There have been a few questions since my, “If you downgrade your SBS 2008 Premium to SBS 2003 R2, do you still get the second Windows Server license right?” post along the lines of, “Why don’t we still get the second Windows Server license if we choose to downgrade to SBS 2003 R2 Premium from SBS 2008 Premium?” Some have speculated that it is a licensing decision made by Microsoft for one reason or another; however, I think that people are forgetting the actual issue being discussed here, which is causing this confusion. Let me try to clear it up here…

When we released SBS 2003, we released it as a single-server solution, regardless if you purchased the Standard or Premium Edition. All of the technology you received was included in the SBS 2003 Server license. It is one license for the items, not multiple licenses for each of the technologies.

With the new release of SBS 2008, we now offer it as a single server solution through SBS 2008 Standard Edition and as a dual server solution through SBS 2008 Premium Edition. All of the technology you receive is included in the SBS 2008 Server license. It is one license for the items, not multiple licenses for each of the technologies.

Now with downgrade rights in SBS 2008 Premium, just like how downgrade rights works with our other products, you have the ability to install the current version, SBS 2008 Premium, or the prior version, SBS 2003 R2 Premium. So when you make this choice, you are choosing to install and run:

SBS 2003 R2 Premium: Which is a single-server solution, regardless if you purchased the Standard or Premium Edition. All of the technology you receive is included in the SBS 2003 R2 Server license. It is one license for the items, not multiple licenses for each of the technologies.

- OR –

SBS 2008 Premium: Which is offered a dual server solution through SBS 2008 Premium Edition. All of the technology you receive is included in the SBS 2008 Server license. It is one license for the items, not multiple licenses for each of the technologies.

Please note, SBS 2003 has NEVER been a dual server license, regardless if you purchase the Standard or Premium Edition. Just because the new version of SBS has been released, that does not change what is included in SBS 2003 R2. SBS 2003 R2 is still SBS 2003 R2, which has always been a single server solution.

So it is not a licensing decision made by Microsoft to “remove” the second server from the license if you choose to downgrade from SBS 2008 Premium to SBS 2003 R2 Premium. SBS 2003 R2 Premium never included the second server license to begin with, so you are still receiving rights to run everything that has always been included in SBS 2003 R2 Premium. Then, when you choose to move up to SBS 2008 Premium, you will then have the rights to use all of the items included in the SBS 2008 Premium license, which includes the second server license. You are simply choosing which version you want to run and that is what you have the licensing rights to use.

Thank you and have a wonderful day,

Eric Ligman
Global Partner Experience Lead
Microsoft Worldwide Partner Group
This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights

Add to Technorati Favorites
Bookmark on: MSDN , TechNet, and Expression