Do You Know About Windows Server Downgrade Rights?!

In past Coffee Coaching blogs we have covered many different topics relating to HPE OEM licensing for Microsoft® Windows Server®. Today, we will dive deeper into one of these topics: downgrade rights (and how they differ from down-edition rights).


Windows Server downgrade rights

Windows Server 2012 R2 downgrade rights are granted to end-users in the license terms and allow them to use prior versions  of the software—such as Windows Server 2008 R2 or Windows Server 2008—until they are ready to migrate to the latest version of Windows Server.


Windows Server down-edition rights

Windows Server 2012 R2 down-edition rights also allow users to run an instance of a lower edition (here, edition refers to the named version: Foundation, Essentials, Standard, Datacenter) of Windows Server. 

For example:

  • WS2012 R2 Datacenter license: allows the end user to run an instance of Essentials or Standard in place of an instance of Datacenter
  • WS2012 R2 Standard license: allows the end user to run an instance of Essentials in place of an instance of Standard


Why are downgrade and down-edition rights important?

Downgrade and down-edition rights can simplify application migration scenarios for your customers by allowing them to license the newest Microsoft Windows Server product (so they can benefit from the latest and greatest technology) and then run earlier versions and/or down-editions of Windows Server in virtual instances (so they can support their legacy business applications that have not yet migrated to the latest technology).


What versions of Windows Server software are eligible for downgrade and down-edition? 
What versions of Windows Server software are eligible for downgrade and down-edition.jpg


HPE downgrade/down-edition fulfillment: HPE offers a fulfillment service for selected downgrade and down-edition media and activation keys. HPE can fulfill these in two ways:

1. With server purchase: When a customer purchases a HPE OEM Windows Server 2012 R2 license on an HPE ProLiant platform they can request the downgrade kit at time of purchase.

2. After server purchase: If a customer already has a HPE Windows server kit, they can buy the downgrade directly from HPE here. **To do this, customers must provide a proof of purchase of their Windows Server license—such as an invoice or picture of their Certificate of Authenticity (COA) label—in order to request the media kit and keys. 


**Coffee Coaching video BONUS: Windows Server 2012 Downgrade Paths

Please let us know if you have questions on HPE OEM Windows Server downgrade or down-edition rights that we did not cover today and be sure to join the Coffee Coaching communities on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn.

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About the Author


Willa manages the HPE | Microsoft Coffee Coaching program. Follow along to learn more about the latest HPE OEM Microsoft product releases and how the HPE Microsoft partnership can benefit partners and customers.