Expanded Software Assurance (SA) grant for Windows SBS 2011 Standard

[Today’s post comes to us courtesy David Fabritius from Windows Server Marketing]

As part of the Windows Server 2012 announcements earlier this year, we shared the Software Assurance (SA) grant information for Windows Small Business Server 2011 Standard. Since that time, we have worked with many of our customers and partners to help plan the transition of existing SBS environments to the latest available server software. As part of this effort, we received feedback that the original SA grant was too limiting to provide the best deployment experience.

To address these concerns, Microsoft has expanded the grant to include two copies of Windows Server 2012 Standard and one copy of Exchange Server 2010 Standard. Also note that customers with active Software Assurance coverage on Exchange Server 2010 Standard are eligible to upgrade to and use Exchange Server 2013 Standard when it releases.

By granting two copies of Windows Server 2012 Standard, customers can choose to deploy their workloads onto two physical servers, or they can choose to take advantage of Hyper-V to run up to four virtual machine instances—which can be run on either a single physical host server, or split across two physical host servers. In addition, the downgrade rights for Windows Server 2012 have been expanded to include Windows Server 2012 Essentials. This provides customers access to the Essentials value‑added feature set, including Remote Web Access, Office 365 integration, the Dashboard, and client computer backup.

The expanded benefits will be available starting January 2013, and will be retroactively effective as of August 15, 2012. Software and product keys will be available through the Volume Licensing Service Center (VLSC) customer portal.

As always, we appreciate the continuous dialog with our customers and partners, and we very much value the passion and broad range of perspectives and experiences that help us offer the best solutions available in today’s market.

Also, many people often think of Software Assurance (SA) as being synonymous with just one of its many components: staying current with new product versions. But staying current is actually just one in a broad range of benefits, including:

  • Evaluating new software through TechNet
  • Getting help with 24×7 phone and web support
  • Reducing up-front costs through spread payments
  • Reducing costs, streamlining management with MDOP
  • Speeding disaster recovery with cold backups
  • Preparing employees with online training
  • Building technical skills with classroom training

As always, I’d like to encourage you to download the Windows Server 2012 Essentials evaluation and give us feedback via the Windows Server 2012 Essentials forum. We’d love to hear from you!