Microsoft have announced that the soon-to-be-released Office 2019 will be 10% more expensive than Office 2016 when purchased as an on-premises, perpetual license. You may be familiar with this as Volume Licensing (VL) or Open License (OLP).
Word on the street is that similar price increases are coming for Windows Server, Exchange, Sharepoint Server and Project Server (and the Client Access Licenses). Remote Desktop Services Device CALs will also rise by 30%.
Price increases are set to land in October 2018.
Note also that the supported lifespan of Office 2019 is set to be 7 years, as opposed to the c 10 years enjoyed by previous versions.
It is fairly clear to veteran MSFT-watcher, Wes Miller, that Microsoft is disincentivising the purchase of perpetual license in favour of the as-a-Service model: Office 365 for Office, Sharepoint, Project and Exchange; Azure for Windows servers.
It's worth considering that Microsoft is not simply sunsetting perpetual licensing. It will continue to have a long support tail for legacy versions of software for at least a decade, alongside maintaining an aggressive feature release programme for the Cloud services which are its hero motion- and that comes at a tremendous cost for Microsoft.
Apart from "I already bought it", the main argument for staying on older versions of Windows or Office has been legacy compatibility for integrations with other software.
However, consider why Microsoft might be doing this and also that they are not simply sunsetting perpetual licensing. It's a good idea to think long and hard about which path you are taking for your business...And therefore, whether your future lies with third-party developers whose products are not kept up to date and tie you to the past.
So what to do?
- Office and Exchange 2007 are out of support
- Office and Exchange 2010 are set to follow in 2020
- Windows 2008 versions are either out of support or not far off
If you have these and plan to replace with on-premises perpetual licenses, now is the time to do it.
However I suggest it's really time to look long and hard at why you are persisting with the perpetual mode of software consumption at all. It still has its place, but the use cases are diminishing in number and the business cases in persuasiveness.
If you need some guidance in either re-licensing efficiently on-premises, or evaluating a transition to as-a-Service, get in touch with me.