Guess again.

So you have a client with 30 users and they need Remote web access and they need to move off of SBS 2003 and you want to use Office 365?  And you think that you cannot use Windows 2012 Essentials because it limits users to 25?

Guess again.  You can “transmog” or buy a Windows 2012 standard product key and through a DISM command you can “unlock” the cal users past 25.


Windows Server® 2012 Essentials supports up to 25 users and 50 devices. When your business needs exceed the limit, you can perform an in-place license transition from Windows Server 2012 Essentials to Windows Server® 2012 Standard, in order to remain license compliant.

After you transition to Windows Server 2012 Standard, the user account and devices limits are removed, but the features that are unique to Windows Server 2012 Essentials (such as the Dashboard, Remote Web Access, and client computer backup), still remain available. However, technical limitations for these features support a maximum of 75 user accounts and 75 devices. If it becomes necessary to add more than 75 user accounts or devices, you should turn off the Windows Server 2012 Essentials features and use the Windows Server 2012 Standard native tools to manage user accounts and devices.

Windows Server 2012 Standard requires a Client Access License (CAL) for each user or device in your environment. This is different from Windows Server 2012 Essentials, which does not use the CAL model and does not come with any CALs. When transitioning from Windows Server 2012 Essentials to Windows Server 2012 Standard, you will need to purchase the appropriate number and type of CALs for your environment (most customers purchase user CALs).

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