Microsoft Updates

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Long Term Servicing Channel – what is it all about? Microsoft worked according to the following basic principle: When selecting any server or group of servers, customers choose the model that best meets their current requirements. This usually remains the case, and for many customers, the frequency with which new models are introduced generally coincides with the cycle of volume license contracts, i.e., every three years. Customers might be happy to continue with this strategy.

Here you can find further information.

Microsoft has announced the following new names for its range of Dynamics 365 products. The names are effective from July 2017:

• Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Operations has been renamed to Microsoft Dynamics 365 Unified Operations Plan

• Microsoft Dynamics 365 Plan 1 has been renamed to Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement Plan

• Microsoft Dynamics 365 Plan 2 has been renamed to Microsoft Dynamics 365 Plan

Since Friday, numerous IT systems around the world have been the victim of a massive hacker attack caused by ransomware. To be precise, the ‘WannaCry’ cryptovirus has infected more than a hundred thousand computers in more than 150 countries.

The WannaCry cryptovirus works by fully encrypting your data storage device. Your system can supposedly only be decrypted again if you pay the ransom money that is demanded. However, there is no guarantee that this will be the case. What is so insidious about the virus is that it spreads independently through a network. Critical infrastructures such as hospitals, transport companies, and telecommunications companies are also among the branches that are affected.

As things stand at present, the following operating systems are affected:
Windows XP | Windows 7 | Windows 8 | Windows Server 2003 | Windows Server 2008 – R2 | Windows Server 2012

Here you can find further information about Ransomware and here you can read more about preventive measures.

The Windows 10 Creators Update is available worldwide since 11 April 2017. This third major update for Windows 10 is available for customers with Windows 10 devices free of charge as part of Windows as a Service, and is rolled out via Windows Update. Users who are well-versed in technology and who would like to access the new developments as quickly as possible can also use the Media Creation Tool (MCT).

According to Microsoft, the Creators Update provides users with the greatest degree of security as well as innovative new developments in the areas of 3D, mixed reality, and gaming. In response to user feedback, Microsoft also now lets customers benefit from a wider selection and more control over update rollouts and the configuration of data protection settings.

Here you can find further information.

Microsoft released  Visual Studio 2017, streamlining the development of mobile and cloud applications as well as DevOps. Microsoft has also announced the availability of the Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2017 Update 1, Preview 4 of Visual Studio for Mac and Preview updates of the Visual Studio Mobile Center.

Visual Studio 2017 is available for download at visualstudio.com. The new version of the integrated development environment is designed to simplify developers’ everyday work: According to Microsoft, the new opportunities for integration and automation are meant for you to save time and have more flexibility to choose your technology and platforms, enabling you to devote your full attention to developing and providing high-quality applications. In addition, Preview 4 of Visual Studio for Mac and Update 1 of Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2017 have been released. What’s more, there are updates for the Visual Studio Mobile Center in preview.

Here you can find further information.

Microsoft has increased the prices for the Windows VDA SKU by approximately 14 percent as of 1 January 2017. Mo­reover, this price adjustment will also entail a new SKU for the VDA per user add-on for customers who would like to switch from VDA per device to VDA per user.

Microsoft has justified this price adjustment by citing the continual, innovative improvement of the products concerned. For ex­ample, security, management, and above all business productivity have been significantly improved for   Windows 10. According to Microsoft, a new benefit also lies in the fact that customers with VDA per user licenses can host Windows 10 CBB (BYOL) on multi-instance capable platforms such as   Azure as well as ones made by permitted third-party manufacturers.


Product News

A ten-year support lifecycle exists for Microsoft on-premises products with five years of mainstream support for all customers and five years of extended support for Software Assurance customers. The support for Office 2007 ends in 2017.

The withdrawal of support for Office 2007 differs from the previous ends of support lifecycles: It represents a paradigm shift to a ‘mobile-first, cloud-first’ approach for the productivity solutions of companies.

The most important key data for the withdrawal of support for Office 2007
Exchange Server 2007 support already ended on 11 April 2017. Mainstream support for Project Server 2007, Project 2007, Visio 2007, SharePoint Server 2007, and Office for Mac 2011 will end on 10 October 2017.
To eliminate the risks that could arise in the future once support has ended, we recommend that you upgrade to a current Office version or Office 365.

