Licensing Windows client and server operating systems in multiuser scenarios-March 2014
Multiuser scenarios with Windows client operating systems
Windows client operating systems license terms do not permit multiple users to access or otherwise use one licensed
copy of the software simultaneously. Under current licensing terms, each host computer or access device using Windows 8.1, Windows 8, Windows 7,
Windows Vista, or Windows XP must have either a license for such Windows client operating system purchased through the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) channel or the retail/full packaged product (FPP) channel, or a
Volume Licensing upgrade purchased on top of a qualifying operating system license. The Software License Terms (formerly referred to as the EULA) and Microsoft Product Use Rights (PUR) provide that Windows client operating systems are licensed under the following terms:
■ One license for each device on or from which the client operating system is accessed and used
■ One user accessing the software at a time
■ No use of the client operating system’s runtime and other files to run applications not running on the software
Multiuser scenarios with Windows Server operating systems
While the Windows client operating system does not permit licensing a multiuser solution, the Windows Server
operating systems provide a multiuser solution using Remote Desktop Services (RDS) and/or other technologies.
The Windows Server license terms described in the PUR specify that both a Windows Server Client Access License (CAL) and RDS CAL are required whenever a user is 1) using any of the RDS product functionality or 2) remotely connecting to Windows Server to display, access, or use a graphical user interface (for example, a desktop PC or application).
The RDS CAL is required regardless of the technology used to remotely access the server GUI (Microsoft Remote Desktop Services or other third-party software such as Citrix XenApp or XenDesktop). Both device and user-based RDS CALs are available so that customers can make the best CAL purchase decisions based on their individual needs.
Multiuser scenarios with Windows MultiPoint Server 2012
Windows MultiPoint Server 2012 is designed specifically for multiuser scenarios. MultiPoint Server comes in Standard Edition and Premium Edition allowing 10 and 20 users respectively to simultaneously share one host computer. Each user has his or her independent and familiar Windows computing experience at stations directly connected to the host computer. You can acquire MultiPoint Server in the following ways
The Windows MultiPoint Server 2012 Volume license terms and PUR specify that a Windows Server 2012 CAL and Windows MultiPoint Server 2012 CAL is required whenever a user or device is connecting to a Windows MultiPoint
Server 2012 operating system. The Windows MultiPoint Server 2012 OEM license terms specify that a Windows MultiPoint Server 2012 CAL is
required whenever a device is connecting to a Windows MultiPoint Server 2012 operating system. Both device- and user-based Windows MultiPoint 2012 Server CALs are available so that customers make the best CAL purchase decisions based on their individual needs.
Academic Volume License Subscription Agreements
Under the terms of Microsoft Volume Licensing Subscription Agreements, Desktop Platform Products and their components (such as the Windows Upgrade license and the Windows CAL) must be licensed organization wide. To
access the server resources, each desktop PC requires its own CAL. The subscription agreements differ in their CAL purchase requirements as follows:
■ Enrollment for Education Solutions (including OVS-ES): “Organization wide” for EES/OVS-ES customers is the number of full-time equivalent (FTE) faculty and staff. The number of licenses purchased for the Windows Upgrade or Windows Server CAL must be equal to the number of FTE in the organization, as defined in the enrollment. The MultiPoint CAL may be licensed organization-wide (for the full FTE count) or on an as-required basis in quantities less than the FTE count. “Server Licenses” that allow a server to run Microsoft products can be purchased on an as-required basis for specific servers.
■ School Enrollment Customers: “Institution wide” for school customers is the number of all “eligible PCs” owned
or leased by the institution. Each MultiPoint terminal is considered an “eligible PC,”’ and must be counted. As a result, the number of all Desktop Licenses (such as Windows Upgrade or Windows Server CAL and MultiPoint CAL) purchased must match the number of ALL eligible PCs owned/leased by the school. This policy applies even when the use of two Desktop Licensed products is mutually exclusive or not (for example, if one product used on a MultiPoint Terminal, cannot also be used on a standard PC under the same license or vice versa; both products need to be purchased institution wide.)
Note: A School Enrollment customer can use two different products, Windows MultiPoint Server 2012 CAL (WMS CAL) and Windows Client on a mutually exclusive basis. If an academic institution orders both of these products, then both Windows MultiPoint Server 2011 CAL and Windows Client must be purchased on an institution-wide basis.
Alternatively, the institution can acquire the Windows MultiPoint Server 2011 CAL under Academic Open, Select License, or Select Plus Agreements* for just the number of seats required. (Windows Server CALs for all devices are also required.)
*Effective July 1, 2016, in markets where the MPSA is available, Microsoft will stop accepting new orders and Software Assurance renewals through existing commercial Select Plus agreements at your next agreement anniversary date. This retirement does not apply to government and academic Select Plus agreements.
Microsoft desktop application licensing in a multiuser environment
Microsoft licenses its desktop PC applications on a per-device basis, which means that customers must obtain a license for each desktop PC on or from which the product is used or accessed. When Microsoft desktop PC programs
are used in a shared environment, a license must be acquired for every device (desktop PC, thin client, etc.) that
remotely accesses the desktop PC program installed on the multiuser system. This license must match the
suite/edition, components, language, and the version of the copy of the program being accessed. For example:
■ Product (or suite): Microsoft Office Standard 2013 and Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2013 are different
products (or suites). A desktop PC licensed for Office Standard 2013 cannot remotely access and use Office Professional Plus 2013.
■ Components: A license for a suite (for example, a Microsoft Office suite) for the accessing device (desktop PC, thin client, etc.) must have exactly the same components as the copy of the Microsoft Office suite being remotely accessed.
■ Language: The English/multilanguage version of the Microsoft Office suite cannot be accessed remotely from a desktop PC that is licensed for a single language version of the Microsoft Office suite. Likewise, remote access to a licensed copy of Microsoft Office Multi-Language Pack 2013 requires that the accessing desktop PC be licensed for the Office Multi-Language Pack 2013.
■ Version: Microsoft Office 2010 and the Microsoft Office 2013 are different versions. You may not remotely access the Microsoft Office 2013 from a desktop PC that is licensed for Microsoft Office 2010. When a Microsoft desktop application is accessed remotely across an organization using Windows Server Remote
Desktop Services, a separate desktop application license is required for each desktop PC from which the application is accessed.
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