back to article Microsoft adds virtual core licensing to Windows Server

Microsoft has announced a major overhaul to its Windows licensing regimes that make it rather easier to use its operating system in the cloud – without highlighting the reason for the change is to get the European Union off its back. The biggest change is a virtual core licensing option for Windows Server, as opposed to paying …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    To make customers buy more licensing that they actually require.

    1. David 132 Silver badge

      Re: FUD

      Yes, definitely sounds like they’re taking a leaf out of Oracle’s playbook, doesn’t it?

    2. GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

      Re: FUD

      MS licensing, ... we can enjoy 30 modules of learning, with video tutorials to explain every aspect of licensing! And still not be precisely sure what can have.

      1. 43300 Bronze badge

        Re: FUD

        And potentially get a different answer each time you ask one of their partner licensing specialists...

    3. bombastic bob Silver badge

      Re: FUD

      I actually saw Micros~1's new license policy as a clever way to:

      * stop lawsuits in their tracks

      * actually sell MORE licenses than before

      (not like I'm gong to go out and buy a windows server license to run cloudy things because of it)

  2. Auntie Dix Bronze badge

    Cat and Mouse

    Absent strict regulation, companies will play these games. It is about time that governments introduce to lawmaking experts who can parse the BS promptly and react.

  3. MrReynolds2U

    The change to Windows 10 and 11 licensing is going to make a positive difference for one of my clients who are looking to virtualise desktops for a project. It should make things a lot clearer in terms of licensing.

    Honestly when I was recently reading up on the licensing requirements just to virtualise a Windows 10 desktop, it was giving me a headache.

    1. thondwe

      Windows 11/10 VDI

      Defn a step in the right direction - VDA was a blocker in any student/education setup - e.g. 20k students only some would want to login in to access specific Apps - but you'd need to cover each student for multiple devices (tablet/laptop/xbox?)...

      But RD Gateway licence is still broken - and that's part of the Windows VDI farm platform - still VMware/Citrix might well be happy!

      1. 43300 Bronze badge

        Re: Windows 11/10 VDI

        They clearly want to get rid of terminal servers and on-prem VDI and are going about it in the usual way of making it less and less practical. The big thing they've done recently is to state that the Office Enterprise apps, which most people are going to want to run on a terminal server, are not supported on Server 2022 at all, and only on 2016 and 2019 until 2025.

        The alternative being pushed is Azure Virtual Desktop, which (purely coincidentally, of course) can only be run on Azure or Azure-linked on-prem systems such as Azure Stack HCI (and for Azure Stack HCI you have to pay monthly licensing charges to run your own VMs on your own hardware. Nice!).

    2. Roland6 Silver badge

      >It should make things a lot clearer in terms of licensing.

      I will only believe that when they can publish reference licencing patterns for the typical real-world deployments of their products.

  4. Roland6 Silver badge

    So no change to OnPrem per physical core licencing

    Been looking at adding a new WS to an existing clients setup.

    It would seem that the new virtual core licence is only for resale by selected cloud hosting providers, for OnPrem it seems the old and outdated licencing per physical core etc. still applies.

    So to run a single WS2022 guest VM on a server fully licenced for a previous version of WS, say 2012R2 requires the purchase of a complete set of WS2022 licences for the selected host and those licences to be assigned to that host.

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