Here you can find further information.

Azure Stack is an extension of Azure, which Microsoft promises will bring the agility and rapid innovations of cloud computing to on-premise environments at companies and organizations. With Azure Stack, customers can provide Azure services from their company’s data center while also achieving the proper balance between flexibility and control with the aim of obtaining truly consistent hybrid Cloud deployments.

Here you can find further information.

If you’ve been searching in vain for Office 365 K Plans in the new price list which became valid on 1 September, there is a simple reason for this: Microsoft has renamed Office 365 K Plans, which is now known as F1 Plan. Otherwise, nothing about the product and accompanying licensing has changed. Just like when the well-known chocolate bar was renamed: The name may have changed, but the flavor is the same!
You can continue to use the Office 365 F1 Plan in the same way as the previous K plans, amongst others, for the following:

Work and time management
Create, update, and manage schedules and tasks. Publish plans for vacation scheduling or work organization via mobile device or over the Internet from practically anywhere, and assign work tasks in real time. Track the progress of work, fill out forms, and automate team processes.

Communication and community
Consolidate your team using modern tools. Integrate employees and optimize processes using updates and notifications. Use chats and attendance statuses to create an agile, integrated team. Send messages and share documents, videos, announcements, and best practices on team websites. Ensure secure communication on all devices.

Training and onboarding
An easy way to provide onboarding and training material. Announce changes to work procedures in real time and respond quickly to service requests and updates. Save and distribute course content and announcements via team websites, and find and watch training videos on any device.

Identity and access management
Monitor your employees’ access and digital identities. Enable team leaders to adjust their team size as required and give IT administrators control over access to Office 365. Use the same identity management and monitoring functions on company and personal devices.

Talent – the name says it all. It’s all about Human Capital Management. The thinking behind this is that employees are a company’s most valuable asset. According to this, the most expensive resource that a company uses is the talent of its employees. But how can you make optimum use of this resource?

According to Microsoft, a new application for HR departments is what you need: Dynamics 365 for Talent.

From sourcing and recruiting, to training and retirement, Dynamics 365 for Talent accompanies individual employees – just like an internal customer – and provides a 360-degree view of a company’s workforce. Human resources departments have various modules at their disposal that allow them to do the following:

• Find the very best future employees, for example, using the integrated LinkedIn Recruiter that presents clear, complete, and up-to-date profiles of candidates for all decision-makers.

• Structure the initial training, including all scheduled activities and personal contacts, in advance in such a way that it is optimally tailored to new employees and provides a greater learning experience.

• Maintain an overview of the development of each employee. This is helped by incorporating Office 365, Dynamics 365, and LinkedIn profile information.

Here you can find more information on Dynamics 365 for Talent.

Current Branch for Business enables customers to skip two updates, since the two most recent versions of Microsoft are always supported. The latest Windows CBB Built (1607) has been available through the VLSC since 26 January 2017. This means that the original CBB Build (1507) will no longer be supported by Microsoft.

Here you can find further information.

The product is designed to allow companies to analyze their data precisely and prepare the data in a clear and straightforward manner. This applies to ad-hoc analyses as well as long-term analyses. Reports can be published, sent to relevant personnel, or visualized via personalized dashboards. The Premium version allows for flexible licensing. In reality, very few people usually prepare data for large numbers of employees. This data can be published without the need for each recipient to have their own license for accessing reports.
Microsoft manages the service and the associated hardware. Depending on the wishes of the company, this can be done centrally or locally by allocating capacity according to individual areas. If needs change, adjustments can also be made flexibly and in every direction with the Premium version.

In addition, a Power BI app makes access easier for individuals or groups. Navigation and data centralization are also controlled by the app. There is also an automatic update function for keeping up to date at all times. Incidentally, companies can also use Power BI Premium on their premises (on-premises version) via a local reporting server that offers the same functionality as the cloud version.

