Windows Server 2012 Editions

Windows Server 2012 Editions

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Windows Server 2012 comes in four editions


Windows Server 2012 Datacenter and Standard are technically identical – there is absolutely no difference between them with regard technical capabilities.

The only difference is the virtualisation rights included with the license (two VMs for Standard and as many as you like for Datacenter).  So if you’re virtualising you should be using Datacentre – that’s the only decision you have to make.  As a rule of thumb, once you get to around five VMs you should have gone with Datacentre.

You can download Windows Server 2012 form here.  And read all about it here.

Windows Server 2012 Essentials has not released to manufacture (RTM) yet, it is still in a Release Candidate stage.  It is targeted at Small and Medium businesses with less than 25 PCs.  It is an ideal first server that works seamlessly with Office 365.  You can download the RC here and learn all about it here.

Windows Server 2012 Foundation is only available pre-installed onto a new server from an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM).  It is designed for organisations with up to 15 users who need a great general purpose (and economical) server.

Licensing and pricing info for all editions is here.


  • Good to know.  Thank you.

  • Great Article, simple and to the point, answered everything I wanted to know!

  • helpful article need more information.

  • Isn't it once you get to around 9 VM's you should have gone with Datacenter?  The standard license (around $850 US) gives you 2 VM's.  Datacenter costs around $4500 US for 2 processors.  4 Standard licenses (good for 8 VMs) costs less than 1 Datacenter license . . .

    Unless you mean "per processor".

  • Nice article . . .

    The information provided by u is very helpful...


  • The information is well understood. could you pls. let me the price difference in percentage between standard and data centre editions?

  • What about the CALs calculations? what if I have over 100 users in my environment and visualization is required on two servers only? Regards, Ateeq

  • Great ,Many Thanks

  • Does apply for Windows Server 2012 R2 Editions too?

  • it clear my question, thanks you so much !

  • Thanks for the article ...
    What do u mean by some technical capabilities

  • Thanks for short viewing about the server 2012.

  • I really like this comment, clear and to the point, what I needed.

  • Thanks for guidance

  • its totally different

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