SharePoint Server Subscription Edition ends SharePoint Server releases

SharePoint Server Subscription Edition is an on-premises collaboration software offering the same collaboration and productivity features as previous versions. This version needs no costly major version upgrades to access new features based on a “continuous update” subscription model. It replaces how the previous version was used with perpetual licensing.  

Microsoft will introduce new features through biannual updates, giving your organization the flexibility to choose if and when to install them.  

The new feature updates will be available in two folds. This is the early release providing early access to new features, enabling you to test and evaluate them ahead of time.  

The other is the standard release which grants access to new features when Microsoft officially deploys them for production use.  

Is SharePoint Server Subscription Edition replacing SharePoint 2019? 

Ideally, according to Microsoft’s product release sequence, after SharePoint Server 2019 was released, expectations were right to assume there will be SharePoint Server 2022 as a successor. But this was not to be the case. Microsoft instead, introduced the SharePoint Server Subscription Edition, as its latest on-premises SharePoint server.   

SharePoint Server SE will run in an organization’s environment on Windows Server 2019 or 2022. It is not “SharePoint Online”, which is hosted by Microsoft as a cloud-based service. SharePoint SE will be installed on an organization’s hardware as part of its server farm.  

SharePoint Server SE operates within an organization’s environment on Windows Server 2019 or 2022. SharePoint SE is installed on an organization’s own hardware as part of its server infrastructure.   

Note: SharePoint Server SE is not SharePoint Online, which is hosted by Microsoft as a cloud-based service.  

What’s next for the SharePoint Server versions as was released by Microsoft?  

SharePoint Server Subscription Edition ends the continuous release of new versions such as was seen with early releases from 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016 and 2019. This means there will be no future versions now that SharePoint Server Subscription Edition is available. As an organization, you will not go through the tedious number of initiated and carefully planned processes of upgrading your on-premises Server before you deploy, which can be time consuming. Microsoft will now take care of this by releasing upgrades for your installations.  

Why is Microsoft introducing the SharePoint Server Subscription Edition? 

Microsoft is introducing the SharePoint Server Subscription Edition alongside SharePoint Server 2019. This is to do away with the traditional versions that only receive updates through patches and service packs. Organizations use of SharePoint is enhanced with the new edition as it does not only receive regular updates but also gets new features as soon as they are released. Customers no longer need to wait for the next version as the Subscription Edition is always current. Formerly, to access new features, customers typically needed to purchase the next version in line, which would be years ahead.   

What is the licensing model for SharePoint Server Subscription Edition? 

A user requires a server software license and a client access license (CAL) for each user or device that accesses the server software. Additionally, a user assigned a Microsoft 365 E3 or E5 subscription license is granted equivalent rights to the SharePoint Server CAL. In addition, note that, when it comes to customers/organizations who have not renewed their Software Assurance at the end of its term, they are not allowed to deploy or use SharePoint Server Subscription Edition. They are expected to de-stall the subscription edition and install to use the perpetual version which is SharePoint Server 2019 instead.  

SharePoint Server Subscription Edition purchase and availability 

Below is a table of how licenses for the use of SharePoint Server Subscription Edition can be purchased or available as well as in the case of SharePoint Server 2019.   

Can organizations upgrade SharePoint Server 2016 and 2019 to SharePoint Server SE? 

You can upgrade to SharePoint Server Subscription Edition from either SharePoint Server 2016 or SharePoint Server 2019 using the database-attach method. However, to migrate any of the earlier versions of SharePoint Server to the subscription version, you first need to migrate to SharePoint 2016 or 2019.   

Opting for traditional perpetual SharePoint Server or the SharePoint Server Subscription edition. 

If you are new to the use of SharePoint Server as an organization and is currently hoping to purchase SharePoint Server 2019 for on-premises, you don’t have that option currently. Yes, you heard right! SharePoint Server 2019 is supported until 2026 but since the release of the subscription edition in 2021, the terms of purchase changed. You had the chance to purchase SharePoint Server 2019 before the release of SharePoint Subscription Edition.   

What is the future for Microsoft Servers? 

Our team of cloud and licensing experts can look at your unique situation and requirements and assist accordingly to meet your needs. We have hint that other Servers like Exchange Server, Skype for Business Server, and Project Server are all in the plan to move to the subscription model soon.  

This means your organization needs to be proactive and look at your entire license position currently, roadmap re-organization and most importantly, how all these new changes will not substantially deplete your finances.   

There are used software licenses you can take advantage of to save you greatly on license expenditure. But first it starts with sending our team an email at

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