SBS 2011 Licensing – Can I downgrade?


J.J. Antequino


Although we think your customers are going to love Exchange 2010 in SBS 2011…. we do understand that there may some instances where you will need to downgrade.  For a high level look at SBS Licensing please head over to:

There you will see:

Downgrade Rights

Microsoft grants the rights to use the prior version of Windows Small Business Server 2008 Standard, if using the Small Business Server 2011 Standard product only. Regardless of which channel was used to acquire the license. Here are the following downgrade options available.

Product Downgrade

SBS 2011 Essentials

No downgrade available.

SBS 2011 Standard

FPP/OEM Customers:

  • Eligible to downgrade to SBS 2008 Standard.  Customer needs to have access to SBS 2008 media and products keys.

Volume Licensing Customers:

  • Eligible to downgrade to SBS 2008 Standard, obtain media and keys through VLSC.

SBS 2011 Premium Add-on

FPP/OEM Customers:

  • No downgrades available.

Volume Licensing Customers:

  • Eligible to downgrade to Windows Server 2008 Standard, obtain media and keys through  VLSC.

  • Eligible to downgrade to SQL Server 2008 for Small Business, obtain media and keys through VLSC.

Notice that there is currently not a path to downgrade to SBS 2008 Premium because there is no SBS 2011 Premium product. 

If you are a glutton for punishment like me, download the SBS Licensing FAQ here: Licensing FAQ

Comments (4)

  1. Thomas Antonovich. MCP says:

    Would it be possible for Microsoft to post a procedure for how to downgrade?  Such as, who to call, etc.


  2. Greg Lambert says:

    Another reason for downgrade would be the lack of remote desktop services for a small business with a single server that on occassion requires remote work to be completed on the server (non administrative role).

  3. says:


    What happens to the 5 Premium Add-On CALs included in the license when you downgrade? Are they too split into Server and SQL cals?

    If so, can this be done with additional SBS 2011 premium CALs purchased?

  4. Anita Chan says:

    can i use a sbs 2011 -64 bit cal license on a sbs 2003 32 bit server, your suggestion is appreciated

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