Enterprise customers can now get device-based licensing for Office

Or as Microsoft calls it: Device-based licensing for Microsoft 365 Apps for enterprise

Back at Ignite 2019, Microsoft announced a preview for the new device-based licensing for Office desktop apps (now Microsoft 365 Apps). The planned GA date was “summer 2020”, and it seems all went according to plan as the feature is now released publicly. The list of requirements is as follows:

  • The feature is available only for certain EDU and commercial customers.
  • As commercial customer, you must have an Enterprise Agreement/Enterprise Agreement Subscription, and the SKU is Microsoft 365 Apps for enterprise (device).
  • As EDU customer, you can get the Microsoft 365 Apps for Education (device) SKU through Enrollment for Education Solutions.
  • The device must be running Window 10.
  • Only version 1803 or later is supported (the LTSC version has the same requirement).
  • Version 1907 or above of the Office suite (Microsoft 365 Apps) is required.
  • The device must be Azure AD joined or Azure AD hybrid joined and must be joined to Azure AD beforehand.
  • You cannot directly license a given device, you must add them to a group first.
  • The group containing the devices objects must be created beforehand via the Azure AD blade, as the Microsoft 365 admin portal is still not updated to recognize device objects. You can also use PowerShell or the Graph API.
  • The group must be of type “security”, or a distribution group. Office 365 groups or mail-enabled security groups are supported.
  • If using a security group, it can have dynamic membership (device condition). Dynamic distribution groups are not supported, as they are not recognized by Azure AD.
  • The group can be synced from on-premises AD, the above requirements must be met though.
  • A license must be assigned to the group via the Microsoft 365 Admin center (Billing -> Licenses -> click the Microsoft 365 Apps for enterprise (device) license -> Assign licenses -> select the group created as per the previous steps. (You can probably use the Azure AD blade to assign the license to the group as well, but since my test tenant doesn’t qualify for EA, I cannot test this. Do note that Microsoft recommends using the M365 portal only).
  • The Office install must be configured for device-based licensing, either via the ODT, GPOs, or reg keys directly.

Additional details can be found in the documentation here and here.

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