An overview and thoughts on the new Windows 10 Enterprise E3 license on CSP
Finally, the Microsoft Cloud stack is in a position to take over the Open agreements
Microsoft has just released Windows 10 Enterprise E3 on the CSP (Cloud Service Provider) program. This means that customers can move from the traditional vintage open agreements – where companies have to pay for all the licenses annually – to a more flexible monthly payment through CSP. It is clear where Microsoft is putting its focus and this is towards the CSP. Leading Microsoft representatives have even gone so far to say that open licensing will be dead during the next three years.
Now companies have the option to fully license their environments in the Cloud with Office 365, Intune, Enterprise Mobility Suite, CRM Online, Azure and Windows 10 Enterprise E3 all through CSP. Indeed, if your company has not explored the benefits that CSP and Cloud-iQ can offer, then the right time is now.
Windows 10 E3: the breakdown
But what exactly is Windows 10 Enterprise E3 and what customers is it targeted for?
The Windows 10 Enterprise E3 license on CSP offers users the ability to upgrade from Windows 10 Pro to Windows 10 Enterprise with all the additional benefits. These include Credential Guard, Device Guard, Applocker Management, Microsoft Application Virtualization and Managed User Experience.
The upgrading experience is something the users will enjoy. There is no need to download and go through an installation process. Instead, the license is simply assigned to a user in the Crayon Cloud-iQ portal, with the user then joining the Azure AD through his or her computer. Once that is clear, the user signs into their computer using the Azure AD account, gaining immediate seamless access to the Enterprise features of Windows 10.
There are still some limitations when comparing the CSP Windows 10 Enterprise E3 license to the traditional Software Assurance or Volume Licensing option.
These key differences are:
With no VDI or downgrade rights the question that often comes up is this: Is Windows 10 Enterprise E3 on CSP a viable solution for my customer? Arguments for this would be that you are receiving five licenses per user, so when the license expires or is transferred to another user the Windows 10 Enterprise device reverts automatically to Windows 10 Pro edition, following a grace period of up to 90 days. The monthly per user model also offers a flexible solution to companies along with the option to move licenses between users, as well as having an evergreen setup within the company. As such, Windows 10 Enterprise E3 is clearly therefore an option to consider for many firms. If the customer still needs the benefits offered by the traditional Microsoft volume licensing programs, then of course this should be compared with the CSP offering.
Some of the user scenarios that could benefit from the upgrade from Pro to Enterprise would be those who access confidential information or have elevated privileges, anonymous users who use kiosk or other public devices, those adhering to governance or compliance standards, and of course workers who travel with their devices.
The Windows 10 Enterprise E3 is a good starting point for Microsoft to offer the users the option to fully onboard to the cloud. Beyond that, Windows 10 Enterprise E5 is also on the horizon for CSP and should be available in October. This will include further offerings such as Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection.
The missing parts of the puzzle that we are waiting for from Microsoft are new licensing options for customers that have hybrid environments. As an example, these might be customers who are running SQL servers on premise and are not yet ready to move to Azure. The only option then is to license the servers through the vintage volume licensing agreements. However, it is not yet possible to create Open Value Subscription or Open Value Agreements without having Windows, Office or Client Access License included in the agreement. This would then make it a complex licensing scenario and can hinder the customer in moving the Windows licenses to the CSP. Yet in the cases where customers are not running servers on premise, the servers are getting outdated or they want to move to the future, then CSP provides the best option with all the flexibility, simplicity and value it offers.
Crayon Cloud-iQ users already have the option to start selling the Windows 10 Enterprise E3 product to their customers with all the added value that it brings. If you have any questions on this, please don’t hesitate to contact your local Crayon representative to get further information on how you can start marking your CSP footprint on the market.