Questions on Windows CAL licensing

Posted on 2006-04-06
Last Modified: 2010-04-19
i have read the overview of CAL licensing from MS here

i have a few questions...
first, we have 2 windows 2000 servers.  according to what i've read, there is no need for CAL licensing for our Windows XP Pro computers to access these servers.  am i understanding this correctly?

we have a windows 2003 server that is used as a terminal server.  we should have enough CAL licenses to cover the max total number of terminal service connections we may have at one time, correct?

our computers that are not remote to the servers are on a domain.  the windows 2003 server is NOT the domain controller, but there are folders on the 2003 server that are shared.  do we have to have CAL licenses for folder sharing on the domain?

are there any other common points about CAL licensing that i should know?

and fifth..
will i know if we've exceeded our CAL limit (for example, will a terminal server connection receive an error because the CAL limit has been exceeded), or is this something that i just need to evaluate periodically?

Question by:zephyr_hex
    1 Comment
    LVL 19

    Accepted Solution

    Hi zephyr_hex,

    1.  CALs are required for windows XP clients that access Windows 2000 or 2003 servers.  Terminal Service CALs for Windows 2000 Terminal Servers are not needed for Windows XP PRO clients but *are* needed for Windows 2003 TS.

    2.  Windows 2003 TS CALs are required for each named user, not based on concurrent usage.  See

    3.  You must have a CAL for any device that access the server software.  Accessing a share on the server is considered 'accessing the server software'.  The only exception is *unauthenticated* users browsing a website on your server.  See

    4.  TS CAL - Required for each named user or device.  Windows CAL - Required for each user that access the server software or uses server services (DNS, DHCP, etc)

    5.  The best way is to periodically audit the number of users vs. the number of licenses owned.  For new headcount, assign the cost of a Windows CAL, Exchange CAL, SQL CAL, TS CAL into the hiring cost.


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