Microsoft is planning to offer Azure users two new licensing options: An option for running Windows 10 on Azure and bring-your-own license (BYOL) support for Windows Server,
Microsoft is promising "more details soon" about the coming options.There are a couple known caveats pertaining to the new licenses (thanks to Directions on Microsoft's Wes Miller for pointing this out).
On the Windows 10 on Azure front, all users who want access will need to be running Windows 10 Enterprise. Users also will need to be on Windows 10 Current Branch for Business to take advantage of the new option.
Microsoft did enable users to run Windows 7 and 8.1 on Azure in virtual machines, but only for development and test purposes.
The coming new BYOL option will allow users to bring their existing Windows Server licenses to Azure like they can already with SQL Server and SharePoint under the existing Software Assurance License Mobility benefit. Users also will need to have Software Assurance coverage in order to take advantage of the BYOL Windows Server benefit.
Update: Or maybe not. I'm hearing there might be a new Software Assurance Benefit that has nothing to do with License Mobility that will apply to allow users to move their existing Windows Server licenses to Azure.
"You can procure an Azure virtual machine without Windows Server and upload your own customized virtual machine image, including your own installed Windows Server license, to run on Azure," explains Microsoft in an "Azure for Microsoft Software FAQ page.
That same page also notes that Microsoft plans to introduce a program "to allow other cloud vendors to participate in this benefit." More details will be available "shortly," according to the page.
Microsoft officials said the company is not willing to share any additional details or clarify particulars about the new Azure licensing options at this time.