Learn about how we’re simplifying licensing through the new commerce experience for public sector customers.

In September 2020, we announced another step toward our new commerce experience to support your digital transformation with new offers through the Microsoft new commerce experience and removal of purchasing options that no longer meet customer needs. This was announced for commercial customers only. Today we’re sharing several related changes that impact public sector—education, government, and nonprofit—customers.

Key changes

1. Perpetual software licenses

Microsoft is taking a significant step to simplify licensing by introducing perpetual software license purchases through the new commerce experience, as part of our Cloud Solution Provider program for partners. Targeting July 2021, all partners enrolled in the Cloud Solution Provider program will be able to sell perpetual software licenses (without Software Assurance) to government, education, and nonprofit organizations for on-premises deployment. Software licenses will be available to commercial customers in January 2021.

What’s already available through Cloud Solution Provider for public sector

What’s coming through Cloud Solution Provider for public sector

  • Online services for government community cloud
  • Online services education offers
  • Online services nonprofit offers
  • Software licenses for government
  • Software licenses for education
  • Software licenses for nonprofit

2. Open License program change

Starting on January 1, 2022, commercial, government, education, and nonprofit organizations won’t be able to buy new or renew software licenses, Software Assurance, or online services through the Open License program. New license-only purchases should be transacted through partners in the Cloud Solution Provider program. You can continue to renew and purchase new software licenses, Software Assurance, and online services through the Open License program until December 31, 2021.

3. Open Value for education and nonprofit organizations

To support the change to the Open License program, we’re adding software licenses and Software Assurance offers to the Open Value program for eligible education and nonprofit customers. This will provide like offers with the Open License program. Education and nonprofit customers that want to continue buying new licenses with Software Assurance and online services can buy through the Open Value program starting in March 2021. Open Value is already an option for government customers.

What’s already available through Open Value for public sector

What’s coming through Open Value for public sector

  • Government licenses and subscriptions*
    • License and Software Assurance
    • Software Assurance renewal
    • Online services
  • Education and Nonprofit licenses and subscriptions
    • License and Software Assurance
    • Software Assurance renewal
    • Online services

*Open Value for Government available in Canada and Denmark on January 1, 2021

Options for software licenses and online services

Your options for existing and new purchases after January 1, 2022 are outlined below.

  • If you’re buying perpetual software licenses only (without Software Assurance) and want to continue doing so:
    1. Buy perpetual software licenses from qualified partners participating in the Cloud Solution Provider program. These partners also offer guidance if you’re evaluating online services and looking for value-added solutions, and offer the flexibility needed to address your hybrid use needs with both software licenses and cloud offers. Talk to your software reseller to find out if they are a Cloud Solution Provider or find a partner.
    2. For alternatives, talk to your current licensing partner.
  • If you have Software Assurance coverage through the Open License program:
    1. Your Software Assurance term, including benefits, will continue until its expiration, even if the expiration is after December 31, 2021.
    2. The Microsoft Open Value program is recommended for future purchases that include Software Assurance. Available for government organizations now and in March 2021 for education and nonprofit organizations.
    3. The Microsoft Open Value Subscription* program doesn’t offer perpetual software licenses but is a lower-cost subscription that gives you rights to use the software during the agreement’s term and also includes Software Assurance.
  • If you have online services through the Open License program:
    1. Any unused online services tokens can still be assigned and used, even after December 31, 2021, provided it occurs within the five-year term of token purchase.
    2. If you want to purchase additional online services subscriptions, you can work with a partner in the Cloud Solution Provider program to purchase online services subscriptions or you can buy additional online services tokens through the Open Value program or Open Value Subscription* program or from the Microsoft Store. Purchasing through the Open Value program is available for government organizations now and in March 2021 for education and nonprofit organizations.

*Nonprofit pricing isn’t available through Open Value Subscription.

Key Dates

Software licenses available through Open Value Software licenses available through Cloud Solution Provider Last day to buy/renew through Open License
Government Available now July 2021 December 31, 2021
Education March 2021 July 2021 December 31, 2021
Nonprofit March 2021 July 2021 December 31, 2021

If you’re evaluating cloud services and looking for value-added solutions, you can get guidance from your qualified and trusted partner. If you want to continue with Software Assurance on your licenses, the Open Value program is an established way to get it. Talk with your partner about which option is best for your organization.