The Trouble with Office 365 Licensing

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by | March 21, 2016

More and more Microsoft customers are moving from a device-based Office license to a user-based one via Office 365. This gives the organization a number of benefits but also some challenges in relation to the use and maintenance of the software.

The Office portion of Office 365 is installed on a computer on premise in the same way as traditional Office Professional Plus is installed. The following section (taken from the Microsoft Volume Licensing Brief: “Licensing Microsoft Office 365 ProPlus Subscription Service in Volume Licensing”), provides a good explanation of the difference between the two licensing models:

“Office 365 ProPlus is a subscription service offering under the online services licensing model. It is licensed on a “per user” basis. Each Office 365 ProPlus User Subscription License (User SL) must be assigned to a single named user (Licensed User) before using the software. This differs from traditional Office installations (such as Office 2016) which are tied to Licensed Devices. The Office 365 ProPlus license allows Licensed Users to access Office experiences on PCs or Macs and on their mobile devices. The Licensed User may activate the software for local or remote use on up to five concurrent operating system environments (OSEs). Office 365 ProPlus licensing treats physical and virtual OSEs the same, so the five concurrent activations may be on five different devices or multiple OSEs on one device. These devices may include company managed device and employee personal devices. The Licensed User may also use the software activated by another user under a different User SL.”



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