Microsoft to end open license program from 2022

Microsoft announced that it will end its 20-year-old Open License program for small and midsize organizations from January 1, 2022.
The software major said the organizations can continue to renew and purchase new software licenses, software assurance and online services through the Open License program 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 program,” the tech giant said in an update.

Microsoft said new license-only purchases should be transacted through partners in the Cloud Solution Provider program.

The Microsoft Open License program was created over 20 years ago for small and midsized customers to buy multiple perpetual software licenses at a volume price.

Microsoft revenue rose 13 percent to $38.03 billion in the fourth quarter ended June 30 as the global shift to work from home boosted sales for its cloud service Azure and productivity software suite.

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 program for partners, with a target availability date of January 2021.

Microsoft said 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.

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.

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