Microsoft announced a change to licensing options for Windows Enterprise edition on March 1. Below I provide an overview of the changes and how they might impact organizations looking to take advantage of the features and functionalities.
Historically, Windows Enterprise edition has been only available through the acquisition of Windows Professional with Software Assurance (SA). Organizations that wanted these capabilities needed to purchase them through one of the following means:
- A new upgrade License with SA
- The renewal of existing SA
- The acquisition of SA only within 90 days of OEM or a Full Packaged Product (FPP) purchase
These procurement options were accompanied by certain restrictions on the type of qualifying volume licensing programs. For example, organizations couldn’t acquire SA within 90 days of OEM or FPP purchase under the Enterprise Agreement program, only via Select or Open. In addition, the ability to renew existing SA depended on keeping maintenance current to ensure continuity of coverage. SA renewal rules are defined in the Microsoft Product List.
Microsoft will now provide Windows Enterprise edition as an upgrade License only offering moving forward, making the features of Enterprise edition available to organizations not invested in Windows annuity licensing or programs. In addition, SA will come standard with the Windows Enterprise edition only, eliminating the Windows Professional Upgrade with SA option. Organizations with active SA on Windows Professional will have the option to renew using the Windows Enterprise SA SKU. Continue Reading…