Microsoft delays debut of IoT security offer due to 'unexpected system challenges'

Software giant tells partners not to sell it but also happy to take your cash now

Updated Microsoft has quietly delayed the delivery of a security service it hoped to add to the E5 license of its flagship Microsoft 365 suite.

A Tuesday note for Microsoft partners reminds them that on September 1 they were shown a price list preview showing a new offering: the "Microsoft Defender for IoT – Enterprise Internet of Things Device License – add-on."

Partners were told they would be able to sell the add-on as of an unspecified October date, and it would become generally available in that month.

Microsoft has since advised it will miss that deadline.

"Due to unexpected system challenges, a decision was made to delay the launch until November 1, 2023," a newer partner advisory states.

It gets weirder, because the advisory admits that the product is listed as purchasable on Microsoft's price lists.

"However we ask that you don't purchase this SKU until November 1, 2023," the document pleads.

Microsoft's advice to partners is that that they should disregard its price list, not sell the new offering, and advise customers of the new on-sale date.

But the titan of commercial software is also willing to take customers' cash before the product ships.

"Share with customers interested in purchasing Microsoft 365 E5 and E5 Security SKUs before November 1, 2023, that Microsoft Defender for IoT – Enterprise IoT protection will be backfilled to those SKUs by the end of November should they desire to purchase Microsoft 365 E5 or E5 Security SKUs before November 1, 2023," the advisory recommends.

E5 is one of the license tiers for Microsoft 365. The increasingly SaaSy software slinger bills it as offering "best-in-class productivity apps with advanced security, compliance, voice, and analytical capabilities," as it includes personal productivity apps, Teams Calling, PowerBI, and security tools not offered in lesser bundles.

Microsoft suggests Defender for IoT as a useful tool to ensure devices like printers, smart TVs, and conferencing systems can be managed with the same rigor applied to PCs and servers. The accompanying Enterprise IoT plan adds alerting and vulnerability detection services.

Which customers will have to do without for a little longer.

The Register has asked Microsoft to detail the "unexpected system challenges" behind this delay. ®

Updated at 01:15 UTC, October 6th Microsoft told us it is currently in the process of updating the systems for the new SKU and customers will be able to purchase on 1 November."

Which is what it already told partners in the post reported above.

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