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 Microsoft Server client access license

A server client access license (CAL) is a license that gives users and devices the legal right to access Microsoft server software installed on a server.

Server client access license (CAL) overview

When you sell a copy of Windows Server, the customer will receive a server license permitting installation of the operating system on one computer. A server license by itself does not provide the legal right for others to connect to that computer, whether they work for the company or not. Instead, each user needs a client access license (CAL).

Customers will need a CAL for each employee, or each employee device, that accesses the Windows Server installation, but not for anonymous users who access it over the Internet.

Server CALs are cost effective and affordable, allowing customers to pay only for the licensing they need with the option of buying more as their businesses grow.

Server CAL requirements by product

Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows Server 2012

Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows Server 2012 user and device CALs are no longer included as part of the Windows Server software and must be purchased separately. They can be bought in packs of 1 and 5.

Product CALs required
Windows Server 2012 Standard R2 Yes
Windows Server 2012 Datacenter R2 Yes
Windows Server 2012 Foundation R2 No
Windows Server 2012 Essentials R2 No
Windows Storage Server 2012 Standard R2 No
Windows Server 2012 Standard Yes
Windows Server 2012 Datacenter Yes
Windows Server 2012 Foundation No
Windows Server 2012 Essentials No
Windows Storage Server 2012 Standard No

Windows Server 2008

Product License CALs Included
Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard Server + CAL 5
Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise Server + CAL 10 or 25
Windows Server 2008 R2 Datacenter Processor + CAL No CALs included
Windows Server 2008 R2 Foundation Server No CALs required1
Windows Small Business Server 2011 Essentials Server No CALs required2

1Supports a maximum of 15 user accounts.
2Supports a maximum of 25 user accounts.

Selling Server CALs

Any time you sell a server preinstalled with Windows Server software, you should also offer server CALs to the customer at the point of purchase. Server CALs are often overlooked during a sales transaction, but they can be key revenue generators for partners and Microsoft.

Use the following training materials to show frontline sales agents and licensing subject matter experts the benefits of CALs, what they’re for, and how to sell them properly. You may customize these assets to fit your specific requirements.

For other Windows Server 2012 R2 training, licensing, and marketing materials, see the Windows Server 2012 R2 Learn It page.

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