Currently, there is no way you can buy Windows Enterprise Edition SKU without Software Assurance agreements. It is changing now as Microsoft has confirmed that they are selling Windows Enterprise as a standalone upgrade option. Mary Jo Foley reported about this change and received the official confirmation from Microsoft about their new policy. Read it below.
“We have heard from customers of all sizes who could benefit from being able to use Windows Enterprise and we have responded to that feedback with the availability of Windows Enterprise as a standalone upgrade option. Additionally some customers per internal policy are unable to enter annuity agreements. This change expands the availability of the Enterprise edition to now include these customers. Windows Enterprise will be available as a standalone upgrade SKU in the Open and Select/Select Plus programs beginning March 1, 2014.
“Besides the new set of options to obtain Windows Enterprise, for most customers these changes are minor as pricing and benefits remain the same. For example the Windows licensing use rights, and access to other Software Assurance (SA) benefits like new version rights, virtualization rights, or the product features and media are not changing.
“Overall this is a technical change to enable Windows Enterprise to be sold standalone with minimal impact to existing customers. Customers who are renewing existing SA are not impacted and customers who previously bought Windows Pro Upgrade + SA will buy Windows Enterprise Upgrade + SA at the same price with equivalent use rights.
“Going forward Windows SA will attach to the Windows Enterprise upgrade meaning that acquiring SA on any OEM Windows Pro license within 90 days of purchase will no longer be applicable as Windows Enterprise is not available through OEM. To help ease this transition for customers who leverage this option, Windows SA may continue to be attached within 90 days to Windows Pro on any new PC acquired before July 1, 2014.”