Differences in SBS 2003 License Types [Advanced Small Business Server 2003 Best Practices book]

Hiya folks – Harryb here – the publisher of the Advanced Windows Small Business Server 2008 text. Today we’re holding a virtual book reading by posting up a passage on SBS 2003 licensing – what are the differences?!?!?

What Are the Differences Between Types of Licenses?

As promised earlier, here are the differences between Open, Retail/FPP, and Software Assurance licenses, according to Microsoft’s SBS Web site.

Licensing Requirements

An Open New License (NL) license requires:

  • Purchase through a volume license reseller.
  • A minimum initial order of five licenses. One SBS 2003 license meets this qualification because five CALs are included.

A Retail/FPP license requires:

  • Purchase through a brick and mortar or online retailer.
  • No minimum purchase.

A Software Assurance license requires:

  • Enrollment in the Microsoft software assurance program.

Licensing Benefits

Benefits of an Open NL license include:

  • Savings over an FPP license.
  • Capability to track your licenses using the eOpen website instead of having to manage them as paper licenses.

Benefits of a Retail/FPP license include:

  • Fully legal and licensed software that requires no qualifications to purchase.

Benefits of Software Assurance include:

  • New version rights. You can get the latest versions of software as they are released, without waiting for special budget approvals and at no additional cost.
  • eLearning. Online training offers you convenience and flexibility. Su­san Bradley reports the eLearning is only for Office and not the server- side components.


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Next Steps?


  Licensing, like security, is never ending and constantly evolving. So while this chapter was written at a fixed point in time, it will age and you’ll need to continue to educate yourself on licensing matters. Here are some suggested next steps.

  • Read Microsoft SBS Licensing FAQs. Even though the current (as of January 2005) FAQs were explored in this chapter, you can bet that site will be updated continuously. So please take a moment to visit http:// www.microsoft.com/WindowsServer2003/sbs/techinfo/overview/ licensingfaq.mspx.
  • Bookmark Eric Ligman’s Small Biz site for the page that specifically provides licensing resources at http://www.mssmallbiz.com/Lists/ Licensing%20ResourcesTraining/AllItems.aspx.
  • Attend Microsoft TS2 events. This is Microsoft’s channel-facing semi­nar series outreach that you can attend quarterly. Visit www.msts2.com.
  • Attend SMB Nation events (annual, workshops). SMB Nation presents a third-party view of Microsoft matters. Stay current at www.smbnation.com.


  • And don’t forget to visit Microsoft’s licensing site or call the licensing hotline telephone number: http://www.microsoft.com/licensing/ default.mspx and 1-800-426-9400 (option 4).

☛ CHAPTER So You 3 Want SBS to Be 2003 an SMB Licensing Con


  • Align yourself with independent licensing experts and distributors. Softwareone.com is shown in Figure 3-10.
  • Pray that Microsoft never implements other technology licensing pro‑

grams like Computer Associates “power points” licensing for its
UniCenter product. Here licensing is based on the processor power

inside the computer.

Figure 3-10

Softwareone.com is SBS friendly.




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Whew! I’ve had enough. Licensing is certainly one of those topics that could be an entire book and often is. Just visit your local law library and look in the intellectual property study section! This chapter presented SBS 2003-related licensing topics from a case study, FAQ, and detailed factoid framework. Let’s move on to Chapter 4 and discuss advanced setup and deployment matters.




Harry Brelsford, CEO at SMB Nation

MBA, MCSE, CNE, CLSE, CNP, MCP, MCT, SBSC (Microsoft Small Business Specialist)

PS – my Small Business Server 2008 (SBS 2008) book is now here! J

PPS – my spring show, SMB Nation Spring 2009, is in the NYC-area on May 1-3, 2009.


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