There’s a question floating around right now about how downgrade rights work in regards to being “stuck” at the older version. Here is a copy of the question that crossed my inbox:
“I buy an SBS 2003 R2 Premium Server license with downgrade rights. I use my downgrade rights to install SBS 2003 SP1 because my LOB app doesn’t support SQL 2005 Workgroup Edition. Eventually, my LOB app finally works with SQL 2005 Workgroup Edition, so now I want to take advantage of the SBS 2003 R2 version instead of the SBS 2003 SP1 version I downgraded to.
At this point in time, can I upgrade to SBS 2003 R2 without re-buying the R2 SKU or am I forced to re-buy the R2 upgrade to be a legal R2 owner?”
The answer is, downgrade rights provide you the rights to install a prior version of the software that you purchased instead of the version you purchased if you wish. Then, when you are ready to install the most current version, you can install the most current version instead of the downgraded version whenever you choose to. There is no additional licensing cost or any additional upgrade to purchase in order to do so. You have the rights to install the most current version or any prior version and you get to choose which one you want to install.
For those of you that received the Small Business Desktop Advantage and Volume Licensing Sales Kit, if you view or listen to the, “Downgrade Rights in SBDA” items (Video, MP3, or WMA) in the Multimedia section of the DVD, I explain how downgrade rights work using the Small Business Desktop Advantage as the example. I also talk about downgrade rights in the, “Introduction to Office, Windows, and Server Licensing for Partners” webcast I gave.
UPDATE:As of October, 2008, platform options (such as the Small Business Desktop Advantage) are now handled through the “Build Your Own Platform” model. Here is the post that explains this new option for you.
Thank you and have a wonderful day,
Microsoft US Senior Manager
Small Business Community Engagement
This posting is provided “AS IS” with no warranties, and confers no rights