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Microsoft has decided it will no longer provide free product licenses to reseller partners for use internationally. Starting July 1, 2020, those partners will be required to purchase product licenses from Microsoft. The decision was made on July 1, the start of its fiscal 2020.

According to a post on its partner.microsoft.com website, the company did not explain why the change was being made. Partner resellers of Microsoft products has typically been able to use those service internally at no cost.

“Effective July 1, 2020, we will retire the internal use rights (IUR) association with the product licenses partners receive in the Microsoft Action Pack and included with a competency. Product license use rights will be updated to be used for business development scenarios such as demonstration purposes, solution/services development purposes, and internal training,” Microsoft said

Furthermore, is doing more to reduce the number of on-premises perks partners receive, including easing back on support for Microsoft Action Pack (MAP). Microsoft has changed details on its technical support to say on-premises support incidents won’t be available for MAP and competencies. This change will be from August 2019.

“Beginning October 1, 2019, the product licenses included with competencies will be specific to the competency you attain. Please review the benefits you will receive with your competency in Partner Center at time of purchase. Additional licenses can be purchased through commercial licensing to run your business,” the company added.

Inspire

We doubt partners are very happy about these changes and the early opinion seems to be negative. Interestingly, Microsoft has its Inspire partner conference ready to go live later this month in Las Vegas. Partners will likely voice their displeasure at these decisions.

Inspire 2019 will run from July 14 to 19 and allows partners to connect directly with Microsoft. While the conference is a celebration of the company/partner relationship, Microsoft’s move to reduce product support will probably cause some tension.