Earlier this year, Microsoft announced an offer where users who move from Oracle Database software to SQL Server, that they would receive a ‘free’ license to for the platform. Today, the company is targeting VMware customers with a similar offer with those who migrate to Hyper-V will receive a free Windows Server Datacenter license.
Later this year when Microsoft releases Windows Server 2016, it will come with a significant number of new features and as you can imagine, they want all their current customers to upgrade. Up-selling to current users is much easier than new customers which is why Microsoft is targeting VMware users with this offer.
Starting September 1 through June 30, 2017, if you switch from VMware to Hyper-V, Microsoft will give you a free Windows Server Datacenter licenses when buying Windows Server Datacenter + Software Assurance. As you can see, the license isn’t truly free, as you have to sign up for Software Assurance but with this deal, you are essentially only paying for the Assurance package which has several other benefits than just a Windows server license.
If you are interested in this offer, there are a few steps that you need to follow that you can find at the bottom of the announcement post, here.
Even though Microsoft will lose a bit of revenue by offering this license for free, the agenda is clear. The company wants to entice new users to its platforms and they know once you build an environment around a software platform, it is a significant task to switch. The goal with this offer (and the Oracle one as well), is to get users into the Microsoft ecosystem by hanging the ‘free license’ offer out there to see who will bite as this will become a long-term selling opportunity that may not have existed otherwise.