Microsoft volume licensees, take note: Microsoft will be replacing its Select Plus agreements with the new Microsoft Products and Services Agreement (MPSA).
This won't be a sudden replacement; instead, it will happen gradually over the course of three years. Microsoft outlined the plan changes last month (but I'm just getting around to blogging about them now).
MPSA is Microsoft's new combined software and services license designed to ultimately replace the variety of different volume-licensing plans Microsoft offers small, midsized and enterprise users. The company has been pilot testing MPSA for the past year-plus. MPSA consolidates various licensing contracts into "a single, nonexpiring agreement for all organizations."
MPSA unifies the terms and conditions in the current Microsoft Business and Services Agreement (MBSA), the Microsoft Select Plus Agreement, and Microsoft Online Services agreements. Users can have multiple account types — commercial, academic and government — and both on-premises and cloud/online software and services covered by a single agreement.
Select Plus was designed for software, not services, licensing, and is more complicated than MPSA, Microsoft officials said in explaining the replacement.
Microsoft's switch from Select Plus to MPSA will happen in several phases.
First, Software Assurance will be available through MPSA licenses starting September 1. Those purchasing Software Assurance through MPSA will get access to the latest product versions, planning services, optimization pack functionality, just like they do via Software Assurance today. But Microsoft is claiming benefits calculation will be simplified (to a consistent points-based system) with MPSA.
As of July 1, 2015, Select Plus will no longer be made available via new commercial customer agreements. A year later, on July 1, 2016, customers with existing Select Plus agreements will no longer be able to make new purchases after their agreement anniversary, with all future purchases moving to the MPSA. However, "customers will continue to have full rights and access to all software and Software Assurance acquired under Select Plus," Microsoft officials said.
MPSA is currently available in 13 countries. Microsoft will be rolling out MPSA to Europe and Australia in the fall of 2014, and to Japan, Russia and the US government and education markets in the spring of 2015, officials said. In any countries where MPSA is not available by 2015/2016, Select Plus will continue to be offered until 90 days after MPSA availability, officials said.
In the event that the MPSA is not available in any country by these dates, Select Plus will continue to be offered until 90 days after MPSA availability.