Microsoft Windows Server new licensing option

Effective October 1, 2022, the licensing for Microsoft Windows Server changed.

Traditionally, Windows Server was licensed per physical server/processor/core, independently from being deployed in a physical or in a virtual environment.

With the October 2022 changes to the terms for Outsourcing – under certain conditions allowed on shared hardware at Authorized Outsourcers – Microsoft introduces a new licensing option for Windows Server.

The new license option for Windows Server allows licensing by individual virtual OSE (Operating System Environment) – per Virtual Machine (VM). Customers can use Windows Server ‘per virtual OSE’ within their own datacenters as well as within the infrastructure of an Authorized Outsourcer.

Under this model, customers can buy licenses for only the virtual cores they need (subject to a per VM minimum), without being tied to a physical number of cores on the server. With the virtual core licensing option, customers can license Windows Server by the number of virtual cores they are using in virtual machines, making Windows Server easier to license when virtualizing or outsourcing.

You may only choose the ‘per virtual OSE’ licensing option when you have all Windows Server core licenses and your Windows Server CAL licenses covered with active Software Assurance (SA) or with a Subscription License.

The new licensing option can be used with eligible licenses purchased or subscribed to at any point in time.

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