Microsoft this fall will begin closing loopholes in its licensing rules that have let customers bring their own licenses for Windows, Windows Server, SQL Server and other software to rival cloud providers like Google and Amazon.
The Redmond, Wash. company laid down the new law in an Aug. 1 announcement, the same day it previewed Azure Dedicated Host, a new service that runs Windows virtual machines (VMs) on dedicated, single-tenant physical servers.
“Currently, our outsourcing terms give on-premises customers the option to deploy Microsoft software on hardware leased from and managed by traditional outsourcers,” Microsoft said in a statement. “The emergence of dedicated hosted cloud services has blurred the line between traditional outsourcing and cloud services and has led to the use of on-premises licenses on cloud services.”
That, Microsoft continued, triggered its licensing changes. “We’re updating the outsourcing terms for Microsoft on-premises licenses to clarify the distinction between on-premises/traditional outsourcing and cloud services and create more consistent licensing terms across multi-tenant and dedicated hosted cloud services.”
In plainer English, Microsoft drew a line in the sand. On-premises licenses should stay on the premises, not wander onto the cloud.