Microsoft OEM Windows Server 2012 R2 Roadshow – Week 6 Q&A

 More cities, more questions, more answers!

What OEM server license types can I purchase Software Assurance for?

Provided it's within 90 days of purchase, you can get Software Assurance for COEM (OEM boxed product from Microsoft), ROK and preinstall.

What are the ways I can help my customer exercise downgrade rights with Windows Server 2012 R2 to an earlier version?

While the rights to downgrade are included with OEM products, Microsoft doesn't provide the downgrade media or keys unless the customer has access to the VLSC. Take a look at the following information from the Understanding Downgrade Rights page.

Downgrade rights for Windows Server software

The following OEM versions of Windows Server software are eligible for downgrade and down-edition.

Windows Server
2012 R2 SKUs
Windows Server 2012 Windows Server
2008 R2
Windows Server
2003 R2, 2003,
 Server 2012

Datacenter Standard Datacenter Enterprise

End users may
downgrade to any other version
as long as they
have the
appropriate media and keys.

Server 2012 R2

Standard Enterprise

Server 2012 R2

Includes downgrade rights to an earlier version of: Windows Small Business Server Essentials
Windows Server 2012

Includes downgrade rights to an earlier version of: Windows Server Foundation

Steps for an end user to downgrade Windows Server software

To downgrade Windows Server software customers must:

  • Purchase a Server system licensed with Windows Server software.
  • Accept the Microsoft Software License Terms.
  • Perform the downgrade or down-edition process to the eligible downgrade/down-edition product using the media/key from a genuine, previously licensed OEM, retail or Volume Licensing Server product.

To perform a downgrade to an earlier version of Windows Server software, end users must follow these steps:

  • Use the Windows Server media and a corresponding product key for the version of Windows Server that is eligible for downgrade.
  • The media/key should come from a previously licensed version.
  • The media and key used to perform the downgrade must be from the same channel (example: retail, OEM, or VL).
  • End users can use the following media types for their downgrade:
    • Retail (full packaged product)
    • System builder media
    • VL software media in accordance with the Microsoft OEM Volume Licensing License Terms.
  • Install the downgrade-eligible version of Windows Server media.
    • Follow activation guide to install the software.
    • If activation fails, follow the trouble shooting wizard or call your local Activation Support call center and explain your circumstances.

Why should I sell Office 2013 licenses to a customer versus selling them one of the Office 365 subscriptions?

There are still some scenarios where Office 2013 licensing might be the better option, here are some of the scenarios;

If it's a single device and multiple users use the device. This could be a home scenario, or even an office scenario where shift workers use the same PC at different times of the day.
The device does not connect to the internet at least once every 30 days to verify the license.
The customer doesn't want to buy a subscription, they prefer a one off payment

There scenarios where Office 365 subscriptions make more sense are as follows;

Office 365 Home is a great option for a multi-user household, as it can be installed on up to 5 Windows PCs or Macs as well as the additional tablet/phone usage that is allowed.
Office 365 Pro Plus (also part of the E3 and E4 plans) is a great option for those looking to deploy Office in an RDS environment along with their Office 365 online services, as well as being able to have 5 PCs or Macs per user with an active copy of Office 365 Pro Plus installed and activated.
Office 365 Business (also part of the Business Premium plan) is a good option for those looking to use both Office 365 online services and the rights to install on multiple devices per user, excluding RDS rights
Office 365 Personal makes sense you want the benefits of a subscription but for a single user/device. Anyone who is considering this option should probably be made aware of how much more they are entitled to with the minor price increase to go to Office 365 Home.

This is not an exhaustive list of when and where you would use each, but a starting point to help start conversations with customers.

I'm part way through writing a blog post that covers deploying Office 365 Pro Plus in an RDS environment, so stay tuned for that one.

Now that Microsoft is openly discussing Office 2016, do Office 365 subscribers automatically receive this update?

They will get the option to upgrade to the latest version when it becomes available, but it's not something that will get pushed out automatically by the Office update process. Instead the customer gets to move when they are ready, just in case they have any applications or plug-ins they need to test for compatibility issues.

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