SPLA Staying?  SPLA Going?  Our 2023 Predictions!

Predictions are tricky, and it is even more complex with Microsoft (or any publisher, for that matter). Last month there were a lot of licensing changes and social media posts about the “death of SPLA” A few weeks later, there’s a hosting incentive for (you guessed it) SPLA! So what are your thoughts on 2023? Let’s dive into it a little bit more.

CSP Hoster Expansion

The jury is still out on how I feel about this. On the one hand, yes, CSP hosting makes sense. On the other hand, if I were a service provider, I would be concerned about privacy and protecting my customer base. Do you really want to disclose your customer list to Microsoft? Under SPLA, you own the customer, not Microsoft or any other publisher. That being said, my prediction for 2023 is an expansion of CSP Hoster benefits as well as eligibility. Currently, you must be CSP Direct authorized but Microsoft said previously they plan on expanding this to the wider industry.

Price Increases

We didn’t really see a price increase last year or this year. Come next year, I would imagine Microsoft will do a price increase on products like RDS, Office, Windows Server (especially now with the flexible virtualization benefit) and SQL. I don’t know any more than you about price increases, but this is just a hunch.


I think audits will continue but expand to more than just SPLA. Most data centers nowadays have a mix of end customer licensing, SPLA, outsourcing, etc. You must pay attention to what your customers are deploying because almost all the new licensing rules announced last month was 100% end-customer-focused.

Increase in Merger and Acquisitions Activity

With a downturn in the economy, who knows? Maybe smaller providers will consolidate with larger providers. If you are looking at acquiring another provider, I would recommend doing a SAM engagement for the company you are looking to acquire. Remember, if you think licensing is challenging, so do other providers. Not one service provider is 100% compliant. Please do your due diligence; it can save you in the long run.

Thanks for reading,


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