The Evolution of Microsoft Licensing – When “Open” Comes to a Close

By no means am I a “pro” at it yet!

In fact, to tell you the truth, sometimes, when I think I’m catching up, I tend to later think that I’ve still got far to go.

As it says on the Microsoft Licensing News website, licensing is evolving, and it seems to be moving at a really fast rate.

In case you missed it, Microsoft announced that customers won’t be able to make new purchases through an Open agreement after 31 December, 2021. So, what does that mean for existing customers?

Brief intro: The Microsoft Open License program was created over 20 years ago for small and midsized customers to buy multiple perpetual software licenses at a volume price.

Now, Microsoft is taking a significant step to simplify licensing by introducing perpetual software license purchases as part of the CSP program. The aim of this is to introduce a simplified approach and greater flexibility in how you purchase software licenses in a way that’s easy to understand, that directly improves licensing asset management, and with predictable costs. 

Now, before worry gets the best of you, let’s make things simple for you. Here are the frequently asked questions (FAQs) that have been asked by customers like you who have heard this news:

  • Will these changes affect all sectors/industries i.e. corporate, government, academic, and nonprofit?
  • Yes, this applies to academic, commercial, government, and nonprofit organizations. Software licenses are already available for purchase through any Cloud Solution Provider partner (Ha-Shem Limited) for commercial organizations in January 2021, and will be available for public sector organizations in July 2021. There will be additional Open Value options from March 2021 for nonprofit and education customers to buy licenses with SA or to renew SA.
  • How do I know where to contact a Cloud Solution Provider?
  • Ha-Shem Limited is a Microsoft Direct CSP; this means that we purchase directly from Microsoft, and provision directly to the customer directly.
  • What happens to my Software Assurance coverage or Online Services Subscription after my Open License contract expires by December 31, 2021?
  • Software Assurance coverage remains active until its expiration. You can make new purchases of licenses with Software Assurance through the Open Value or Open Value Subscription programs. Online services subscriptions like Microsoft Azure purchased using tokens, if unused, stay active for five years from the purchase date. You can get new online services through the Open Value or Open Value Subscription programs if you want to continue purchasing with tokens. If you’ve used all of your existing online services tokens, we recommend getting new online services subscriptions (without the need to use tokens) through us at Ha-Shem.
  • Who do I contact if my question isn’t answered here?
  • Please send a mail to and we will ensure we respond as quickly as we can.

Note the following, before December 31, 2021:
– There are currently no changes to the Open Value or Open Value Subscription programs. 
– You continue to have full rights and access to all perpetual software licenses acquired through the Open License program. 

If you are currently on the Microsoft Open License program, and need further guidance on how to transition, get familiar with the CSP program with Ha-Shem Limited. We are just an email away —> 

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