Software Assurance is typically thought of as the ability to upgrade. This is true, but it’s definitely not the whole story. Microsoft continues to evolve Software Assurance. Among the more famous examples: a) Desktop virtualization for which a Virtual Desktop Access license is not required if the Desktop O/S is covered by Software Assurance; and, b) SQL Server “trade-in” wherein Software Assurance-covered licenses of SQL Server 2008 R2 are exchanged for the equivalent number of SQL Server 2012 licenses (which switched from Per Process to Per Core licensing). Without Software Assurance in effect, these benefits are lost.