Windows Server 2010 will be updated this August with 2012 R2, which includes new features, but also carries with it a heavy price; a version upgrade or migration. Microsoft promises to release annual version upgrades for SQL, System Center, and Visual Studio as well. For IT this mean new features are quicker to market than the usual 2-3 years and is free if covered under multi-year Software Assurance contracts. For those who haven’t bought into the software subscription model it means having to purchase the Server software and Client Access Licenses (CALs) for each version. Shortening the release life-cycle now makes the subscription-model the more cost effective path for the long-term.

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