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Windows 10 Launches as Subscription Service Through CSP

Microsoft's promised pay-as-you go version of Windows 10 Enterprise is now available through its Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program.

Windows 10 Enterprise E3, which Microsoft first unveiled at this summer's Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC), officially launched on Thursday as a subscription-based cloud service that can be purchased through, and managed by, CSP partners.

The subscription costs $7 per user per month (or $84 per year), and includes the Windows 10 Enterprise edition and anti-malware features like Device Guard and Credential Guard.

"Partners have been eager for us to create a partner-managed cloud service subscription offering where businesses of any size can access the latest security, management and control features found in the Enterprise edition of Windows without the need for a long-term volume licensing agreement," wrote Nic Fillingham, small business product manager at Microsoft, in a blog post announcing the availability.

According to a Microsoft spokesperson, all CSP partners except for those in China can begin selling Windows 10 Enterprise E3 as of Sept. 1. Also, three of Microsoft's largest "indirect provider" CSP members -- Tech Data, Synnex and Switzerland-based ALSO -- are launch partners, and they can "distribute Windows 10 Enterprise E3 to indirect resellers via their respective cloud marketplaces," the spokesperson said.

Microsoft also announced on Thursday an upcoming Windows 10 Enterprise subscription for the higher-tier E5 plan.

Windows 10 Enterprise E5 is expected to become available through CSPs on Oct. 1, and will include all of the benefits of the E3 version but with added security protections via the new Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection. Currently in preview, Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection uses machine learning to detect security breaches.

According to a Microsoft spokesperson, pricing for the E5 offering is estimated to be double that of the E3 version, at $14 per user per month.

About the Author

Gladys Rama is the Senior Site Producer for RCPmag.com.