Microsoft is retiring the open license program on 12/31/21.

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

Today, Microsoft is making an effort to simplify licensing by introducing perpetual software license purchases. Small to midsize organizations will benefit from greater flexibility and predictable costs when purchasing software licenses.

What is changing?

As of 1/1/22, commercial customers will no longer be able to renew or purchase new software licenses or online services through the Microsoft Open License program.

Any new license-only purchases will need to be made through partners (such as Ontech) in Microsoft’s Cloud Solution Provider program.

Note: This change does not impact the Open Value or Open Value Subscription programs. Organizations within these programs will continue to have full access and rights to all perpetual software licenses purchased through the Open License program.

Ontech encourages enterprise customers or those with special terms/requirements to speak with our support team to find the best solution for your organization.

What organizations are impacted by this change?

This change impacts academic, commercial, government and nonprofit organizations. Commercial organizations can purchase software licenses through a Cloud Solution Provider Partner starting in January 2021 and public sector organizations can do so in July 2021. Microsoft announced specific changes for public sector organizations here.

What are my options?

This depends on your current approach.

  • Are you buying perpetual software licenses only (without Software Assurance)? If you would like to continue doing so, you may buy perpetual software licenses from partners through the Cloud Solution Provider program. If you are an existing Ontech Systems customer, please contact our inside sales team or your account rep for details. If you are not an existing Ontech customer, we welcome you to contact us to explore your options.
  • Do you have Software Assurance through Microsoft’s Open License program? If so, your Software Assurance term and benefits will continue until expiration, even if the expiration date is after 12/31/21. Microsoft recommends the Open Value program for future Software Assurance purchases. Please note that while the Open Value Subscription program does not offer perpetual software licenses, it is an affordable subscription that includes Software Assurance and provides you with the rights to use the software during the term of your agreement.
  • Do you have online services through Microsoft’s Open License program? You can still use and assign any unused online service tokens after the 12/31/21 deadline, provided that they are used within the 5-year term of the token purchase. Any additional online services subscriptions will need to be purchased through a partner in the Cloud Solution Provider program, the Microsoft Store, or through the Open Value or Open Value Subscription program.

Do I need to take action now?

While all Open License program products, services and offers will remain available until 1/1/21, we encourage you to give Ontech Systems a call at 262-522-8560 or send a request online so we can help you determine the next steps for your unique needs and organization.

What if my Open License Contract expires after the deadline of 12/21/21?

You will maintain full rights and access to all perpetual licenses through the Open License program and Software Assurance coverage will also remain active until it expires. New Software Assurance purchases can be made through Open Value or Open Value Subscription programs.

In addition, unused online services subscriptions will remain active for 5 years from the original purchase date. If you want to continue purchasing with tokens, new online services can be purchased through the Open Value or Open Value subscription programs.

If you have used all of your online services tokens, Microsoft encourages you to purchase new online services (without the use of tokens) through a Cloud Solution Provider Partner like Ontech Systems or from the Microsoft Store.

Greater Flexibility and Ease of Use

This new change is intended to offer Microsoft’s customers greater licensing flexibility and ease of use. Through the use of a single transaction platform, Microsoft can better support a broader set of customer needs such as transitioning to the cloud and supporting hybrid environments who want to work with a single partner.

Whether you are in need of a Cloud Solution Provider Partner, or you’re an existing Ontech customer, please don’t hesitate to reach us online, contact your account rep or give our support team a call at 262-522-8560.

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