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Software Assurance – New Products

For many organisations, keeping up with Microsoft Licensing can be a difficult task. As a result of this, businesses often miss out on some fantastic opportunities that they are already eligible for due to Software Assurance.

Inherently, Software Assurance has been purchased by organisations in order to be eligible for New Version Rights, however many other elements exist within this programme that can assist your business in five key areas:

  • New Products
  • Deployment
  • Training
  • Support
  • Specialised Services

Today, we will be reviewing the New Products section of Software Assurance and four of the benefits.

1. New Version Rights

One of the most well known features of Software Assurance is New Version Rights. Microsoft enables organisations to upgrade all licences covered under Software Assurance to the newest version during the agreement.

2. Step-Up Licensing Availability

A less well known feature of Software Assurance, Step-Up Licensing allows customers to migrate software from a lower level edition to a higher level edition. For example a company could migrate from Office Standard 2010 to Office Professional Plus 2010 at a much lower cost than if they were to purchase new licences.

This feature is ideal for smaller organisations that have expanded since the initial licence purchase and now require additional features.

3. Windows 7 Enterprise

Another useful feature of Software Assurance is the ability to upgrade all desktops covered under Software Assurance to Windows 7 Enterprise Edition.

Windows 7 Enterprise Edition is the most advanced and feature rich Windows Operating System. By using this upgrade, your users can benefit from:

  • DirectAccess – provides users with the ability to connect remotely to the corporate network without the need for a VPN.
  • BranchCache – allows for local file caching, meaning that files accessed from a head office can be cached locally, enabling other users to access data faster.
  • Federated Search – provides more powerful search tools, enabling users to find information in remote repositories such as SharePoint sites.
  • BitLocker and BitLocker to Go – provides the ability to encrypt local drives and prevent unauthorised access to data. BitLocker to Go extends this ability to removable drives and USB keys.
  • AppLocker – enables administrators to specify what software is allowed to run on a user’s PC. AppLocker restricts unauthorised software while allowing applications, installation programs, and scripts that users need.

4. Microsoft Desktop Optimisation Pack

The Microsoft Desktop Optimisation Pack (MDOP) is a suite of technologies available as a subscription for Software Assurance customers. It helps users manage windows features, implement desktop and application virtualisation and restore user productivity after a user issue.

Management and Control

MDOP provides a range of management and control features that assist you in controlling and securing your network.

  • Microsoft BitLocker Administration and Monitoring – assists organisations in implementing and managing large scale BitLocker implementations by simplifying deployment and key recovery, centralising provisioning, monitoring and reporting of encryption status for fixed and removable drives, and minimising support costs.
  • Advanced Group Policy Management – makes it easier for IT organisations to keep enterprise-wide desktop configurations up to date, enabling greater control, less downtime, and reduced total cost of ownership. This is achieved mainly through the ability to develop, review and modify GPO’s without affecting employee’s desktops.

Virtual Desktop Infrastructure Optimisations

VDI is an alternative delivery model that allows users to access secure and centrally-managed desktops running from a central server.

Many features exist within Software Assurance that can assist administrators during implementation and enhance the overall user experience.

  • MED-V provides a sandboxed environment for organisations that want to avoid application incompatibility when moving from Windows XP to Windows 7.
  • App-V enables application virtualisation, transforming isolated applications into centrally managed services that are never installed and don’t conflict with other applications.
  • User Experience Virtualisation is an enterprise scale user state virtualisation tool that delivers a user’s personal Windows profile across many devices.


MDOP builds upon the powerful features included in Windows 7 by adding useful diagnostic tools for administrators.

  • Diagnostics and Recovery Toolset helps make PC’s safer to use. Administrators can easily recover PCs that have become unusable, rapidly diagnose probable causes of issues, and quickly repair unbootable or locked-out systems, all faster than the average time it takes to re-image the machine.

Looking for advice?

EACS has a team of experienced consultants who can assist you in reviewing your Microsoft Software Assurance benefits. For more information, please contact us.