 

Products for teachers, pupils, and students include Windows 10 S and Surface Laptop, which is a laptop with Windows 10 S that will be available in Germany from 15 June 2017. An extension for the Microsoft Teams group chat software has also been announced. This will be available later in the year. Microsoft Teams aims to improve digital collaboration in class. The new Code Builder feature for Minecraft: Education Edition allows pupils to learn the basics of programming through the combination of play and popular learning platforms.
Microsoft is also extending its mixed reality products in the education area: Starting this fall, customers with Windows 10 devices will receive the new ‘View Mixed Reality’ function that can display (with the support of a normal RGB camera) 3D content on their screens as mixed reality experiences in the real world. 

Here you can find further information.

Microsoft offers a tiered pricing model for larger Dynamics 365 deployments. What do you need to bear in mind here? First of all, there is an important restriction: Tiered pricing no longer applies to Dynamics 365 Team Member licenses!

Tiered pricing policies:

• Tiered pricing only applies to Dynamics 365 Plan 1 and Plan 2 subscriptions

• Tiered pricing does not apply to Team Members, Operations Activity, or Dynamics 365 apps (for example, Sales or Customer Service) subscriptions

• Tiered pricing applies to one customer tenant. It is not possible to accumulate the licenses over multiple tenants in order to obtain a lower price.

• And, last but not least: Tiered pricing is not available in the Microsoft Online Subscription Program (MOSP or in the academic program.

Dynamics 365 for Operations Activity is a subscription license for users who require write permissions for Dynamics 365 Operations but who do not use all the features of the Dynamics 365 Operations Full Use license and therefore do not need this.

Dynamics 365 for Operations Activity includes the Team Member use rights plus the following additional use rights, according to the Microsoft Dynamics 365 Services Licensing Guide (as of May 2017):

• ‘Approve all Activity related transactions’ (approval right)

• ‘Create or edit the items related to warehousing, receiving, shipping, orders, vendor maintenance, and all budgets’ (new creation right)

• ‘Operate a POS device, store manager device, shop floor device, or warehouse device’ (restricted use right)

The Office 365 Enterprise E4 plan has been retired. If you have a current E4 subscription, though, you will not be immediately affected by this change. As a global Office 365 administrator, you will receive updates via e-mail and see posts in the Message Center (part of the Office 365 Admin Center) containing information about when you need to take action. In the meantime, you can extend your subscription and add licenses as usual. If you would like to change to a new plan – either now or when you extend the subscription – you have four options.
Microsoft has put together instructions summarizing these options in detail.  

Here you can find further information.

Microsoft announces the next version of its SQL Server and offers a first clear glimpse of the features via its Community Technology Preview (CTP) 2.0, which is available for Windows and Linux.
A number of new features have been added: This includes the option to run advanced analytics using Python in a parallelized and highly scalable way and the ability to store and analyze graph data. Other functions help you manage the SQL Server for high performance and uptime, including the Adaptive Query Processing family of intelligent database features and resumable online indexing.  

Here you can find further information.

Microsoft defines frontline workers as the heartbeat of many of the world‘s largest industries—including healthcare, hospitality, manufacturing, and retail. These workers interact with customers, operate the production line, build products, and run daily operations. But, according to Microsoft, spend little time on dedicated PCs.

Here you can find further information.

At the beginning of April, Microsoft announced several enhancements that bolster Office 365’s security and compliance capabilities. According to Microsoft, the launch of Office 365 Threat Intelligence, enriches security in Office 365 to help customers stay ahead of the evolving threat landscape. As well, Microsoft introduced a new reporting interface to improve the customer experience for Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) and extending the ATP Safe Links feature to Word, Excel and PowerPoint for Office 365 ProPlus desktop clients.

Parallel, Office 365 Advanced Data Governance was launched. According to Microsoft, it provides customers with robust compliance capabilities. A new policy management interface for Data Loss Protection (DLP), shall help Office 365 customers to remain compliant and in control of their data.

Threat Intelligence is as a part of the Office 365 Enterprise E5 plan or as standalone service available.

Here you can find further information.

It’s official! Microsoft has announced in March that it will no longer support new processor generations on Windows 7 and 8.1. What can customers do?

We recommend upgrading Windows 7-based and Windows 8.1-based computers to Windows 10 if the computer has a processor from one of the following generations:

  • A seventh-generation (or newer) ‘Intel Core’ processor
  • A seventh-generation (or newer) AMD ‘Bristol Ridge’ processor
  • A Qualcomm ‘8996’ (or newer) processor

Here you can find further information.

The Microsoft Yammer team announced the start of integration of Microsoft Yammer Enterprise into Microsoft Office 365 Groups in its blog at the beginning of March. Their goal is to more closely link Yammer Enterprise with Office 365 Groups, since Yammer Enterprise will no longer be available as a separate license. We will highlight the changes for which customers should be prepared.

Here you can find further information.

We already reported that Microsoft support can be extended for an additional six years with Premium Assurance.

You can find detailed information in the Microsoft Windows Server and SQL Server Premium Assurance’ datasheet.

On 1 March 2017 Microsoft will upgrade the minimum requirements for the access to Project Online. Therefore, from this date on, it won‘t be possible anymore to connect Microsoft Project Professional 2013 versions with Microsoft Project Online.

ATTENTION: Customers who want to gain online access beyond the indicated date to Project Online with Project, have to update to a version of Project 2016 that includes support before that date.

Please note: The support for the 2013 versions of Office 365 client applications will end on February 28, 2017.

This does not apply to the Office 2013 Professional Plus, Professional, and Standard editions. For the support dates for the Office 2013 Professional Plus, Professional, and Standard editions see the following Microsoft website: Microsoft support lifecycle.

Users who are running the 2013 versions of Office 365 client applications after February 28, 2017 will have to upgrade to the latest version of Office 365 client applications to continue to receive support from Microsoft.

Here you can find further information.

As previously reported, starting from 1 February 2017, Azure can no longer be purchased through the MPSA. Following this date, Microsoft will offer Azure through the Enterprise Agreement (EA), the Enterprise Subscription Agreement (EAS), Ser­ver and Cloud Enrollment (SCE), the Cloud Service Provider (CSP), and the Microsoft Online Subscription Program (MOSP). What is the best way to purchase Azure?

Existing customers who have already purchased Azure through the MPSA will remain unaffected by these changes!

The following brochure answers all questions regarding how to buy Azure:

Read the brochure now »

Premium Assurance allows Microsoft support to be extended for an additional six years.

  1. Which licenses can you purchase Premium Assurance for?
  2. When does Premium Assurance need to be purchased?
  3. What about Extended Support?
  4. Which programs is Premium Assurance available in?
  5. Who cannot enroll in Premium Assurance?

Questions upon questions. This overview provides answers


Licensing News

From 6 September 2017, Microsoft has extended Windows virtualization use rights in CSP Starting now, customers can choose from five different subscription versions with Windows virtualization usage rights, enabling Windows VMs to be hosted in Azure or by a qualified multitenant partner:

  • Windows 10 Enterprise E3 with or without virtualization usage rights

  • Windows 10 Enterprise E5 will be updated to include virtualization usage rights

  • A new Windows 10 Enterprise E3 VDA offer is available for customers who require access to Windows VMs on non-Windows Pro devices.

  • Customers who want to purchase Microsoft 365 Enterprise (previously known as Secure Productive) or who already have a subscription will receive virtualization user rights automatically and at no additional cost.

Here you can find further information.

As of now, customers can be licensed to use Windows 10 Mobile without additional costs via an active Enterprise Agreement, MPSA, or Select Plus agreement. Windows with SA is no longer a prerequisite for this usage right.

Microsoft explains this in its Product Terms 05/2017:
‘3.2 Windows 10 Mobile Enterprise Customers with an Enterprise Agreement, Microsoft Products and Services Agreement, or Select Plus agreement may install and use Windows 10 Mobile Enterprise for the duration of the agreement.’
Things looked quite different in the Product Terms 04/2017:
‘4.10 Windows 10 Mobile Enterprise Customers with active Windows SA per User SLs (subscription licenses) or per User Add-on may install and use Windows 10 Mobile Enterprise on secondary devices of each licensed user.’

