SPLA 2008 – Service Provider License Agreement Overview – Changes for Oct 2008


SPLA can benefit providers of services such as Web hosting, hosted applications, messaging, collaboration, platform infrastructure, and streaming media—as well as business-process outsourcers, PC-rental companies, Web or Internet services providers, IT outsourcers that provide software licenses, and others.

Software services are services that you provide that make licensed products available to customers and that display, run, access, or otherwise interact with Microsoft licensed products.

You provide these services from one or more data centers through the Internet, a telephony network, or a private network on a rental, subscription, or services basis, whether or not you receive a fee.

Software services exclude any services that involve installing a Microsoft licensed product directly on any device to permit a customer to interact with the Microsoft licensed product.

Two options are available to acquire the licenses for customers who use software services:

· If you provide the services, you may acquire the licenses through the SPLA program and you must ensure that your customers use the licenses in compliance with the Services Provider Use Rights (SPUR).

· Your customers may acquire licenses through customer Microsoft Volume Licensing programs and ask you to manage the licenses, if the following requirements are met:

  • The customer acquires the server licenses and client access licenses (CALs).
  • These licenses are used only by the customer, dedicated relationship, see previous post
  • License use complies with the Product Use Rights (PUR).

Customer Volume Licensing programs—such as Enterprise Agreement, Select License, and Open License—do not allow hosting of Microsoft licensed products.

In contrast, the SPLA is designed specifically for services providers so that you can deliver software services to your customers or to third parties.

As a result, your customers do not have to acquire their own licensed products. In addition, the SPLA can accommodate the types of services offered.

SPLA is applicable when:

· You provide direct or indirect access to Microsoft licensed products, such as hosted websites or line-of-business (LOB) applications, to your customers through Microsoft server licensed products.

  • Direct access. You facilitate your customers’ business (including business transactions with third parties) through software services.
  • Indirect access. You provide access to, and use of, any application (Microsoft or otherwise) to your customers and the application runs on a server and interacts with a Microsoft licensed product on that server.

You provide software services—that interact with Microsoft licensed products—to your customers. However, you are the licensee, not your customers.

Agreement Term

The SPLA program offers a three-year agreement term.

License Type

Licenses acquired under the SPLA are non-perpetual (or subscription) monthly licenses that can be used during the term of the agreement.

The license rights under the SPLA are:

· The right to provide software services.

· The right for your customers to access or use the Microsoft licensed products running on your server.

· The right to provide multi-tenancy—or provide to more than one customer—to use the same Microsoft server licensed products.

· The right to report and pay for licenses you authorize your customers to use on a monthly basis.

· The right to pay for limited internal use.

· The right to no up-front license fees and no minimum commitments.

Licensing Offerings

There are two types of SPLA licenses. Choose the one that is right for you based on how you offer Microsoft licensed products to your customers.

· Per subscriber. A subscriber access license (SAL) is required for each unique individual user or device that is authorized to access or otherwise use the licensed products. With the SAL option, you do not need a separate server license.

· Per processor. Each processor license allows an unlimited number of users to access the software that is installed on that processor for products licensed through a per processor model.

Monthly reporting and payment of non-perpetual licenses are based on actual use from the previous month.

Software Maintenance Options

Upgrade rights are included in the monthly subscription license. Services providers may use the latest versions for the term of the agreement. The SPLA is not version-specific, so you always get the latest versions. No other Microsoft Software Assurance for Volume Licensing benefits are offered.

Products Included

Download the most recent SPUR document to see the wide selection of Microsoft software products (application, system, server, and services) available for the SPLA program and online services products


There is one price level in SPLA.  

  • Academic pricing on selected products is available when you deploy services to qualified education customers.
  • Microsoft may decrease the price in the price list at any time.
  • Microsoft may increase the price in the price list only once each calendar year on January 1 and at any time to offset exchange rate fluctuations for prices other than U.S. dollars.

Licensing Fulfillment

The SPLA program does not include media kits.

Beginning October 15, 2008, SPLA partners will be able to download products through the VLSC.

You should be aware that the VLSC has not yet been modified for services provider use. It is mainly for downloading media.

Note: SPLA will not be displayed on the Microsoft Licensing Statement, but agreement details will be available on the VLSC.

Volume license keys will not be available on the VLSC.

You must continue to contact your Microsoft Worldwide Activation Center for your volume license keys.

You can also order up to 10 of any individual media SKUs separately on each purchase order, for a fee, during the term of your agreement from your SPLA reseller.

Agreement Renewal

At the end of the three-year SPLA, you may sign a new agreement or extend your existing agreement for another 12 months or for the longest remaining customer agreement period, whichever period is shorter.

Within 30 days of your agreement’s termination or expiration, you are required to remove all copies of client software from your customers’ machines and to ensure that your customers return or destroy all copies of client software.

More details on the Partner Portal –  https://partner.microsoft.com/global/licensing


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