Windows Server 2012 Licensing – Part 2

This is a follow up on the licensing changes to Windows Server 2012.

I mentioned we now have 4 versions of Windows Server 2012:

  • Windows Server 2012 Foundation
  • Windows Server 2012 Essentials
  • Windows Server 2012 Standard
  • Windows Server 2012 Datacenter,

and we discussed the licensing changes affecting Windows Server 2012 Standard and Datacenter, what about Windows Server 2012 Essentials and Foundation?

There are no changes to the Windows Server 2012 Foundation edition. It continues to be offered thru our OEM channel and is licensed per server, limited to 1 processor, and 15 user accounts. it has no virtualization rights.

The Windows Small Business 2011 Essentials has now been replaced by Windows Server 2012 Essentials which is branded under the Windows Server 2012 brand name.

Windows Server 2012 Essentials is an great first server solution, ideal for small businesses with up to 25 users and 50 devices.  It provides a cost-effective and easy-to-use solution to help protect data, organize and access business information from virtually anywhere, support the applications needed to run a business, and quickly connect to online services for email and backup.  The licensing for Essentials will continue to be a server model with no CAL requirements, but limited to 25 users. It also does not have virtualization rights, meaning you cannot install a VM on a Essentials host, but you can host an Essentials VM on a Windows Server 2012 Standard or Datacenter host.


WS Essentials 2012


Another benefit from investing in Windows Server 2012 Essentials, is that it has the ability to grow as your business grows. When you reach the 25 user restriction limit, you can simply purchase a Windows Server 2012 Standard license plus CALs and simply perform an in-place upgrade conversion.

How can I buy these two Windows Server products?

Available Channels


Follow the link for more information on Solutions for Small & Midsize Business and for further information on licensing look at Windows Server 2012 how to buy

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