- Two editions differentiated only by virtualization rights two virtual instances for Standard edition and unlimited virtual instances for Datacenter edition.
- A consistent processor-based licensing model that covers up to two physical processors on a server.
Windows Server 2012 editions:
- Windows Server 2012 Datacenter - is designed for highly virtualized private cloud environments.
- Windows Server 2012 Standard - designed for physical or minimally virtualized environments.
- Windows Server 2012 Essentials - ideal for small businesses that have as many as 25 users and 50 devices.
- Windows Server 2012 Foundation - provides a Windows Server experience for as many as 15 users.
Windows Server Standard and Datacenter editions will continue to require Windows Server CALs for every user or device accessing a server.
Some additional or advanced functionality will continue to require the purchase of an additive CAL. These are CALs that you need in addition to the Windows Server CAL to access functionality, such as Remote Desktop Services or Active Directory Rights Mananagement Service.
NOTE: You must have a Windows Server 2012 CAL to access an instance of Windows Server 2012
A server CAL (Client Access License) is a required license that gives the right to access services from Microsoft server softwares. Every user or device that acesses or uses the server software requires the purchase of a Windows Server CAL.