Microsoft Products and Services Agreement Adds Short-Term Options

Microsoft added short-term options this month to its Products and Services Agreement.

These short-term options for the Microsoft Products and Services Agreement (MPSA) are designed for organizations that need to license Microsoft software just during portions of a year. Examples include businesses that employ seasonal retail workers or organizations that have fluctuating business demands.

The short-term MPSAs, which are available as of March 1 of this year, can be obtained to cover "one to 11 months" licensing periods, per Microsoft's announcement. It's possible to initiate these short-term MPSA contracts at any time.

Microsoft's announcement described the short-term MPSAs as being available just for "select online services." A graphic in the announcement shows some possible product licensing scenarios. They include:

  • Office 365 E1
  • SharePoint Online Plan 1 and Plan 2
  • Exchange Online Kiosk Plan 1 and Plan 2
  • Enterprise Mobility Suite
  • CRM Online increased capacity Add-ons

In addition to the new short-term option, Microsoft added multiple-year options under MPSA contracts for its Enterprise Cloud Suite (ECS) licensing back in September. ECS licenses are a combination of Office 365 licenses, Enterprise Mobility Suite licensing and the Windows Software Assurance annuity upgrade guarantee.

The MPSA is considered to be Microsoft's most flexible licensing contract yet available. The older Enterprise Agreement contract, though, is still Microsoft's flagship contract for organizations.

Microsoft has slowly rolled out its MPSA program, which was designed to simplify contractual agreements for organizations. The MPSA may have been launched as early as Dec. 2013, perhaps in a limited release. Microsoft later announced broadened availability of the MPSA planned for the summer of 2015. In September, Microsoft added the ability to attach Software Assurance to MPSAs. Software Assurance gives organizations the rights to upgrade Microsoft's software if that upgrade happens within Software Assurance's coverage period. Microsoft phased out its Select Plus Agreements on July 1, 2015, supplanting them with the MPSA as one of the main options.

Microsoft also announced last month that it will increase the minimum "seat" count for Enterprise Agreements from 250 users or devices to 500 users or devices starting on July 1, 2016. This change could prompt smaller organizations with Enterprise Agreements to opt for MPSAs at contract renewal periods, possibly.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.


  • Microsoft and SAP Enhance Partnership with Teams Integration

    Microsoft and SAP this week described continuing partnership efforts on Microsoft Azure, while also planning a Microsoft Teams integration with SAP's enterprise resource planning product and other solutions.

  • Blue Squares Graphic

    Microsoft Previews Azure IoT Edge for Linux on Windows

    Microsoft announced a preview of Azure IoT Edge for Linux on Windows, which lets organizations tap Linux virtual machine processes that also work with Windows- and Azure-based processes and services.

  • How To Automate Tasks in Azure SQL Database

    Knowing how to automate tasks in the cloud will make you a more productive DBA. Here are the key concepts to understand about cloud scripting and a rundown of the best tools for automating code in Azure.

  • Microsoft Open License To End Next Year for Government and Education Groups

    Microsoft's "Open License program" will end on Jan. 1, 2022, and not just for commercial customers, but also for government, education and nonprofit organizations.

comments powered by Disqus