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Understanding the New Commerce Experience (NCE) for CSP

The New Commerce Experience (NCE) is an updated licensing model launched by Microsoft, and is the most recent evolution of the Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program.

Microsoft first launched the NCE in 2019 for Azure, and this year has added Microsoft 365, Dynamics 365, Windows 365 and Power Platform to the program, for all commercial subscription licenses.

The product libraries remain the same, though there are some changes to the way billing and contract terms are handled. There are changes that apply from today for new CSP customers, and from 1st July 2022 for existing CSP customers.

Update: Microsoft has since removed their requirement for renewals to use the NCE, however this does have partner implications so we expect to see the industry shift to the NCE over the next 6 months.

Why has Microsoft changed to the new commerce experience?

The new commerce experience model aims to reduce subscription license complexity and costs while giving customers the flexibility to tailor purchases to their business needs. Microsoft has introduced two difference purchasing models across all products that are part of the NCE:

  • Short Term Commitment (Monthly)
  • Long Term Commitment (12 or 36 Months)

Licensing with a Short Term Commitment (Monthly)

This option allows you to increase/decrease users per month, and only has a monthly commitment.

The pricing will attract a 20% premium compared to the long-term model, but you can cancel with 30-days’ notice (or within 72* hours of a new license purchase). Price increases are not protected and can change each month.

Licensing with a Long Term Commitment (Monthly)

In the long-term commitment model, licensing pricing is fixed for the selected term. Licenses can still be cancelled within 72* hours of purchase, but from that point you are committed to the full term of the license. Pricing for any new licenses that are added will be prorated from their purchase date until the end of the term.

What licenses does the new commerce experience apply to?

Commercial subscription licensing for Azure, Microsoft 365, Dynamics 365, Windows 365 and Power Platform.

Dynamics 365 Business Central (On-Premises) and annual maintenance subscriptions for perpetual licensing is unaffected.

Does this affect government, not-for-profit and education licensing?

No. The new commerce experience changes currently only apply to commercial licensed customers. Microsoft has not specified a roadmap for Government, Nonprofit, or Education licensing via NCE this at this stage.

*What is the cooling-off period for new CSP purchases?

If you’re purchasing a new CSP license via the NCE, you have a period of 72 hours to cancel the license for a full refund. This is to be increased to 168 hours as of July 11, 2022.

What happens to my existing subscription licenses?

At your next renewal date after 1 July 2022, we will automatically renew you on a 12-month Long Term subscription – this will be at the same monthly price you have been paying for your existing subscriptions (subject to any base level pricing change from Microsoft).

If you would prefer to stay on a Short Term Monthly Commitment (recommended if you are planning to reduce/cancel a subscription) please contact us to make this change.


If you have any other questions, please contact us to discuss in more detail.