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Microsoft will alter its licensing terms to help smaller cloud providers in the EU

Cloud-shaped object stating Microsoft Cloud hanging from the ceiling at a Microsoft event

Microsoft is altering its licensing agreements in the European Union (EU). The company will try to make it easier for smaller cloud service providers to compete with the big players.

As a response to a three-year-old complaint, Microsoft has assured it would address its licensing terms in the EU, which were perceived as unfair. The company confirmed its plan in a blog post that reads:

We recognize the importance of a competitive environment in the European cloud provider market, in which smaller competitors can thrive. It is therefore critical for us to remain mindful of our responsibilities as a major technology company.

The revised licensing terms, applicable to partners and customers in the EU, and Microsoft’s customers “around the world”, will come into effect on 1 October 2022. Microsoft claims the licensing terms have been modified to “help these partners to be more competitive and grow their businesses”. These policies will also “provide more flexibility for their customers”.

The three primary changes Microsoft is making to its licensing terms are as follows:

  • Make it easier for customers to bring their software to the partner’s cloud
  • Ensure partners have access to the products necessary to sell cost-effective solutions that customers want
  • Empower partners to build hosted solutions with speed and scale

The “major revisions and upgrades to its outsourcing and hosting terms”, have been brought on majorly by complaints from Microsoft customers in the EU. The complaints collectively alleged Microsoft was making it prohibitively expensive to run Windows and Office workloads on non-Azure cloud platforms like AWS and Google Cloud.

Microsoft quickly admitted the complaints were “valid”. However, the company seemed to drag its feet when it came to actually amend the situation in any way. In May this year, Microsoft said it would make it less expensive for customers to run Microsoft software like Windows, Windows Server, Office, and SQL Server on non-Microsoft cloud platforms in the EU.

Source: Microsoft via Bloomberg

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