Microsoft has stated that the vast majority of its customers will not be hit by the licensing plans for Windows Server 2016.
The company has responded to criticism of its plans for licensing the new Windows Server by saying that only a small number of customers will be affected. The new server is a per-core model rather than a per-socket model and critics have said that licensing compliance will become more complicated, which could lead to a higher level of auditing on the part of Microsoft.
Critics have also suggested that customers of Microsoft Software Assurance will have to deal with a confusing period of transition, leaving them wondering just how much of the licensing they will still own if/when their contract expires.
Microsoft said that customers will be offered more support during the transition; however, there are fears that heavy users will be hit hardest. The basic premise of the licensing is that each processor will have to be licensed with at least eight cores; however, this means that one physical server will have to have licenses to cover 16 cores, even if there is only one processor. The company can then offer additional licenses for every two extra cores.
Microsoft insists that by changing the licensing from processors to cores, the licensing system will be simplified and will help customers regardless of the type of system they are using: cloud, on-site or hybrid.
Customers who have any concerns are being encouraged to contact their Microsoft rep for individual guidance.