Changes to Windows 8.1 Licensing

So, 1 March 2014 heralds a new dawn for Windows client licensing. OK, that might be overstating it, but the licensing that we’re familiar with has undergone a change. Here’s a summary of the differences, compiled from the March 2014 Product List.

What are the changes?

  • There’s a new standalone Windows Enterprise Upgrade SKU – that’s right, no need to buy SA to get access to the Windows Enterprise feature set
  • The Windows Enterprise Upgrade SKU is only available through the Volume Licensing programs
  • SA can now ONLY be added to the Windows Enterprise Upgrade SKU – therefore, you can’t add SA to FPP or OEM licences any more

What doesn’t change?

  • The Windows licences available through Volume Licensing programs are still Upgrade licences and require an underlying Qualifying Licence – the list of which doesn’t change

What are the offerings?

  • Windows Pro Upgrade
  • Windows Enterprise Upgrade
  • Windows Enterprise Upgrade + SA

What’s the availability?

  • The Windows Pro Upgrade is available through Open and Select Plus programs
  • The Windows Enterprise Upgrade is available through all Volume Licensing programs with SA being mandatory in EA and Open Value agreements and optional in Open and Select Plus

What happens to existing customers?

  • Customers with Windows Pro Upgrade + SA licences purchased before 1 March 2014 may renew the SA on those licences at the relevant time
  • Customers with an existing enrolment with Windows Pro Upgrade + SA may continue to purchase Windows Pro Upgrade + SA licences until the end of the enrolment
  • Customers with Select Plus or Open agreements who purchased Windows 7 or 8 through FPP or OEM before 1 March 2014 may attach SA to those licences within 90 days of the licence purchase date