Microsoft is to introduce a standalone version of Windows Enterprise for business users.
The software will be available to people who don’t own a volume license with the Software Assurance (SA) add-on programme for the first time.
Microsoft is also said to be ending the ability to attach Software Assurance to Windows Professional.
"We have heard from customers of all sizes who could benefit from being able to use Windows Enterprise and we have responded to that feedback with the availability of Windows Enterprise as a standalone upgrade option,” a Microsoft representative told ZDNet.
“Additionally some customers per internal policy are unable to enter annuity agreements. This change expands the availability of the Enterprise edition to now include these customers. Windows Enterprise will be available as a standalone upgrade SKU in the Open and Select/Select Plus programs beginning March 1st 2014.”
"Besides the new set of options to obtain Windows Enterprise, for most customers these changes are minor as pricing and benefits remain the same. For example the Windows licensing use rights, and access to other Software Assurance benefits like new version rights, virtualization rights, or the product features and media are not changing.”
"Going forward Windows SA will attach to the Windows Enterprise upgrade meaning that acquiring SA on any OEM Windows Pro license within 90 days of purchase will no longer be applicable as Windows Enterprise is not available through OEM. To help ease this transition for customers who leverage this option, Windows SA may continue to be attached within 90 days to Windows Pro on any new PC acquired before July 1st 2014."