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Microsoft volume licensing to let you swap iron for clouds

And back again should you so desire

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Microsoft is relaxing its volume licensing rules to allow customers to move existing servers to the clouds without paying extra.

Dubbed "license mobility", the changes come into effect 1 July.

The changes are for customers with Volume License deals through Software Assurance for Microsoft SQL Server, Microsoft Exchange Server, Microsoft SharePoint Server, Microsoft Lync Server, Microsoft System Center servers, and Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

These customers can move their software to a shared cloud provider without paying extra.

Microsoft reckons the changes will make life easier for service providers as well as CIOs wishing to try cloud services without re-licensing products.

Should it all go wrong, the changes will also allow businesses to move their software back in-house if the cloud deal goes wrong – you can move the licence every 90 days.

As ever with Microsoft's licensing tweaks, the devil is in the detail: there's more from Microsoft here, and please let us know your experiences in comments below. ®

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