Windows 8.1 Enterprise Licensing: Now a Stand-Alone Product

Windows 8.1 Enterprise logo

Sep 4, 2014 by Seth Rodriquez

windows 8.1 enterprise licensingLast year, I wrote a blog post about Windows 8.1 Enterprise. At the time, the only way to get Windows Enterprise was by adding Software Assurance (SA) to your Windows license, which basically put it out of reach for most businesses. However, that is no longer true. On March 1, Microsoft started offering Windows 8.1 Enterprise as a stand-alone upgrade license.

The question is, do you need it and how much does it cost?

In my post last year I covered the basics of what Windows Enterprise is and what it does. Here’s an excerpt of that information:

Windows 8.1 Enterprise…is the most robust version of Windows available today… A feature set of all four versions of Windows 8.1 is available here. On that list, you can see that Windows 8.1 Enterprise offers these unique features:

  • Start screen control
  • Windows To Go Creator
  • AppLocker
  • BranchCache
  • DirectAccess
  • VDI enhancements

You can learn more about these features on Microsoft’s website and decide if they are for you.

Further information on BranchCache and DirectAccess is provided my associate, Andy Cook, in a blog post here.

So that’s what it does. Basically, as its name implies, it adds some Enterprise features to your Windows network. Now the million-dollar question: How much does it cost? (And no, the answer is not one miiiillion dollars!)

First some background information: Windows 8.1 Enterprise is available for purchase through volume licensing. As such, it is an upgrade license just like all the other Windows offerings through volume licensing. So you need to have an underlying full license in place on the machine that receives this upgrade license, otherwise you will be out of compliance. Most of the time, that full license is going to be the original OEM license that was purchased from the manufacturer. But what you don’t want to do is buy a new “white box” with no OS and then try to buy Windows Enterprise for it. That won’t work.

If you are just interested in the upgrade license but not SA, then you will go with the Open licensing program. MSRP for an upgrade license of Windows 8.1 Enterprise is currently $295.

If you want SA with it, then I would suggest going through the Open Value program, which is a three-year term. MSRP for an upgrade license of Windows 8.1 Enterprise with three years of SA is currently $351. So for only $56 more than the license by itself, you get three years of SA along with all the accompanying services, use rights, and version upgrades. Not a bad deal! Another benefit of SA is spread payments, so you can either pay $351 up front or you can pay $117 per year for three years.

The engineers and licensing experts at Mirazon are ready to answer any questions you have about Windows 8.1 Enterprise or to provide you with a quote.

Give us a call at 502-240-0404 or email us at and we can talk through your situation.

Press enter to search