Guest access for external users can be issued through Office 365 groups. The guests have unrestricted rights and access; all interactions are carried out through the email inbox. The guest does not require their own Office 365 license for this, since the ‘guest access’ function is included in Office 365 Business Premium and Enterprise subscriptions. This information and a summary of the functions that the guest can carry out are available on the Guest Access page in Office 365 groups.

Definition: What is a guest?
A guest is a person who is not an employee, secondary school or university student, or member of an organization. They do not have any business, school, or university account at the organization.

Is an additional Office 365 license required for guest access?
No. Guest access is included in all Office 365 Business Premium and Office 365 Enterprise subscriptions.

Microsoft has added the right to upgrade from Windows 10 Home to Windows 10 Enterprise E3/E5 to the latest edition of the Product Terms 04/2017. This is only available through the MPSA!

Regardless of section 2.1.1 of the Product Terms, ‘Qualifying Operating Systems,’ customers in Australia, Canada, Iceland, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland, the US, and all countries in the European Union are entitled to purchase Windows 10 Home to Pro Right Licensing for devices equipped with Windows Home versions 7 or higher if they have been continually equipped with one of the following licenses since 1 March 2017:

  • Windows 10 Enterprise E3 per device with active SA

  • Windows 10 Enterprise E3/E5 per user CALs

  • Windows 10 Enterprise E5 per device CALs

Purchasing requirements

Windows 10 Home to Pro Right licenses are only available as one-time purchases; all of the units must be covered in a single order. Customers are asked to acquire one license for every device that is licensed with Windows 10 Home and which fulfills at least one of the following criteria:

  • Is licensed for Windows 10 Enterprise E3/E5 on a per-device basis, or

  • Is installed on Pro or Enterprise and is used by a licensed Windows 10 Enterprise E3/E5 user

License restrictions

This license does not include the rights to install or use an instance of a previous version of Windows 10 Pro. The reassignment rights in Section 4.3 only apply for a replacement device with an operating system that qualifies for Pro or Enterprise.

Two important changes in licensing took effect on 1 April 2017.

Here you can find further information.

Microsoft announced in January that customers with Windows subscriptions via the Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program can now upgrade their Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 PCs and devices to Windows 10 at no additional cost.This means customers subscribed to Windows 10 Enterprise E3 and E5 as well as Secure Productive Enterprise E3 and E5, can now upgrade their Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 PCs and devices to Windows 10 without the need to purchase separate upgrade licenses.

This is an important benefit addition to Windows cloud subscriptions in CSP as it enables customers who have yet to purchase a new Windows 10 device, or who missed out on the free upgrade to Windows 10 campaign, to take advantage of enterprise-grade security, managed by a trusted partner, for the price of coffee and a donut.

The Windows 10 upgrade licenses issued as part of this process are perpetual and associated with the device. This means the license will not expire or be revoked if the customer chooses to end their Windows cloud subscription in the CSP program.

Here you can find further information.

Microsoft removed the System Center 2016 Client Management Suite from its portfolio on 1 January 2017. However, customers can still individually license the components of the suite.

The System Center 2016 Client Management Suite was the most recent version of the Client Management Suite. It included four components that can now be licensed as separate products. These individual components are:

  • System Center 2016 Data Protection Manager Client ML
  • System Center 2016 Operations Manager Client-ML
  • System Center 2016 Orchestrator Client-ML
  • System Center 2016 Service Manager Client-ML

SA migration: For each eligible license, customers will be guaranteed a Client-ML for each of the four components. Licenses eligible for this are all System Center Client Management licenses that were purchased with Software Assurance before 1 January 2017 and all licenses that were purchased after this date as part of a True Up process under the same Enterprise Agreement (EA).

In December 2016, Microsoft made the following change to its Product Terms: Software Assurance (SA) is now also required for the Windows Server CAL to deploy Windows Nano Sever. The Product Terms now state:

“4.2 Nano Server

Customers with active SA on either Windows Server Standard or Datacenter Licenses, Windows Server Base Access Licenses, and Windows Server Additive Access Licenses may install and use the Nano Server deployment option. Active SA is also required on the Base Access License and Additive Access License.”

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