Windows SBS 2003, 2008 and 2011 CALs and Licensing

by Chris Hall/December 1, 2016

Windows SBS comes by standard with 5 CALs built into the system for using all aspects of the server (File, Print, Exchange…) but buying more licenses is different for each system and version.

At the writing of this document, Microsoft no longer produce SBS. SBS 2011 was the last version and whilst you can still get copies of this server off the shelf it is no longer being made.

Licensing for SBS across all versions allows for a maximum of 75 CALs. SBS 2008 and 2011 has an honour system for its CALs much like other modern versions of Windows Server. You must own X number of CALs, either one per machine or per user. This however is not directly affected on the server itself – no changes need be made for the licensing to come into effect.

SBS 2003 however must have a Serial Number entered into its Licensing Tool (Administrative Tools\Licensing) before the CALs come into effect. SBS 2003 licenses can no longer be purchased but SBS 2008 and in some case SBS 2011 CALs are backwards compatible with SBS 2003.

If you wish to buy and install SBS 2003 CALs, contact the Microsoft Activation Line for your country. In most cases they can provide you with an appropriate SBS 2003 Activation Code for your server. Note that as of 14/07/2015 Windows SBS 2003 will be at End of Life and no longer supported.
Further information can be obtained from the below Microsoft PDF, including usable SBS 2003 Serial Numbers (these are able to be used provided you have purchased 2008 or 2011 Equivalent CALs.)

SBS 2011 Licensing FAQ.pdf

From the above document, retrieved 5/02/2014:

“20 CAL Keys 5 CAL Keys




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