Software Assurance

Microsoft Software Assurance

What is Microsoft Software Assurance?

Microsoft Software Assurance is a maintenance program that offers companies licensing rights to newer software versions the moment they are released, as long as the release falls within the duration of the contract. With Software Assurance, Microsoft users can also access Microsoft Unified Support and other services that aim to improve the user experience. The duration of Microsoft Software Assurance is 3 years. The payments can be distributed in three equal annual payments.


Microsoft Software Assurance: Benefits

  1. Software upgrades free of charge (as long as the new version is released during the contract period)
  2. Exclusive software access (Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack, Windows Fundamentals for Legacy PCs)
  3. Discount for personal Office 365 subscriptions
  4. Free trainings and access to the platform Microsoft E-Learning
  5. 24/7 online and phone support 
  6. Spread Payments – payments can be spread into equal sums
  7. Access to Microsoft TechNet 
  8. Microsoft Home Use Program – employees can use Software Assurance on a second copy of Microsoft Software
  9. Planning service – Microsoft offers assistance with creating software deployment plans


Criticism of Microsoft Software Assurance

Microsoft Software Assurance gets often criticism due to the lack of new software announcements during the contract period. Organizations that acquire Microsoft Software Assurance to benefit from the “free” software upgrades often do not manage to upgrade since the development period between software versions lasts more than 3 years. This has as consequence renewal of the Software Assurance to catch the next upgrade. Some releases also get postponed, for example, Exchange Server beyond the 2019 edition. 

Another point of criticism is the prerequisite that a client must spend a minimum amount of money to access some of the benefits. The support benefit, for example, can be accessed once a minimum of $250,000 has been spent.