New 2013 SPLA Agreement

22 Oct

You might have heard Microsoft has a new SPLA agreement coming out this month.   With Microsoft, the changes only take effect when you sign a new SPLA.  If your agreement has a 2010 version, you must adhere to the 2010 agreement terms, not the new agreement terms.  There’s a lot of misinformation regarding this in the blog world.   Remember the SQL 2008 use rights…in which you could license SQL by processor up until you sign a new agreement?   These changes work the same way.

I wrote about this earlier, but here’s the biggest change in the 2013 terms

  • Install SPLA licenses on customer owned hardware.  The service provider can install SPLA on customer owned hardware — As long as the SERVER (not a PC) is MANAGED and CONTROLLED by the service provider.  You CANNOT take a customer owned hardware that is already licensed under their own internal volume license agreement and install SPLA licenses  on the same server.  In other words, if a server is covered with the customer’s Enterprise Agreement for Windows, you cannot install SPLA licenses on the same server.  If you would like to provide this service, contact your reseller. There is a new addendum that will allow you to provide this solution if you have a 2010 SPLA agreement. (no need to sign a new SPLA if you have the addendum).
  • $100 (US) monthly reporting minimum.  If you have a signed 2013 version of the SPLA, you must report a minimum of $100.  Microsoft has a 6 month rule of zero usage, on the 7th month you must start reporting $100 a month.  So….what happens if you only have $50 dollars worth of usage and sign a 2013 SPLA?  You have to report $100 regardless.  In my opinion, if you report less than $100 a month, use a third-party to host the software and use their SPLA.  Please remember when you signed your SPLA.  SPLA is a 3 year agreement.
  • Azure- Just like using any other 3rd party as a data center, the SPLA customer can use Microsoft.  In the event of termination, the SPLA customer is responsible for removing the software from their Azure servers.
  • Hosting Community – in the past, SPLA customers would be required to join the hosting community as part of their agreement.  As of 2013, this is no longer a requirement.  I would still recommend joining, it does provide program updates.  Just because it is no longer a requirement, does not mean Microsoft discontinued this resource.

That’s the main point(s) I wanted to review.  Always good to understand timing.  When you sign a new SPLA, you have to follow the new rules.

Thanks for reading,



Posted by on October 22, 2013 in Uncategorized


18 responses to “New 2013 SPLA Agreement

  1. Kroontje

    November 27, 2013 at 10:50 am


    Can you explain ‘ As long as the SERVER (not a PC) is MANAGED and CONTROLLED by the service provider.’ a little bit more?

    What does that mean? e.g. Is the SP the only one who has admin access to the server, and can the customer have a personal login also?

    • splaman

      November 27, 2013 at 11:39 am

      Check out section D page 5 of the new October 2013 agreement. “Customer shall not permit End User (or any third party) to access, maintain, or otherwise use the product except for the sole purpose of accessing the functionality of the Products in the form of Software Services..”

      My advice is to have this as part of your SLA and be sure to have your end user sign the Terms and Conditions agreement (this came with your original SPLA paperwork).

      • Kroontje

        November 27, 2013 at 11:45 am

        Thanks !

  2. Daniel

    December 4, 2013 at 12:05 pm

    If the customer use the Windows Server license from SPLA, how should they license the clients? In SPLA we don’t license SALs anymore. The clients are automatically licensed?

    • splaman

      December 4, 2013 at 12:31 pm

      Hi Daniel,

      The beautiful thing about proc based licensing is it covers all the users. There’s no server + CAL licensing with SPLA.

  3. mgm

    December 5, 2013 at 8:23 pm

    Do you have a Microsoft reference to the addendum that will allow 2010 agreements to install SPLA licenses on customer owned hardware?

    • splaman

      December 6, 2013 at 9:49 am

      Hello. Thanks for reading. You would need to request that addendum through your reseller or reach out to me via LinkedIn and I can send to you.

      • mgm

        December 6, 2013 at 7:20 pm

        I wasn’t looking for the actual addendum but an official reference to it actually being available. My reseller has told me that there is no such addendum. I’ll contact you on LinkedIn, what is your LinkedIn name? Thanks.

  4. mgm

    December 6, 2013 at 7:21 pm

    Woops, your LinkedIn profile details are right at the top of the page.

    • splaman

      December 9, 2013 at 8:34 am

      Thanks for reading MGM. Happy to help

  5. Monica

    January 30, 2014 at 3:23 am

    Hi, My SPLA contact in the nordics says that there is no addendum – you have to have a 2013 agreement. Where is this addendum available?

    • splaman

      January 30, 2014 at 10:37 am

      Hi Monica

      You will need to ask your reseller who can in return obtain it from Microsoft. If you need guidance, email me at

  6. taylex

    February 1, 2014 at 8:01 am

    How can I know which version of the SPLA I am currently under? I don’t remember signing a new one yet but want to be sure I didn’t sign one electronically somehow. My current expiration is later this year. I assume I am on 2010.

    • splaman

      February 1, 2014 at 10:23 am

      You would only have one agreement. If you accidentally signed one online it would automatically terminate if nothing is being reported under it. If your agreement expires this year you would follow the terms of the new agreement once signed, You can reach out to our SPLA team to review how this may/may not impact your report specifically..Email

  7. Paul Marshall

    April 1, 2015 at 9:22 am

    Dear Splanman, thanks for you article. Does the section you reference still apply to the agreement, if so, can you point me to the specific section or site from Microsoft, I am unable to locate this. “The service provider can install SPLA on customer owned hardware — As long as the SERVER (not a PC) is MANAGED and CONTROLLED by the service provider”

    Much thanks in advance

    • splaman

      April 8, 2015 at 7:09 am

      Yes…it’s on page 5 (I believe)under end user installations. Contract used to state “must be owned”. Now it states “must be managed”

  8. Steve

    April 26, 2021 at 11:28 am

    HI! If the client has their own hardware, on-prem and are licensed with Volume licensing can the MSP use SPLA for extra Windows/RDS/OFFICE CALs/Licenses?

    • MS Licensing

      May 12, 2021 at 7:40 am

      No. You cannot mix SPLA and VL for the same product.


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