Perpetual licenses

What are perpetual licenses?

Perpetual licenses are software licenses that users can acquire through a single payment and consequently use for an indefinite period of time. These licenses come with support from the manufacturer for a limited period and contain all features. After this period users are required to pay a fee so they get technical support and have access to all updates. A perpetual license can be compared to other retail purchases where consumers receive a product in exchange for a one-time payment and this product comes with a warranty for a limited period.

Which perpetual licenses are there?

  1. Windows Server
  2. Exchange Server
  3. SharePoint Server
  4. Windows 10 & Windows 11
  5. Microsoft Project
  6. Microsoft Office
  7. Microsoft SQL Server
  8. Microsoft Visio
  9. Remote Desktop Services
  10. Microsoft Access
  11. Microsoft Visual Studio

What are the benefits of perpetual licenses?

With the purchase of a Perpetual License, users only need to pay once to get access to the software. After the one-time purchase, there aren’t any additional costs related to the software. As mentioned, perpetual licenses are one-time payment software. After acquiring them, users are provided with the right to use software for as long as they want and/or need.

In the long run, Perpetual Licenses cost less than other license types. Despite the higher starting costs, after a year, subscription-based software becomes increasingly more expensive. For this reason, many companies prefer perpetual licenses compared to subscription-based licenses.

What are the drawbacks of perpetual licenses?

Despite perpetual licenses being cheaper over time, there are some downsides to their cost structure. For starters, the purchasing costs are considerably higher compared to, for example, the cloud subscription version of that software. Secondly, there are updates, technical support, and other aspects that must be considered. The following paragraph describes them in more detail.

Usually, after a year of purchasing a perpetual software license, users will not have access to technical support and product updates. This is also the reason why perpetual licenses have a short lifecycle and become outdated quickly. The software license becomes outdated or unsafe to use after the manufacturer, for example, Microsoft does not offer security updates. When this happens, users upgrade to a newer version of the software. The risk with such upgrades is that the software might not be supported by the hardware anymore, which requires an additional hardware upgrade as well.

What are alternatives to perpetual licenses?

Alternative options to perpetual licenses are Open Value Programs or Open Value Subscription. For users working with Software Assurance, these are the only alternatives. Open Value and Open Value Subscription are both good substitutions of perpetual licenses for large and medium-sized organizations that use several on-premises products.

Open Value Subscription (OVS) is a three-year rental agreement that provides a way to license all the latest Microsoft software. The subscription is designed for and thus recommended to companies with 5 to 250 desktops. Despite OVS being a low-cost option it comes with Software Assurance and all its features as well.

Open Value is a good choice for small and medium-sized companies. Open Value comes with Software Assurance, it simplifies license management and provides the opportunity to improve the control over your investments. The software insurance gives access to deployment planning, software upgrades, training, and product support.