The announcement appears to be a minor strategy shift on the surface: Instead of counting software licenses by server, the new policy allows enterprise customers to purchase a license package for an entire server farm. The idea is that applications can be moved within a virtualized environment as needed, which potentially could reduce the number of software licenses for a server farm within large organizations. Previously, Microsoft had a 90-day software reassignment rule in place.
The new program will take effect on September 1 and cover of 41 Microsoft server applications, including Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Enterprise edition, Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 Service Pack 1 Standard and Enterprise editions, Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 Enterprise and Professional editions, Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007, and Microsoft System Center products.
Microsoft also updated its support policy for 31 server applications, providing technical support when deploying applications on Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V, Microsoft Hyper-V Server and third-party validated virtualization platforms. Microsoft promises same level of product support in a virtualized environment as provided for non-virtual environments.