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You can buy Windows 10 Enterprise E3 access for the price of a coffee

Microsoft rolls enterprise dice in repackaging game

WPC 2016 Microsoft is moving into new as-a-service pricing and bundling territory with the full-fat version of Windows 10 Enterprise.

Today Redmond announced it is releasing Windows 10 Enterprise E3, which would normally be reserved for big operations and sold via Microsoft's volume-purchase programs, at a price of $7 per seat per month.

The news came on day two of Microsoft's Worldwide Partner Conference in Toronto, Canada.

Windows 10 Enterprise E3 will only be available for sale through Microsoft partners in the company’s Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program.

The change means partners can now sell Windows 10 as a part of a full Microsoft subscription stack that also includes Office 365 and Dynamics Azure and CRM and as a managed service offering to customers whose own IT support is thin on the ground.

For customers, that means – in theory – access to Enterprise Windows for a low monthly fee and simpler licensing. Windows 10 Enterprise will continue to be sold through Microsoft's regular licensing and volume programs.

Separately, at its partner conference, Microsoft also confirmed its Surface mobile is being offered as-a-service. Nobody names then re-names and moves the packaging around quite like Microsoft and this new development is no exception. As in previous changes, the driving principle this time around is to “simplify” everything for you, the user.

Version control

Windows 10 Enterprise as a service will sell in E3 and E5 versions. What are these, you ask?

Take a step back to last week. Microsoft renamed its Enterprise Cloud Suite as Secure Productive Enterprise E3 while also announcing Secure Productive Suite E5.

The former includes Office 365 and Enterprise Mobility + Security E3 with Windows 10 Enterprise. Mobility + Security E3 is the old Enterprise Mobility Suite, also renamed, and includes mobile sync, security and device management.

E5 is all of the above but with the added security of Windows Defender Advanced Threat Detection. E3 is coming this autumn and E5 “later this year.”

Pricing for Windows 10 Enterprise E5 was not announced on Tuesday at WPC.

Of the changes last week, Microsoft said: “The outcome is a simpler approach to ensuring customers have the technology they need to run a secure and productive enterprise and enable their digital transformation.” ®

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