Windows 10 Enterprise E3 – CSP: What’s Different?

Dan Ortiz

Microsoft Corporation has been transforming their Modern Workplace offerings, utilizing the same technology that they developed for public use. It’s a great sign when a company wants you to use their products and actually relies on the same products to run their own business. Windows 10 was a monumental release for the client-side operating system. Microsoft released this version of Windows as a service-oriented offering, allowing end users and organizations to remain agile within an ever-changing computing environment. There are many ways to purchase the Windows 10 operating system. Today, let’s focus on Windows 10 Enterprise E3.

Windows 10 Enterprise E3 is sold under volume licensing programs, such as Open Value (OV), Open Business (MOB), Microsoft Product and Services Agreement (MPSA), Select Plus, Enterprise Agreement (EA), and EA Subscription, as well as Cloud Service Provider (CSP), which is not a classic volume licensing program. There are some differences programmatically, as well as the CSP usage rights.

The biggest difference is the way that CSP works. CSP is a partner managed program, which means that your partner will manage the billing and support directly for you, where the management under all the other volume licensing programs is managed by the customer. Another management difference is that CSP Windows 10 Enterprise E3 activations are performed through a digital license, leveraging Azure Active Directory—whereas Multiple Activation Keys (MAK) or Key Management Server (KMS) activation are used with all other Microsoft programs. Additionally, there are no volume discounts in CSP, but there is a monthly billing cycle, as opposed to annual in all the other programs.

There are also differences in the rights you receive with a subscription of Windows 10 Enterprise E3 with CSP versus subscriptions and upgrade licenses with Software Assurance (SA) under any of the other programs. Long Term Service Branch, Downgrade Rights, Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP), Microsoft Support, Training Benefits, and Virtual Desktop Infrastructure Rights (VDI) do not come with the Windows 10 Enterprise E3 subscriptions purchased under CSP. These differences are some of the biggest drivers to consider when purchasing the upgrade pack with SA or through subscription.

Connection is a Microsoft Partner authorized to facilitate all of your Microsoft licensing needs. There are many different ways to purchase or subscribe to the different Microsoft offerings. This can create some confusion when you try to choose the best path for your organization. Make the best decisions for your company, and make the biggest impact by contacting an Account Manager. We can make sure you have made the best choice for your organization. We offer assessments for your next upgrade, asset management services, and a rich portfolio of deployment services to assist with your transformation. We eagerly look forward to working alongside your team!

Dan is a Business Development Manager for Microsoft at Connection with over 10 years of experience in software licensing. In his spare time Dan is an avid hiker.