• Two editions, Standard and Datacenter.
  • Each license covers up to two physical processors.
  • Editions differentiated by virtualization rights only (two for Standard; unlimited for Datacenter).
  • Standard licenses can be stacked on one server.
  • The most notable feature that is now available in Standard edition is: Windows Server Failover Clustering
  • A license is assigned to the physical server and not a virtual machine.
  • A license cannot be split across multiple servers.

Downgrade Rights

  • Windows Server 2012 Datacenter edition will have the right to downgrade your bits to any prior version or lower version.
  • Windows Server 2012 Standard will have the right to downgrade your bits to any prior version of Standard, Enterprise or Essentials editions.

Enterprise edition is retired as part of the Windows Server 2012 release and as a result the product lineup has been simplified down to two editions.

Software Assurance Step-Up benefit allows upgrades from lower editions to higher.

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