you can try and make a sense of them by giving this FAQ a look, available as a PDF file.

Basically, Microsoft is hoping to boost usage of Azure by making it more expensive to use other cloud providers. This is a strategy not without risks, however, as upping the cost of running Microsoft software on other public clouds not only annoys customers, it can also drive them towards alternatives.

How the world takes to this will be evident in the coming months and years, but here we are, folks.

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