Windows Server 2012 Editions

1 Licensing Overview

Windows Server 2012 delivers a dramatically simplified licensing experience. Shaped by feedback from customers and partners, the new Windows Server licensing approach will help make choosing the right Windows Server easier while delivering the following benefits.

2 Simple

It’s easier than ever to determine the right Windows Server edition for you. Choose from just four editions of Windows Server 2012, based on the size of your organization and your requirements for virtualization and cloud computing.

3 Economical

All editions of Windows Server 2012 deliver excellent economics and ROI for your business. For example, Datacenter edition with unlimited virtualization rights provides the benefits of cloud-level scale with predictable, lower costs. Standard edition now offers all of the same enterprise-class features as Datacenter and is differentiated only by virtualization rights.

4 Cloud-optimized

Businesses today are rapidly adopting a hybrid approach across private and public cloud computing. Windows Server 2012 offers the right edition for you, no matter where you are on your path to the cloud; Datacenter edition for highly virtualized cloud environments, Standard edition for lightly virtualized environments progressing toward cloud, or Essentials edition for an ideal cloud-connected first server.

5 Editions Overview


Ideal for…

High Level Feature

Licensing Model

Open NL (US$)


Highly virtualized
private & hybrid
cloud environments

Full Windows
Server functionality
with unlimited
virtual instances

Processor + CAL*



Low density or non-

Full Windows
Server functionality
with two virtual

Processor + CAL*



Small business

Simpler interface,
connectivity to
cloud based services; no
virtualization rights

Server (25 User
Account Limit)



Economical general
purpose server

General purpose
server functionality
with no
virtualization rights

Server (15 User
Account Limit)

OEM Only

*CALs are required for every user or device accessing a server directly or indirectly. See the Product Use Rights for details.

Leave a Reply

Translate »