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Licensing Microsoft Desktop Application Software for Use with Windows Server
Terminal Services
 
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Licensing Microsoft Desktop Application Software for Use with Windows Server Terminal Services
 
Licensing of Microsoft Desktop Application Software for Use with Windows Server Terminal Services January 2007
 
Corporate Academic - Open License - Open License Value - Select License - Academic Select - Enterprise Agreement

Summary

This licensing brief addresses the most commonly asked questions about licensing Microsoft® Office in a Windows Server® Terminal Services environment.

Licensing Windows Server Terminal Services

The Terminal Services functionality of Windows Server 2003 R2 operating systems provides the Windows® operating system experience to users at client computers (desktop PCs) remotely accessing Windows Server across a network. Terminal Services functionality enables a company to use a single point of installation from which its users accessing Windows Server 2003 can remotely run desktop applications, save files, and use network resources through a hosted graphical user interface as if those applications and other resources were installed locally on their desktops.

One or more Windows Server licenses are required for each server running the Windows Server operating system. Additionally, a Windows Server Client Access License (CAL) and an incremental Terminal Services Client Access License (TS CAL) are required for each user or device using Windows Server Terminal Services.

For more information on licensing Windows Server 2003 R2 Terminal Services functionality, please refer to the “Terminal Server Licensing and Transition Plan” licensing brief.

Licensing Microsoft Desktop Applications for Use with Windows Server Terminal Services

Microsoft licenses its desktop applications on a per-device basis. Per-device licensing means a customer must obtain a license for each desktop on or from which the product is used or accessed. For example, when a desktop application is accessed remotely across an organization using Windows Server Terminal Services, a separate desktop application license is required for each desktop from which the application is accessed.

Use of Microsoft desktop applications in a Terminal Services environment requires that the license acquired for the desktops from which the desktop application is remotely accessed matches the suite/edition, components, language, and version of the copy of the application being accessed. For example:

  • Product (or suite): Microsoft Office Standard 2007 and Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2007 are different products (or suites). A desktop licensed for Office Standard 2007 may not remotely access and use Office Professional Plus 2007.
  • Components: A license for a suite (e.g., a Microsoft Office system suite) for the accessing desktop 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 may not be accessed remotely from a desktop, which 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 2007 requires the accessing desktop be licensed for the Office Multi-Language Pack 2007.
  • Version: Microsoft Office 2003 and the 2007 Microsoft Office system are different versions. You may not remotely access the 2007 Microsoft Office system from a desktop that is licensed for Microsoft Office 2003.

With the release of the 2007 Microsoft Office system, generally only licenses obtained through the Microsoft Volume Licensing Program can be deployed to a network server for remote access. Most retail (full packaged product) and original equipment manufacturer (OEM) licenses for products released in the 2007 release timeframe do not permit network use.

Windows Server is licensed under a server/Client Access License (CAL) model. The server/CAL model provides both user and device licensing options. Customers with more devices than users can license users rather than devices. In contrast, Microsoft desktop applications are licensed under a device-based model. This means, while user CALs permit a particular user to access the server software from any device in a Terminal Services environment, a Microsoft desktop application license permits that user to access the application only from the desktop to which the license is assigned.

Terminal Services can be used by both Windows desktops and non-Windows desktops (e.g. Linux PCs or thin client devices). Microsoft desktop applications must be licensed for each and every desktop from which they are remotely accessed regardless of whether that desktop is a Windows desktop.

Dos and Don'ts of Using the Microsoft Office System with Windows Server Terminal Services: Sample Scenarios

Do use Terminal Services functionality to provide a rich Windows desktop experience and to deliver Microsoft desktop applications such as Microsoft Office to users of earlier hardware and hardware running earlier operating systems that are licensed for those applications. Terminal Services can help you centrally manage and support deploying Microsoft Office in your organization.

Note: Every device that uses Windows Server Terminal Services to remotely access Microsoft Office requires a Terminal Services CAL, in addition to Windows Server CAL and a Microsoft Office license. Dedicate a Microsoft Office license for every desktop on or from which you plan to use or access Microsoft Office, even if that use is only occasional. Examples of desktops that might access Microsoft Office using Windows Server Terminal Services functionality include Windows-based workstations, Macintosh computers, and UNIX workstations. The servers hosting the applications do not require Microsoft Office licenses

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Scenario 1:
A customer has 50 Windows-based desktops in a call center and would like to use Microsoft Office on all of these. Two servers running Windows Server Terminal Services support using Microsoft Office on these desktops. The customer needs to acquire 50 Microsoft Office licenses—one for each desktop that accesses Microsoft Office on the servers. Even if a desktop is expected to use Microsoft Office infrequently, the customer still needs to acquire and assign a Microsoft Office license to that desktop. If 20 of these desktops never use Microsoft Office, then the customer only needs to acquire 30 Microsoft Office licenses. In addition, the customer needs TS CALs and Windows CALs for each device or user and one or more Windows Server licenses for each server.

