For its part, Microsoft says that customers that want to only partially cover their environments with CIS can easily do so through other volume licensing programs that have no dedicated contracts or unit minimums.
"EAP customers can continue their installed base-wide commitment to SQL Server, Visual Studio, BizTalk Server and SharePoint Server in the SCE," Microsoft says. "Customers will see some small pricing changes as we standardize and simplify discounts. Among these changes are a new five percent discount on Software Assurance, a slightly higher discount vs. EAP standard products and a slightly lower discount vs. EAP premium products. Unlike EAP, which provided discounts on only the license portion of L+SA SKUs, SCE provides a full 15 percent discount on the complete L+SA SKUs for key components."
Additionally, new subscription options replace the concept of "deferred licenses," which Microsoft says means that old units can now be covered with subscription or added as new L+SA at signing. The subscription allows customers to flexibly retire those deployments annually as they consolidate workloads or move them to the cloud.
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