Microsoft Windows Server 2012 – Licensing Changes

While much of the focus this year has been on Microsoft’s planned release of Windows 8, Microsoft Windows Server also has a planned release this year.  Microsoft Windows Server 2012 is slated for general availability in September and has some significant licensing changes planned to accompany the release.

Even though you may have no plans to move to Windows Server 2012 at release, this will impact all Windows Server purchases made after General Release.
Summary of planned changes:
  1. All server licensing is changing to the per Processor model (no more “per server” licensing)
  2. They are eliminating the “Enterprise” edition (the only difference between the remaining editions of Standard or Datacenter will be how they license virtual OSEs…functionality between editions will be exactly the same).
  3. Each license will cover 2 processors on the same device. Existing licenses with Software Assurance will convert as follows:
    • Microsoft Windows Server Datacenter – 2 licenses will convert to a single Datacenter license
    • Microsoft Windows Server Enterprise – 1 license will convert to two Standard licenses
    • Microsoft Windows Server Standard – 1 license will convert to one Standard license
  4. Standard will now include the right for 1 physical or 2 virtual OSE’s per 2 processor box

Timing of release has not yet been disclosed (I’m betting September) – I recommend you analyze your environment and determine if you want to execute a purchase prior to general release so as to minimize the impact by maximizing the conversion ratios.

As always, if you need help or simply want to discuss this further let me know – I know Microsoft licensing (particularly when it changes) can be confusing…I’m happy to help explain it.
Please note, these changes are “planned” – by the time General Release occurs there could be more changes as the licensing terms are not set until release.
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