Windows Server 2022 licensing changes

Microsoft have made a number of changes to Windows Server 2022 licensing, detailed in the April 2023 Product Terms.

First of all they’ve removed the requirement for a customer to have a minimum of 16 Windows Server Core licences in their estate before they can take advantage of licensing by virtual machine or use the Azure Hybrid Benefit. Secondly, there’s a change to the Azure Hybrid Benefit where Windows Server Core licences no longer have to be kept in groups of 8 when licensing a virtual machine with more than 8 cores – previously a 20-core virtual machine would have needed 24 licences (3×8), now it just needs 20.

Then there are changes to the rights when Windows Server licences are acquired as Software Subscriptions through CSP. If a customer has these licenses then they may use Standard licences with Windows Server Datacenter virtual machines. This right is available to them if they’re running their virtual machines in their own on-premises data centres, or with Authorized Outsourcers.

And finally there are changes when a CSP-Hoster partner sells Windows Server Software Subscription licences as part of a solution which they are hosting and managing for a customer. In this case, there’s no need for Windows Server CALs or External Connector licences, and the right to use Standard licences with Datacenter images also applies as above.

Windows Server 2022

Microsoft announce the General Availability of Windows Server 2022 from 1 September, 2021 and confirm that only Long-Term Servicing Channel releases will be available.

Find the announcement article with an overview of new features here:, and details on servicing models with end of support dates for existing Semi-Annual Channel releases here: