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Cortado 2018 Predictions: Goodbye Windows License Key… Hello Microsoft 365

VMblog Predictions 2018

Industry executives and experts share their predictions for 2018.  Read them in this 10th annual VMblog.com series exclusive.

Contributed by Henning Volkmer, president and CEO, Cortado Inc.

Goodbye Windows license key… Hello Microsoft 365

The Microsoft Windows license key has resigned! With a tight, powerful grip on the desktop operating system market for the past 31 years, the windows license key is ensuring a smooth transition of power to the next generation. The next generation has a powerful name: Microsoft 365. That's right: All Microsoft, all the time.

2018 will be the beginning of a vastly different end user computing landscape. Instead of selling one Windows license per PC and one Office license per PC the next generation of Microsoft is a subscription for all Microsoft products for every user. This will not only change how we acquire Microsoft products, but also how we use them and how the eco-system around them is functioning.

I am 100 percent certain that Microsoft did not decide to do this out of the kindness of their heart.  However, I am certain that this is a fantastic opportunity for the Microsoft eco-system: End-users, ISVs, cloud providers and service providers.

There's incredible potential in hosted, virtual Microsoft Windows desktops and applications. End-users benefit from the possibility to shed much of the maintenance overhead and gain the ability to connect to their desktop and application from just about any device. You're a Mac person? Great! Need to look something up from your Android phablet? Go for it! Prefer your Dell/HP/Lenevo/Acer/etc. Windows PC/laptop? Sure!

Microsoft's licensing was always difficult for those looking to provide Windows desktops and applications to users. That also goes for company IT looking to implement a BYOD policy and is especially true for those looking to provide IaaS, DaaS, PaaS etc. services.

With Microsoft 365 a service provider can build their DaaS platform, charge the best price they can get for their services, and their customers simply log in with their Microsoft 365 ID. If the customer also operates Windows laptops for the same user to connect to the service provider, those are covered under the same subscription.

If an IT department is looking to serve the needs of the different departments within a company: It's covered with just one subscription.

We've spent the last 10+ years debating the future of virtual or remote desktops. A lot of those discussions were deeply technical, including networking requirements, storage costs, server performance and more.

These technicalities had one thing in common - they required the ability to scale to be cost effective. At the same time service providers struggled to achieve scale because their hosted desktops often seemed far too expensive compared to a Windows PC that customer could run themselves. This is an especially important note, because customers typically see the cost of the device and largely ignore the cost of actually running it.

Microsoft 365 is clearly a turning point for the service provider market. It allows a separation of charges for running hardware and software and the actual use of the software. Service providers can now focus on building their data centers, operating servers and maintaining software as efficiently as possible. This allows them to charge as many customers as possible as much money as possible for those (very valuable) skills. The price the service provider charges reflects the value of the service; much like the price of a product in a restaurant or supermarket reflects the value of that product.

At the same time the Microsoft 365 subscription reflects the value of the products required to benefit from their capabilities. However, they also cover the entirety of a users needs. Gone are the days of licensing one copy of Windows to run the user's laptop, only to connect to another Windows desktop that requires another license.

Easy to understand, fair pricing that accurately reflects a products value is critical to it's success. Service providers can now accurately show the value of their services. Microsoft can do the same. So can the manufacturer of the device the user is looking to connect to these services.

In total, this will lead to a tremendous increase of the use of hosted desktops and applications. The idea was always great, but now it can scale for everyone. Perhaps more importantly, value is correctly assigned to each component and customers can understand what they are paying for and why it's worth it.

There's just one component that still needs some work: Printing

Printing is a natural, easy-to-use, easy-to-understand and very durable extension of the digital services we have all come to appreciate.

Printing is also complex, inefficient, cost-intensive to manage and not really designed for a world where everything can be a service. ThinPrint is leading the next steps for the Windows Desktop and brings significant experience making printing easy to manage and use with high availability.

We enable the ability to reduce print data volume so jobs arrive quickly anywhere in the world, print from and to any device, deal with drivers and all but eliminate support needed by users looking to print.

Whether you're building Windows Desktops for your company and need easier direct-printing, or looking at a more centralized infrastructure, or whether you're a Service Provider looking to scale: ThinPrint's ezeep, ezeep Dash and ThinPrint Engine have the right solution for you.

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About the Author

Henning Volkmer 

Henning Volkmer is the president and CEO of ThinPrint Inc. and Cortado Inc. He drives the execution of ThinPrint's strategy as the leading provider of print management software and services for businesses across the Americas. Volkmer has been at the forefront of technology trends for the past seventeen years, helping to shape both the future of desktops, as well as printing. In addition to holding various positions within the Cortado group, Volkmer served as part of a project team focused on reducing costs in the network infrastructure division with what is now Nokia Networks. Under Volkmer's direction, ThinPrint brand has increased its lead as the premier print management software, optimizing printing from traditional PCs, mobile devices, thin clients, virtual desktops, or from the cloud for over 25,000 companies across all industries and of all sizes.

Originally from Berlin, Volkmer currently resides in Denver.

Published Wednesday, January 03, 2018 7:44 AM by David Marshall
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