Microsoft has announced a significant overhaul of its cloud hosting standards in the EU. The move comes after Microsoft received harsh criticism in Europe for its too restrictive software licensing policies from firms such as French cloud provider OVH and Italian cloud service provider Aruba.
The changes will allow EU cloud providers to directly offer Windows and Office as part of a desktop solution that they can build, sell, and host on their own server infrastructure, including products that were previously licensed to run only on a customer’s own desktop or on on-premise server computers.
Microsoft is also planning to expand its software assurance program to allow clients to utilize their licenses on any European cloud provider offering services in their own data centers, just as they do on Azure now, regardless of whether the hardware is dedicated or multi-tenant.
— Reuters (@Reuters) May 18, 2022
Microsoft claims that reducing licensing constraints connected to actual hardware will make it easier to license Windows Server for virtual environments and the cloud.
Customers will be able to pay licenses for just the virtualized computing capacity they require, rather than the number of physical cores on which the virtualized environment is hosted, thanks to modifications made by Microsoft.
In addition, a new Microsoft team will be formed to collaborate with European cloud providers and “establish a tighter feedback loop.”
Microsoft stated that it recognizes “that European governments are regulating technology” and would develop “cloud options that match European government sovereign demands in conjunction with local trusted technology suppliers.”