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It's worse than you're describing- Microsoft is charging one licensing price if you're on their cloud but another price if you're on someone elses. This anticompetitive behavior is what we expected from Microsoft in the 90s and early 2000s.



You say it like that and it sounds bad, but you say it like "Microsoft offers a discount if you bundle cloud and license spending" and it sounds pretty fair to me.

Goodness knows there are a lot of other cloud options than Microsoft. If you're tightly coupled with one vendor you're gonna be at their mercy.


When you have a monopoly on Y, it is not fair to offer a discount on a bundle of X and Y. The problem is not the general idea of a discount bundle, it's leveraging a monopoly to get more business in a different market.


Is Microsoft a monopoly on Server operating systems? I’d say no, and not by a long shot. Even on Azure, Linux is more than 50% of their workloads.


If you're running nginx, no.

For most software deployed on a windows server, there is no compatible OS. There's no real choice.


Microsoft doesn't have anything even remotely resembling a monopoly on server OSes.


To be fair, this affects the server market, where MS was never really a monopolist.


Can you name a business that doesn't offer you a discount commensurate to the amount you spend with them? Why wouldn't Microsoft give you a discount on your windows license if you're also using their cloud?


This practice is a form of "bundling" in the antitrust sense, and while it is not inherently illegal different rules apply to such behaviors if you've been found to have monopoly powers.


It is not - it would be if they had a monopoly, but they clearly don't in this case.


They do have a monopoly on Windows licenses, and they are trying to leverage that to sell cloud hosting of Windows servers, which they do not have a monopoly on. In this case Microsoft's defense would probably be "Windows is not the only OS available", which may or may not be accepted by a government (it's gone both ways for them in the past).


The right question is if Windows Server has a monopoly - and the answer is no. Even in Azure more then 50% of servers run Linux.


What about the license makes Azure specifically cheaper? Does it call out Azure specifically?

Or rather, you can use the on-prem license in the cloud, but only on dedicated hardware?

If so, Azure Dedicated Instances would be able to use that form of the license, but why not AWS which also has a dedicated hardware option?


From the blog post[0]:

> Azure Hybrid Benefit for Azure only

[0]: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/licensing/news/updated-licen...


Azure Hybrid Benefit is for licenses with Software Assurance. The change that the blog post keeps railing on about is for licenses without Software Assurance.


Yeah, they charge more if you're on their cloud.

Isn't that kinda the opposite?




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