Microsoft drops its Enterprise Advantage licensing program before it begins

Microsoft won't be adding the previously announced Enterprise Advantage option to its licensing line-up, after all, officials are acknowledging.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor

In July, Microsoft announced plans to add a new purchasing option to its Microsoft Products and Services Agreement (MPSA) licensing plan. But even before that new option went live in early 2017, Microsoft apparently has dropped it.

I discovered the removal of any references to Enterprise Advantage thanks to a Directions on Microsoft tweet on December 5.


"References to 'Enterprise Advantage on MPSA' removed from Microsoft.com; widely promoted integration of EA (Enterprise Agreement) with MPSA cancelled," said the @On_MS_Licensing account on Twitter.

Announced July 1, Enterprise Advantage on MPSA was meant to bring the traditional Enterprise Agreement terms and offers to MPSA. The coming plan is meant to appeal especially to mid-size organizations who want the option of doing organization-wide purchasing.

Enterprise Advantage on MPSA was slated to be available to any and all commercial customers in markets where MPSA is available, but was expected to be of particular interest to customers with between 250 to 2,400 users or devices, according to Microsoft.

MPSA is Microsoft's licensing/purchasing agreement that is meant to enable users to consolidate various licensing contracts into "a single, nonexpiring agreement for all organizations." MPSA was designed to replace software-centric licensing and purchasing agreements with something simpler that would appeal to customers using a mix of Microsoft software and services.

I asked Microsoft officials why they'd decided to drop Enterprise Advantage. The short answer seems to be Microsoft decided it would add unnecessary complexity.

Here's the full statement from a spokesperson:

"Our goal is to provide modern licensing choices that enable customers to digitally transform their organizations. We want to accelerate and streamline how we get there. After careful evaluation we decided introducing Enterprise Advantage on MPSA would add more steps for our customers and partners than was necessary. By investing further to enhance all the ways customers want to buy, Microsoft assisted, self-service, and through value-added partner services, we can modernize more quickly and with less change."

Microsoft officials have said there are no plans to eliminate Enterprise Agreements, though Microsoft did increase the minimum Enterprise Agreement commitment to 500 from 250 users or devices earlier this year.

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