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Benefits of Software Assurance

Software Assurance includes an extensive set of technologies, services, rights, and benefits to help you and your organization get the most out of your investments in IT.

You make significant investments in IT, and Software Assurance from Microsoft helps you take the fullest advantage of the value your investments can bring. Save time and money with the right tools, resources, and support to help unlock the full potential of your investments in Microsoft technologies. Software Assurance spans a broad range of Microsoft software and services, including Azure, Windows, Microsoft Office, Microsoft 365, System Center, SQL Server, and many others. When combined with the technologies you support every day, the wide-ranging set of benefits can help your organization take full advantage of your Microsoft investments.

Software Assurance benefits are used in a variety of ways across organizations and industries. With Software Assurance, you get the tools and resources you need to do more with the IT investments you plan to make, as well as those you’ve already made. New version rights, license mobility, and home use rights are popular benefits, but Software Assurance doesn’t stop there. You get a broad range of benefits that help you make the most of your software and online services subscriptions. Unique technologies, services, and rights help you deploy, manage, and use Microsoft products efficiently. And specialized benefits—such as the option to spread out payments over time and Step-up Licenses—can help you save time and money.

The Software Assurance benefits interactive chart (PDF, 768 KB) provides an overview of Software Assurance benefits as well as basic eligibility information. Here are just some of the ways you can get the most from your Software Assurance benefits. An academic chart provides an overview of benefits for eligible educational institutions.

Budget and plan

Software Assurance helps your organization spend less and do more. Employees need to use a variety of organization-owned and personal devices to work effectively in the office, from home, and on the road. Your organization gets flexible licensing rights and use options to best support office and mobile workers on a broad range of devices.

  • The Microsoft Workplace Discount Program gives both employees and organizations exceptional value, providing an economical means for employees to use the same productivity tools at home that they use at work.
  • With New Version Rights, you can upgrade each Microsoft product license that is covered by active Software Assurance to the most recent version for no additional cost.
  • With Spread Payments, you spread the costs of your License and Software Assurance purchase across three equal, annual sums, helping you calculate your technology budget up to three years in advance.
  • Step-up licensing lets you migrate your software from a lower-level edition to a higher-level edition, such as Office Standard to Office Professional Plus, at a low cost.


With Software Assurance, you get the tools and technologies to standardize and speed application deployments, which can be a big time-saver. Whether off-premises or in your own environment, Software Assurance helps you prepare for cloud migrations with a powerful combination of benefits and innovative server licensing opportunities.

  • With the Azure Hybrid Benefit, you can bring Windows Server and SQL Server on-premises licenses with Software Assurance to Azure workloads in the cloud.
  • License Mobility through Software Assurance enhances the value of volume licenses with Software Assurance by letting you to deploy certain server applications on-premises or in the cloud in an authorized hosting partner’s datacenter, without having to buy additional licenses. This benefit can also help you lower your operating costs by using an Authorized Mobility Partner’s shared infrastructure.
  • The Flexible Virtualization Benefit expands your outsourcing options for software to include Authorized Outsourcers’ shared servers. This benefit is available broadly for software products under your subscription licenses and licenses with Software Assurance.
  • Office Online Server provides browser-based versions of Word, PowerPoint, Excel and OneNote from on-premises environments.
  • Windows 10 Enterprise per User Add-on is an optional Windows 10 Enterprise per User Add-on that provides Windows Software Assurance per User rights for a primary user with a primary device that’s licensed for Windows Enterprise, or Windows VDA per User rights for a primary user with a primary device that’s licensed with Windows VDA.


Software Assurance can help with developing and applying organization-wide policies to help keep software configurations up to date, secure, and configured to best support your IT environment. You also get greater control of the tools that your employees are using, which means less downtime for the organization.

  • Disaster recovery for SQL Server and Windows Server gives you the tools to protect your systems and support critical business functions should your primary data infrastructure get corrupted or deleted.
  • Failover rights gives you rights to use a passive instance of SQL Server and Windows Server on systems used for passive failover under certain conditions.
  • The Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack is a dynamic desktop solution that helps you personalize the user experience, simplify application deployment, improve application compatibility with Windows, and manage and secure your devices. Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack is available to customers with Windows licenses with Software Assurance coverage until April 2026.
  • Office Roaming Use Rights allows users to remotely access Office, Project, or Visio on their virtual desktops from third-party devices.
  • Windows To Go Use Rights provides a fully manageable corporate desktop running Windows 10 Enterprise edition on a bootable USB stick that can be run on any licensed device or by any licensed user.

Learn more about getting and using Software Assurance with the program guide and other resources.