Feeds

Want a Microsoft cloud subscription? You'll need to be 'committed'

Servers, tools and Azure discount offer (just don't mention the outages)

Protecting against web application threats using SSL

Microsoft has updated its software licensing with a bundle to woo “highly committed” customers who build their clouds using Windows.

Redmond’s November price list (PDF) gives loyal customers the option to consume a smorgasbord of serious server and tools software through subscription instead of using the usual site, server and client licence.

Subscriptions are being extended to Windows Server and System Center, SQL Server, BizTalk Server and SharePoint Server, Visual Server and Windows Azure.

Microsoft calls the option Server and Cloud Enrollment (SCE). It is available to those already on an Enterprise Agreement – Redmond's plan for those who buy in volume.

SCE “allows highly committed customers to standardize broadly on one or more key Server and Cloud technologies from Microsoft” the price list said. Once they commit using "to one or more components" across their "installed base", they receive certain discounts and extra services.

Microsoft hinted at the change last month as part of its strategy to push Windows Azure and to grab business customers from Amazon.

To keep Windows shops off Amazon, Microsoft is offering enterprise discounts on commodity services such as computer, storage and bandwidth and is allowing businesses to settle up their bill at the end of the year to accommodate unplanned growth.

It’s an update to the price battle Microsoft has waged with Amazon since day one on Windows Azure, where it’s tried to under cut the cloud giant and also provided price packages and offers.

“These changes bring significant value to enterprises looking to invest in a cloud platform that will allow them to evolve over time, Microsoft said in a blog here.

Microsoft is pushing the assault on Amazon, hoping customers will soon forget about last week's worldwide Windows Azure outage. It's the second global outage for Microsoft's compute cloud this year, coming nine months after a lapsed HTTPS certificate took down Windows Azure's storage component.

The fact that Microsoft's cloud can fall down so comprehensively might worry new customers concerned about what it means about the underlying architecture of Windows Azure, specifically on partitioning.

Those taking advantage of November's pricing should also beware of later cost increases. Over time, customers risk becoming hooked and thus tied into increased costs – if and when Microsoft’s market share increases and it feels it is gaining a strong enough footing against rivals.

In August, Microsoft bumped up the price of Windows Server 2012 R2 by a whopping 28 per cent for those using the Datacenter edition. The price hit hardest among those using large numbers of Hyper-V virtual machines. Microsoft had, initially, seeded the market with free Hyper-V as part of Windows Server to establish a foothold against VMware.

Microsoft licensing tracker Paul De Groot noted at the time that 2013 has seen a record number of licence fee increases by the company. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Wanna keep your data for 1,000 YEARS? No? Hard luck, HDS wants you to anyway
Combine Blu-ray and M-DISC and you get this monster
Google+ GOING, GOING ... ? Newbie Gmailers no longer forced into mandatory ID slurp
Mountain View distances itself from lame 'network thingy'
US boffins demo 'twisted radio' mux
OAM takes wireless signals to 32 Gbps
Apple flops out 2FA for iCloud in bid to stop future nude selfie leaks
Millions of 4chan users howl with laughter as Cupertino slams stable door
'Kim Kardashian snaps naked selfies with a BLACKBERRY'. *Twitterati gasps*
More alleged private, nude celeb pics appear online
Students playing with impressive racks? Yes, it's cluster comp time
The most comprehensive coverage the world has ever seen. Ever
Run little spreadsheet, run! IBM's Watson is coming to gobble you up
Big Blue's big super's big appetite for big data in big clouds for big analytics
Seagate's triple-headed Cerberus could SAVE the DISK WORLD
... and possibly bring us even more HAMR time. Yay!
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.