Feeds

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

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

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

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. ®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
EU's top data cops to meet Google, Microsoft et al over 'right to be forgotten'
Plan to hammer out 'coherent' guidelines. Good luck chaps!
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
FLAPE – the next BIG THING in storage
Find cold data with flash, transmit it from tape
Seagate chances ARM with NAS boxes for the SOHO crowd
There's an Atom-powered offering, too
Intel teaches Oracle how to become the latest and greatest Xeon Whisperer
E7-8895 v2 chips are best of the bunch, and with firmware-unlocked speed control
Gartner: To the right, to the right – biz sync firms who've won in a box to the right...
Magic quadrant: Top marks for, er, completeness of vision, EMC
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Mobile application security vulnerability report
The alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, and the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.