Scenario 2:
A customer has 100 Windows-based desktops in a call center and would like to use Microsoft Office on all of them using Terminal Services. The workers who sit at these desktops work in three eight-hour shifts, so the 100 desktops support 300 workers. Whenever a shift change takes place, the current worker closes Microsoft Office and logs off of the server so that a new worker can log on and begin running Microsoft Office. The customer needs to acquire 100 Microsoft Office licenses—one for each desktop from which Microsoft Office is used. Windows Server licenses and Windows and TS CALs are also required. Device-based CALs may be the right option when the users outnumber the devices.

Note: The number of desktops, and not the number of workers, is important to this licensing scenario.

Scenario 3:
A customer has 40 Windows-based desktops and 30 employees who use Microsoft Office on all 40 desktops. The customer needs to acquire 40 Microsoft Office licenses. This is consistent with the per-device licensing policy.

Scenario 4:
A customer has portable desktops (e.g., laptop computers) that already have Microsoft Office licensed and installed on them. (These portable desktops may be licensed individually or may be licensed under the secondary install rights—e.g., in cases where an employee has both desktops and laptops—the analysis is the same.) The users of these portable desktops occasionally connect to a server running Windows Server Terminal Services to access Microsoft Office remotely while they are using a dial-up or broadband connection. The customer does not need to acquire any more Microsoft Office licenses as long the portable desktops are licensed for the edition, language, and version of Microsoft Office being accessed. For both the licensed desktop and the secondary portable desktop, Microsoft Office may be used locally or accessed remotely using Terminal Services or similar functionality.

Note: Do not deploy and use Microsoft Office with Windows Server Terminal Services with the expectation to just count and license the greatest number of desktops from which Microsoft Office is accessed at any one time. The Microsoft Office licenses may not be shared or used concurrently for different desktops. Even if you have fewer sessions active at any given time than the overall number of desktops from which you access the software, you must still count all of the desktops. Every desktop must have a license regardless of whether it is used at any given point in time.

Scenario 5:
A customer has 50 Windows-based desktops in a call center. All desktops use Microsoft Office on a recurring basis, but only 25 desktops ever use Microsoft Office at any given time. The customer still needs to acquire 50 Microsoft Office licenses. Microsoft desktop applications require any desktop from or on which Microsoft Office is accessed or used be licensed regardless of the number of desktops using the software simultaneously. Microsoft desktop application licenses cannot be used concurrently (shared across multiple desktops simultaneously or assigned to more than one desktop).

Scenario 6:
Company employees remotely access a corporate network from home, using desktops that they own. While dialed in, the employees use Terminal Services to access Microsoft Office on a corporate-owned server. A Microsoft Office license for the version of Microsoft Office running on the server is required for the home desktop in this scenario. The company can enable this scenario by purchasing Work At Home (WAH) Licenses for the employees’ home desktops. Customers with active Software Assurance can also acquire Home Use Program (HUP) licenses for their employees’ home desktops. Please contact a Microsoft licensing specialist or Microsoft Volume Licensing Partner for more information about “Work at Home” and ”Home Use Program” options available for Microsoft Office.

Frequently Asked Questions

This document addresses the most commonly asked questions about licensing Microsoft Office in a Windows Server Terminal Services environment.

How do the license terms for Microsoft applications (e.g., the Volume Licensing Product Use Rights (PUR)) address use in a Terminal Services environment (where the application runs on the server and not on the client desktop)?
Microsoft licenses its desktop applications, like Microsoft Office, on a per-device basis. Device-based licensing means a license must be obtained for each desktop on or from which the product is used or accessed. You may not share a license for the product with another desktop or assign it to different desktops. Therefore, in a Terminal Services environment, you must acquire a license for all desktops that access the product running on the server. Note: With the 2007 release, generally only licenses obtained through the Microsoft Volume Licensing Program can be deployed to a network server for remote access.

