There are various license types and models available for Microsoft software. In this article, we will link to these various licensing models for more in-depth information.
Microsoft has been moving has been moving towards subscription models or pay-as-you-go (PAYG) models. This approach entails a recurring payment, usually monthly or annually, for the right to use the software. The increased use of subscription models in software goes hand in hand with the rise of cloud computing and SaaS.
There’s also the core model, where licensing is determined by the number of cores on a server that will be running the software. This model is typically used for high-performance applications or large databases. This model purchases a licence for each core in the server running the software. SQL Server Enterprise, for example, is only available via per-core licensing. Read more about the Per core model here.
Server + CAL model
Microsoft offers the Server + CAL (Client Access Licence) model, which is a cost-effective option for smaller companies. In this model, a CAL is a licence that allows an existing system or user to access and utilize server features. The Server + CAL model allows organizations to licence the server software and acquire CALs for the number of users or devices that will access the server. This model provides a more economical approach for businesses that do not require many server access licences. Read more about Server + CAL models here.
Traditionally, software licensing was based on the perpetual licence model. This model allows the user to pay a one-time fee to use the software indefinitely. This model was often preferred by companies for its simplicity and the sense of ownership it provided. It’s the counterpart of SaaS. Read more about Perpetual Licences here.