Microsoft Products and Product Licensing

In a business environment, you would expect to find a "Client Server Network" where the users' computers (the clients) are connected to a server (or servers) in order to allow for file sharing, sharing of resources (such as printers), email, and centralized management and security. The client machines need a client operating system (such as Microsoft® Windows 10), and then any required client applications (such as Microsoft® Outlook®). Similarly, each server needs a server operating system (Windows Server®) and then any required server applications (such as Microsoft® SQL Server®). This reference card is not a complete list of all the Microsoft technologies, but just the more common ones, and unless otherwise stated, you can assume that each license is a separate purchase. More detailed licensing information is available in other reference documents in this series.



Microsoft Program Licensing :

Volume Licensing

  • Purchased from resellers
  • Different programs to suit all kinds of organizations needing more than 5 license           


  • Easier license management through the VLSC (Volume Licensing Service Center)
  • Easier SAM (Software Asset Management)
  • Only 5 licenses needed to start a Volume Licensing agreement
  • Downgrade rights
  • Re-imaging rights


The following factors need to be considered when choosing a Volume Licensing program: the size of the organization, whether perpetual or non-perpetual licenses are required, whether Software Assurance is required, and whether the organization wants to standardize the software on all their PCs.





Licensing Microsoft Virtualization Technologies :


Windows Server 2012 Standard and Windows Server 2012 Datacenter include Hyper-V to allow server virtualization. The only difference between these two editions of Windows Server 2012 is the virtualization rights:

When licensing a server with Windows Server 2012 Standard, 2 virtual machines are allowed per license

When licensing a server with Windows Server 2012 Datacenter, unlimited virtualization is allowed