The Volume Licensing PUR says I can use desktop application software on a network device. What does this mean?
Under the network use provision, you may run the software on a network server for access and use on your licensed desktops using Terminal Services (or similar functionality).

Is there a separate desktop application licensing model for use of software with Windows Server Terminal Services?
No. Use of applications with Windows Server Terminal Services does not change Microsoft's per-device desktop application licensing model. Each desktop on or from which the software is accessed or used requires a desktop application license.

In addition to licensing the desktops that are accessing Microsoft Office using Terminal Services, do I need to purchase a license for Microsoft Office for the server that is hosting the application for other desktops to access?
No. A license is not required for the copy installed on the server.

Can I install a retail or OEM version of Microsoft Office on a network server?
With the 2007 release, generally only licenses obtained through Volume Licensing can be deployed to a network server for remote access.

If a desktop is licensed for a Microsoft desktop application, can I use that application both locally on the desktop and remotely using Terminal Services?
Yes, if that license was acquired in Volume Licensing. Most retail (full packaged product) and OEM licenses for products released in the 2007 Microsoft Office system timeframe do not permit network use. Volume Licensing desktop application licenses give the customer the right to locally install the software and also to use the same software remotely from a network server using Windows Server Terminal Services (or similar technology). Local installation is not a prerequisite for network use. In some cases, local installation may not be technically possible or desired.

If I already have a desktop license for a desktop application, what additional licenses do I need for a desktop to use the software from that desktop remotely in a Terminal Services environment?
In addition to the license for the desktop application, you need Windows Server and Terminal Services Client Access Licenses for that desktop for remote access using Terminal Services.

I have installed Microsoft Office on a network server for access and use using Windows Server Terminal Services. I have acquired Terminal Services User Client Access Licenses for each of my employees. I want my employees to be able to access Microsoft Office from any desktop. What licenses are needed to properly license Microsoft Office within this environment?
Since Microsoft Office is licensed through a device-based licensing model only, each desktop that is used to access Microsoft Office using Terminal Services must have a separate Microsoft Office license dedicated to it. Licenses for Microsoft Office cannot be shared across desktops to support concurrent use. Furthermore, with the 2007 release, generally only licenses obtained through Volume Licensing can be deployed to a network server for remote access.

I have just purchased several new desktops from an OEM with preinstalled licenses for Microsoft Office Professional 2007. Can I install the software on a network server and use these desktops to remotely access it? What if the copy running on the server is licensed under my Volume Licensing agreement—does that change the answer?
The answer is no in both cases. First, the OEM license does not permit access and use from a network server. Even if you are licensed under your Volume Licensing agreement to use the software on a network server from licensed desktops, your OEM Office Professional 2007 licenses do not permit you to access the Volume Licensing software on the server. The OEM versions and Volume Licensing editions of Microsoft Office are not the same. However, within 90 days of purchase, you can acquire Software Assurance coverage for your OEM licenses under your Volume Licensing agreement. Doing so gives you rights to a Volume Licensing edition (please refer to the Volume Licensing Product List for a more complete description of the rules related to purchasing Software Assurance for OEM software). You may use the software locally on those licensed desktops enrolled in Software Assurance or remotely from a network server (e.g., using Terminal Services).

I have Office Professional Plus 2007 installed on a network server. Can I access this copy of Microsoft Office using Terminal Services from a desktop that has Office Professional Enterprise 2003 installed and is covered by Software Assurance?
Yes. To use Office Professional Plus 2007 in this scenario, you would need to be licensed for Office Professional Plus 2007. A desktop that has Office Professional Enterprise 2003 installed and is covered by active Software Assurance is considered to be licensed for Office Professional Plus 2007. Note, however, that Software Assurance coverage is not a stand-alone license. In this scenario, you must have an underlying license associated with that coverage.

Summary

This licensing brief should answer most questions about how to license Microsoft Office in a Terminal Services environment. The general rule of thumb is "one license for each desktop accessing Microsoft Office," which is the per-device licensing policy.

If you have further questions, please contact your local Microsoft authorized reseller or Microsoft sales representative.

Appendix—Terminal Services Access Matrix

The following table shows some of the editions of Microsoft Office that can be installed on a network device and the licenses required for those desktops that are remotely accessing that copy.

Please note that the only non-Volume Licensing version that can remotely access Microsoft Office on a network device is Microsoft Office Ultimate 2007.

 
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