What are downgrade and Down-edition rights for Windows Server 2019?

Since Windows Server® 2008 reached end of support (EOS) this year, many customers have migrated to Windows Server 2019, and many more may be looking to do so in the near future. Whether your customer has migrated yet, they may be interested in licensing rights to help them embrace Windows Server 2019—the operating system that bridges on-premises and cloud—while still supporting legacy applications. These are known as downgrade and down-edition rights.



Downgrade and down-edition rights allow customers to license the newest Windows Server product but still run an earlier version or down edition of Windows Server to support legacy business applications not yet supported by the latest technology. Once they’re ready to migrate to the purchased Windows Server license, they can do so with ease.


  • Downgrade rights allow customers to use an earlier version of Windows Server instead of the one licensed—for example, running Windows Server 2016 Standard with Windows Server 2019 Standard licensing.
  • Down-edition rights allow customers to run an instance of a lower edition than the one licensed—for example, running Windows Server 2019 Standard with Windows Server 2019 Datacenter licensing.


To make this feature even more flexible, downgrade and down-edition rights can be combined. For example, a customer could purchase a Windows Server 2019 Datacenter license and use downgrade and down-edition rights to deploy a Windows Server 2016 Standard virtual machine (VM).


The bottom line is that downgrade and down-edition rights simplify application-migration scenarios for customers, allowing them to take advantage of all the new features of Windows Server 2019 while still supporting the legacy business applications they rely on to run their business. These rights also remove a point of friction that might otherwise have stopped them from switching to the latest operating system.


When a customer purchases an HPE OEM Windows Server license along with a new HPE ProLiant server, they can request the downgrade at the time of purchase. Most common downgrade options are available from the factory and include DVD installation media and a product key.


Downgrade and down-edition rights can also be requested after the server purchase through HPE’s downgrade fulfillment portal. Please note that this applies only to certain products permitted under the product license terms, and that downgrade kits will be fulfilled by HPE ONLY for a Windows Server license purchased directly from HP, HPE, or any of our authorized resellers.


HPE OEM Windows Server 2019 downgrade and down-edition rights simplify application migration, make it possible for customers to continue supporting legacy applications, and help your customers migrate to the latest Windows Server product with confidence.

Massimiliano Galeazzi
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Digital Marketing Lead at HPE Alliances. Managing Coffee Coaching, the HPE-Microsoft reseller community with all the news about SMB.