Azure for Microsoft software FAQs

Get answers to frequently asked questions on promos, offers and licensing options that provide you with the lowest-cost computing infrastructure for changing business priorities.

Azure Hybrid Benefit for Windows Server

  • Microsoft offers various programmes and benefits to help you get the most value from licences on-premises and in the cloud. The Azure Hybrid Benefit lets you apply your Windows Server licences covered with Software Assurance to use Azure Virtual Machines at the base compute rate, starting 1 February 2016.

  • The base compute rate used to calculate the Azure Hybrid Benefit is equal to the Linux rate for virtual machines.

  • Every Windows Server Standard or Datacenter customer with Software Assurance is eligible for Azure Hybrid Benefit and can start deploying virtual machines using this benefit. Azure Hybrid Benefit is not restricted to any specific licensing program. The main customer requirement is to have an active Software Assurance.

  • The Azure Hybrid Benefit is applicable to Windows Server Standard and Datacenter Editions. Each 2-processor licence or each set of 16-core licences are entitled for two instances up to 8 cores, or one instance up to 16 cores. Once Azure Hybrid Benefit is assigned to Azure, Standard Edition licences can only be used once either on-premises or in Azure. The benefits of Datacenter Edition allow for simultaneous use both on-premises and in Azure.

  • Customers can deploy pre-built Azure Hybrid Benefit Windows Server images directly from Azure Marketplace for Windows Server 2016, Windows Server 2012R2, Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2008SP1. Customers can also upload custom VMs and deploy them using Azure PowerShell or Resource Manager template. Customers migrating existing workloads can use Azure Site Recovery (which is free for the first 31 days).

    Please visit the site at for additional details.

  • Visit or contact your Microsoft account team.