Cloud solution providers could be set to gain significantly as Microsoft is to end its two-decade-old Open Licence program from January 2022.
After that time, small-to-medium commercial organisations will be unable to buy new or renew software licenses or online services through the Microsoft Open License program and only via partners in the Cloud Solution Provider program.
The global move, which will apply in Australia, New Zealand and Asia Pacific, will apply from 1 January 2022.
However, from as early as 1 January 2021 Microsoft partners will no longer gain managed reseller and commercial distributor incentives for Open Licence transactions.
Partners enrolled in the Cloud Solution Provider program will be able to sell commercial perpetual software licenses for on-premises deployment from that date.
The move demonstrates Microsoft’s shifting gaze from its traditional software resellers to its cloud partners. The vendor claims to have "more than 90,000 participating companies" in its CSP program.
Microsoft claimed that the changes would enable greater profitability and margins for CSP partners. “This will give customers the licensing flexibility they need as part of their digital transformation,” the vendor added.
The announcement comes a year after Microsoft kicked off a partner uproar after revealing plans to remove internal use rights (IUR) for product licenses for partners and the access of on-premises product support incidents.
Following a petition signed by thousands of partners, Microsoft rescinded the plans.