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New license option for 
Office365 ProPlus
Autoren: Peter van Uden/ Erol Anil/Jürgen Ohlsen

From summer 2020: Licensing option per device for Office365 ProPlus

May 29, 2020

Microsoft cloud services are based on one subscription per user. For businesses, such as manufacturing, healthcare, government, and educational institutions where multiple people use just one computer, this is typically a very expensive service. Starting this summer (probably at the beginning of the new Microsoft fiscal year on July 1), the manufacturer is offering desktop applications under Office 365 ProPlus on a "per-device" based subscription. However, as is so often the case, there are a few things to consider and certain customer groups are excluded from this new licensing option.

Note: Office 365 ProPlus was officially renamed "Microsoft 365 Apps for Enterprise" on April 21, 2020.

Not available for many medium-sized companies

The new device-based Office 365 ProPlus subscription license is only available through Enterprise Agreement contracts as previously announced. These are license agreements for large organizations or major customers. Unfortunately, there have been repeated examples in the past where licensing solutions have been granted unilaterally for this customer group, even if they would have made sense in the middle customer segment or below. 

This exclusion from the per-device subscription solution for Office 365 apps is incomprehensible! Not surprisingly, the new per-device option is also not available for Office 365 Business, since the Office 365 Business line is limited to a maximum of 300 subscriptions.


Not when using Remote Desktop Services

As far as currently available information indicates, the per-device licensing option is not available for use with network servers. This means that customers using Remote Desktop Services or Citrix XenApp in combination with Office 365 ProPlus Apps will not benefit from the per-device licensing option. Whether Microsoft will change this or add additional terms and conditions in the future when the per-device option appears in the product terms and conditions cannot be determined at this time, but could be done if customers and partners put pressure on them.

Not available for Office 365 plans

The Office apps for local installation, known as Office 365 ProPlus, are part of various Office 365 and Microsoft 365 plans, such as Office 365 E3/E5 and Microsoft 365 E3/E5. There is no mention that these suites will be available in a per-device subscription option, so we must assume that the per-device option is only available for the Office 365 ProPlus subscription in question.

New product still incomplete

Such a basic per-device (cloud) licensing option, if introduced, should be available for any customer group or at least company size. The Office 365 ProPlus Subscription per device, which will be released in the summer and which ultimately consists only of the installable Office 365 ProPlus application, can currently be compensated in most scenarios by a classic Office volume license, which has always been licensed per device. 

In practice, however, it has been shown time and again that it would be much more important to establish a per-device licensing option for the real cloud services. If, for example, a production company provides its employees with static information such as meal plans or shift schedules via SharePoint Online, which require little or very sporadic interaction by employees without their own PC, this would be a real and sensible saving in licensing costs. And companies that have taken the step into the cloud with Microsoft will not be penalized for this across the company with the per-user licensing! 

In any case, from our point of view the new "product" is incomplete and no reason to necessarily enter into a group contract as long as online services cannot also be licensed per device. One should therefore rather classify this announcement under the category "marketing".

Your Contact

Do you have questions on this topic, would you like more detailed information and are you looking for an expert to help you? 

Please contact us! We look forward to a successful cooperation with you.

Erol Anil

Managing Director
SYCOR IQ Solutions GmbH
+49 89 307 731 32

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