Tuesday 11 May 2010

Further to Licensing Office in a Terminal Services Environment

Eric Ligman kindly wrote a follow-up e-mail asking about the scenario posted in our earlier post today on Licensing Microsoft Office in Terminal Services.

And the clarification made by Eric:

  • Office is licensed per _device_ accessing the application no matter where the application is installed.

In the original post we had _desktop_

So, in the previously mentioned situation where we have 22 users total with 11 of them locally and 11 of them remote, we need to keep count of the number of _devices_ being used to access Office on the Terminal Server.

For example:

  1. 22 users using Office.
    1. 11 Office users on 11 local PCs (11 devices).
    2. 11 users on 11 remote PCs into Terminal Services Office (11 devices).
    3. Licenses required: 22.
      • This is our original situation.
  2. 22 users using Office in a shift work environment.
    1. 22 Office users on 11 local PCs (11 devices) via 2 shifts
    2. Licenses required: 11.
  3. 22 users using Office on multiple PCs and laptops.
    1. 11 Office users on 11 local PCs (11 devices).
    2. 9 users on 9 remote PCs into Terminal Services (9 devices).
    3. 2 users on 2 remote laptops into Terminal Services (2 devices).
    4. Same 2 users on 2 remote PCs into Terminal Services (2 devices).
    5. Licenses required: 24.
  4. 22 users using Office on multiple PCs and laptops.
    1. 11 Office users on 11 local PCs (11 devices).
    2. 7 users on 7 remote PCs into Terminal Services (7 devices).
    3. 4 users on 4 remote PCs into Terminal Services (4 devices).
    4. Same 4 users on 4 remote laptops into Terminal Services (4 devices).
    5. Licenses required: 26.

Thanks Eric for making sure that we were absolutely clear on how Office licensing works.

With that clarification we can be 100% confident that we will offer the correct answer to our clients when they ask about delivering Office to remote users via Terminal Services!

Eric’s original post:

Philip Elder
Microsoft Small Business Specialists
Co-Author: SBS 2008 Blueprint Book

*Our original iMac was stolen (previous blog post). We now have a new MacBook Pro courtesy of Vlad Mazek, owner of OWN.

Windows Live Writer


Anonymous said...

So how do you track this? If SBS licensing is based on per user, how do you know if the remote user is at their remote PC or at their home PC? Or at a hotel needing to work on a document?

I can see a situation where a user is at a hotel, uses the business center to RDP into the terminal server and work on a document. Technically, he would be allowed to logon to the TS, but NOT open Office.

I assume that MS knows this may occationally happen - so they use the 'honor' system for value licensing. But if this starts happening alot and you want to try and best as honorable as possible and purchase another license - how do you know that you need to do this? Can you track the # of devices that open office via a log somewhere? Can you automate an alert for each 'unknown' device that opens office?

Anonymous said...

A point of clarification: Microsoft Office, purchased under a volume license agreement, entitles the primary user of the device to also install Office on a portable device, e.g. laptop and also access Office on a terminal server (all with a single license). So in the example you provide, the four remote users with PCs and laptops only require one Office license each. Here's a link to some FAQs about Office licensing: http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/products/ha102333141033.aspx By the way, I passed Microsoft Exam 70-121: Designing and Providing Microsoft Volume License Solutions to Small and Medium Business, so I have some idea of what I'm talking about :-)

Anonymous said...

In response to the first comment, you may access your licensed device from any other device, so it doesn't matter if a user accesses Office on the terminal server from a different remote PC each time.

Philip Elder Cluster MVP said...

My point on the licensing based on each device came straight out of Eric's e-mail. I do believe that it was quite clear that _any_ device accessing Office must be licensed.

TS License Managment issues a token to all devices that connect. Usage should be able to be monitored there.


Anonymous said...

I'm not disagreeing with you that each device must be licensed. I'm saying that Microsoft Office purchased under a volume license agreement also gives the primary user of the device portable use rights (e.g. laptop) and network use rights (terminal server). A single license covers all three devices for that one user. You can read the FAQ on the Microsoft page I linked to if you don't believe me. It's also clearly spelled out (OK, maybe not clearly, but buried in the fine print) of the end user license agreement.

Eric Ligman said...

The ability to install on a laptop that you are referring to is called, "Secondary Use Rights," and you will see this covered in my, "How is Microsoft Office licensed?" post: http://blogs.msdn.com/mssmallbiz/archive/2007/12/06/6684366.aspx

- Eric Ligman

Absoblogginlutely! said...

Its a pain when tracking users who use remote devices at a library. In this case you'd probably be better licencing per user (but that does get expensive if all of your users run in shifts).

This part of terminal server licencing really does not make things easy to track.

However, in a small business environment, it's unlikely (although possible) that multiple shifts are used so per user is probably better.

Willie said...

Care to update the post above to include Eric Ligman's comment? The article he wrote and linked to seems to agree with what Anonymous #2 said. Your examples are great, the total numbers are just a little off when you include the "Secondary Use Right" (now called "Portable Device" in the current PUR.)

Just assign the licenses to the user's PC, and the laptop device license is included. (Again, we are talking about one user per PC and the same user for the laptop.)

This makes the totals for your original four examples: 22, 11, 22, 22.