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Windows 10 Enterprise Comes to Action Pack, Competencies

Microsoft this week laid out some of its partner enablement efforts surrounding Windows 10, including the inclusion of Windows 10 Internal Use Rights into the Action Pack and competency license grants.

"We know that partners who exercise their Internal Use Rights (IURs) sell more because they're often more knowledgeable about and comfortable with the solutions they're selling. We want all our partners to feel comfortable with Windows 10, so we've made the Windows 10 Enterprise upgrade available to all Action Pack and Competency partners," said Gavriella Schuster, general manager of the Microsoft Partner Network (MPN), in a blog post.

The update to the Action Pack and the competencies was announced this week, following the general availability of Windows 10 on July 29, and the volume licensing availability of the new operating system on Aug. 1. The IURs are available on Microsoft's partner download portal here (password protected).

Partners can qualify for the Action Pack, if they confirm to Microsoft that they sell more than 75 percent of their products and services to customers outside their own company, among other restrictions. The $475-per-year subscription gets a partner enough client and server software licenses and cloud seats to run a 10-person business. The Action Pack includes 10 upgrade licenses to Windows 10 Enterprise edition.

Competency partners also get IURs. In the case of Windows 10, partners with a Silver competency can use 25 licenses, while Gold competency partners are entitled to 100 licenses. Those programs are more expensive to join than the Action Pack and carry revenue commitments and heavier training requirements.

The IUR move also gives partners the ability to use the most functional version of Windows 10, the Enterprise Edition, a volume licensing OS which includes a number of business-friendly features not available in other versions.

The Enterprise Editions of Windows 7, 8.1 and 10 aren't part of the high-profile, free upgrade from Windows 7 or Windows 8.1. Under that free program, current users of Windows 7 Starter, Windows 7 Home Basic, Windows 7 Home Premium, Windows 8.1 and Windows 8.1 with Bing can upgrade to Windows 10 Home. Users of Windows 7 Professional, Windows 7 Ultimate and Windows 8.1 Pro are eligible for the free update to Windows 10 Pro.

Meanwhile, Microsoft will also push partners forward with the IUR update in the Action Pack and competencies. The IURs do not include the downgrade rights to older versions of Windows that are allowed in other types of Microsoft licenses.

Schuster also urged partners to encourage their customers to take advantage of the 90-day Windows 10 Enterprise Evaluation to start getting familiar with the operating system and plan their deployments.

Posted by Scott Bekker on August 06, 2015 at 1:18 PM