Don’t be alarmed; Microsoft is not pulling a bait and switch on Windows 10 users. The key word here is “subscription for the Enterprise.” And what this really means when boiled down to the basics, Microsoft is repackaging its existing, perpetual volume license product of Windows 10 Enterprise into a subscription product. The new subscription product will be available under two SKU’s, Windows 10 Enterprise E3 and E5, and include add-on services to include its other flagship hardware (Microsoft Surface) and services with the subscription.
Microsoft Introduces Windows 10 Enterprise E3 and E5 Editions
To make the new service enticing, Microsoft is bundling its Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection security analytics service into the platform. WDATP uses a web-based portal with advanced mechanisms built in to fight a new breed of attacks. Windows 10 Enterprise E3 and E5 will be part of a family of other services too, such as Office 365 E3/E5, Dynamics Azure, and CRM. The service will be available through a Cloud Solution Provider this fall starting at $7 per user, per month.
According to Microsoft’s blog post detailing the announcement, if highlighted the following key features in its pitch for yet another licensing model for the enterprise.
- Increased Security: Offering the sophisticated security features of Windows 10 to help businesses secure sensitive data and identities, help ensure devices are protected from cybersecurity threats, give employees the freedom and flexibility to access sensitive data on a variety of devices, and help ensure controlled access to highly-sensitive data.
- Simplified Licensing & Deployment: Helping businesses lower up-front costs, eliminating the need for time-consuming device counting and audits, and making it easier to stay compliant with a subscription-based, per-user licensing model. This new offering allows businesses to move easily from Windows 10 Pro to Windows 10 Enterprise E3 without rebooting.
- Partner-managed IT: Configuring and managing devices by a partner experienced in Windows 10 and cloud deployments. Partners can also help businesses develop a device security and management strategy with the unique features of Windows 10. Businesses can view subscriptions and usage for Windows 10 Enterprise, and any other Microsoft cloud services purchased, in their partner portal for easier management with one contract, one user account, one support contact, and one simplified bill.
Software as a service / subscription is the future. Google, Adobe, Amazon, Microsoft, Intuit and Getty Images, just to name a few are all cashing in on this new reliable/repeatable booked revenue. And by arming its CSP channel partners with this new SKU, Microsoft has the potential to upsell its existing small to large customers new these new SKU’s, simplify its licensing model while at the same time, locking in revenue and perhaps even getting some penetration of its Surface hardware, for years to come. SKU’s will A key segment of customers for a service like this new subscription are organizations without dedicated IT staff. The service also removes a headache associated with managing and following license compliance. I must re-emphasize, this new service does not in any way affect users running vanilla
Good for business? Perhaps, that is unless you’re driven by CAPEX spend.