Microsoft’s flagship Ignite conference just wrapped up, and I still have Azure on my mind. The cloud computing platform received considerable attention at the conference, and for good reason: Connectivity and security improvements, as well as new partnerships, set the roadmap for its future.
Microsoft presented dozens of advancements, innovations, and upgrades at Ignite, from nifty upgrades (improvements to the Surface Pen allow it to cross out and delete text) to functional enhancements to core products (Exchange 2016 has better interoperability with SharePoint 2016). Other big stories included Docker’s inclusion in Windows Server 2016 and Microsoft’s push to “democratize AI.” Continue Reading…
Windows 7 and 8.1 users, mark your calendars: A critical support date approaches on July 17, 2018.
After then, only critical security support will be available for devices running Windows 7 or 8.1 on new processor devices (such as Intel’s 6th Gen Skylake), according to a Jan. 15 Microsoft announcement. Microsoft recommends upgrading to Windows 10 in advance of that date in order to protect your organization from security, reliability, and compliance shortfalls. Extended support for hardware with legacy processors will end on Jan. 14, 2020 for Windows 7 and Jan. 10, 2023 for Windows 8.1. Continue Reading…
Will 2016 be the year we see the next industry-changing technology? Even if the next big thing doesn’t come, plenty of new products, improvements, and a few discontinuations are scheduled for the year.
Here’s a sneak peek into what we can expect from the biggest names in tech over the next 12 months. Continue Reading…
Windows 10 is live, and with it comes product portfolio changes, adjustments to Software Assurance (SA) benefits, and a bevy of new features and enhancements. But perhaps the biggest change is how updates are delivered.
Here is the breakdown of these changes, and considerations for how to acquire Windows 10 licenses moving forward. Continue Reading…
Microsoft’s grant program for SQL licensing expires on April 1, 2015. If you haven’t taken advantage of the grant’s offer of free per-core licensing, it’s time to determine if you’re eligible and act.
This offer and deadline are just one piece of a larger update to the way organizations license Microsoft SQL Server. While the new rules were enacted with the release of SQL Server 2012, many organizations are still trying to understand what these changes mean for them.
To help you better understand these agreements, we’ve written a primer explaining the main ways SQL is licensed, and the many other factors you have to consider when determining your licensing requirements. Continue Reading…
If you run Microsoft’s SQL Server, mark April 1, 2015 on your calendar – it could save your organization thousands of dollars.
That’s because April 1 is the deadline for Microsoft’s processor-to-core conversion grant. You might recall that Microsoft updated its licensing policies along with the release of SQL Server 2012. These rules changed the way servers were licensed, shifting from processor-based licensing to licensing the physical core. Now, in order to run SQL 2014, customers with an Enterprise Agreement (EA) must true up their per-core licensing, and doing so before April 1 will grant them blocks of free licenses.
As part of Microsoft’s extended grant incentive, customers that true up their licensing before April 1, 2015 will receive SQL per-core licensing grants for actual cores in use. Organizations that wait to complete this process until after April 1 will receive the minimum grant for only four cores per processor, leaving organizations to cover the rest. Continue Reading…
Microsoft’s highly anticipated Windows 10 operating system is sounding even better than many expected. When Microsoft presented a deep look at Windows 10 on Jan. 21, it offered customers an added incentive to jump to its newest offering: The company revealed it will offer free upgrades to Windows 10 for qualified new or existing Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows Phone 8.1 devices. For customers who have not yet upgraded to Windows 8.1 from XP or Vista, this provides an excellent opportunity to maximize value, and to modernize their legacy OSes.
Microsoft’s Windows 10 demo and incentive announcement generated a lot of buzz, but also many questions. I’ve detailed five key insights you should be aware of regarding the Windows 10 news, and how it relates to your volume licensing agreements: Continue Reading…
Last year Microsoft announced it would give students free access to Office 365 (O365) through its Student Advantage program. Now the software giant is extending these benefits to school faculty and staff, and revealing a self-enrollment model that makes it even faster and easier for all parties to take advantage of these benefits.
Effective Dec. 1, 2014, any educational institution purchasing Office for its faculty and staff can now include an O365 Professional Plus (ProPlus) subscription at no extra cost for all students, faculty, and staff. Anyone with an active school-specific email address from eligible schools can sign up and install the following versions of Microsoft Office on up to five machines and five tablets of their choice:
- Office 2013 Professional Plus
- Office 2011 for Mac (and the new Office for Mac when it comes out next year)
- Outlook for Mac (next generation)
- Office for iPad (full featured)
- Office for iPhone (full featured)
- Office for Android tablet (when available)
SHI is proud to announce it has won Microsoft’s Operational Excellence Award for the 11th consecutive year, and 13th time overall. This honor is bestowed on partners that have demonstrated “market-leading operational excellence” in support of Microsoft technology and solutions.
SHI’s goal has always been to help our customers maximize their investment in technology and better manage their IT environments by educating them about the Microsoft products, licensing scenarios, and updates that could have the biggest impact on their organization. We help them connect with these technologies and make educated IT decisions through our series of Microsoft webinars and blog posts about licensing changes and what they mean for customers old and new. We’re proud to once again be recognized for these efforts!
We’d like to extend a big thank you and congratulations to the SHI employees integral to this win. We could not have achieved this award for 11 consecutive years without your hard work and dedication. Thanks also to our Microsoft customers, whose dedication and support have helped SHI thrive for the past 25 years.
Since Microsoft’s unveiling of Office for iPad two weeks ago, SHI has been inundated with phone calls and emails from customers asking about how they can get the new offering. This question would seem to have a simple answer given the nature of how easy it is to obtain apps on an iPad — just download it!
However, as organizations assess their current and future mobile device strategy, it stands to reason that the more robust capabilities available for Office for iPad require a more complete and thorough understanding of the licensing and cost models involved. For that reason, we’ve taken the time to address the five most common licensing questions organizations have asked about Office for iPad.
1. Is Office for iPad included in my existing Office 365 (O365) service plan?
In order to edit and create documents with Office for iPad, organizations must have an O365 ProPlus subscription. The following volume licensing (VL) O365 subscriptions include O365 ProPlus:
2. Is Office for iPad included in my existing Enterprise Agreement (EA)? Continue Reading…