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Microsoft 365 E3 / E5 “Dual Use Rights” – Microsoft revisits previously announced restrictions

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When Microsoft announced that the rights to deploy the perpetual Office client for From SA Clients were being removed, we were astonished. The impact of this decision was going to be very significant for many of Microsoft’s clients. We are therefore now delighted to bring the update that Microsoft has decided to retain the “dual use” policy in the Microsoft 365 From SA Product Terms

Mid 2018 Microsoft decided that from August 1st 2019 onwards, new and renewing agreements that include the “From SA” version of Microsoft 365 E3 or E5 will no longer have rights to deploy the perpetual Office client. Customers with active Enterprise Agreements would not have been impacted by these changes until their active agreement expires. The “dual use rights” policy provides Microsoft 365 customers with the ability to use a perpetual installation of Office (aka Office Professional Plus – the static MSI version, in the case of Office 2016) in lieu of Office 365 Pro Plus (Click 2 Run, C2R) if they qualify for the “From SA” SKU.

Microsoft has come back on the statement above with the following update:

…”To help support customers transition to Office 365 Pro Plus apps, we have decided to retain the “dual use” policy in the Microsoft 365 From SA product terms. We had previously announced plans to phase out rights to deploy perpetual Office clients in new and renewing agreements that include the “From SA” version of Microsoft 365 E3 or E5. Retaining this policy will provide more flexibility and time as customers deploy and adopt Office 365 Pro Plus, a key part of the modern workplace”…

It is to say that any “from SA” Customer should in principle hold perpetual rights to on-premise Version of Office (except if coming from a Subscription EA) and therefore not require any “concession” as the perpetual rights are for the MSI Version – the above is however very relevant for Companies coming from Enterprise Subscription Agreements and Clients who deploy Office up to and including Version 2016 who may have transitioned to Cloud Licensing prior to the release of Office 2016 – Office 2019 is only available as Click 2 Run Edition and as such the clause would not benefit Customers deploying 2019.

We therefore believe that the turnaound comes from the fact that Microsoft must have realized that many clients aren’t fully ready to deploy Click 2 run or may potentially not be running Versions as high as 2016.