New Microsoft SharePoint Server Subscription Edition

Microsoft SharePoint Server Subscription Edition (SE) became general available on November 2., 2021. Now we ask ourselves: ‘What is is’? Why is it not SharePoint Server 2021, following new Office 2021 LTSC edition? All confusing, right? Here are the answers to all your questions.

Read time: 3 minutes

SharePoint Server Subscription Edition LicensingAlways up to date
In the modern world of on-site and off-site collaboration between persons and teams, it is essential to stay up-to-date with software (according to Microsoft). Microsoft customers don’t want to wait three years to receive new features and only get those new features after a time consuming version upgrade. That is why Microsoft built Microsoft SharePoint Server SE instead of SharePoint Server 2021. With the Subscription Edition customer will get new features and updates as soon as Microsoft has them available and can install them within their SharePoint server farm at their own pace (so no enforcement).

No need for SA?
SharePoint Server SE is an ‘always up-to-date’ version. The last and only remaining version of SharePoint Server. Does this mean customers do no longer need Software Assurance (SA), because one of the Software Assurance key benefits is ‘new version rights’?
Unfortunately not. Because only with Software Assurance customers have the right to download, install and use the Subscription Edition. In other words, there is no License-only option. Without Software Assurance customers have no right to Subscription Edition, should de-install the software and install and use SharePoint Server 2019 instead.
Another very good reason to maintain active Software Assurance are the License Mobility rights for SharePoint server licenses. This allows customers to reassign the licenses at any given point in time and subsequently move SharePoint workloads to the (new) licensed server (very good for high availability scenario’s in virtualized environments). Without License Mobility, reassignment of licenses is only allowed once every 90 days.

Licensing model
There are no changes to the licensing model with the introduction of Microsoft SharePoint Server SE. A customer needs a license for the server software and an access license (client access license, CAL) for each user (natural person) or each device (client device) that accesses the server software. Also, a user who have been assigned (by example) a Microsoft 365 E3 or E5 user subscription license has equivalent rights to the SharePoint Server CAL.

More information
Do you want to learn more about SharePoint Server Subscription Edition licensing? Or general Microsoft software and cloud licensing subjects? Please contact one of our licensing experts to help you.

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