Renewal for TS CAL licenses

Posted on 2006-05-02
Last Modified: 2008-01-09
Is there a time limit for how long Terminal Server 2003 Client Access Licenses last?  If I buy them now will they last for as long as I have Server 2003 installed.  

Someone once told me that they are only vaild for 2 years from date of purchase.  

Can somone point me at the right Microsoft location or some document where I can verify which myth is true?
Question by:darrin-miller
    LVL 4

    Accepted Solution


    A purchased terminal services CALs will allow 1 device/user to connect to the server.   Once you purchase it, it's yours.   The only thing I can think that the person might have been talking about was purchasing them under an Open Agreement which doesn't change the above information, but the Open Agreement would have been a 2 year agreement.   Now to try to track down a link for you.....


    Author Comment

    Someone mentioned that you can buy them with or without SA (software assurance), so if the new version of Windows Server is released within the time frame, it is a free upgrade to the new CAL's.
    LVL 4

    Expert Comment


    That would be correct.  If you purchase SA you will get a free upgrade to the newer CAL.   Keep in mind that you'd also need to purchase a new server (ie. Windows Server 2006, etc) and you'd also need to upgrade your Windows User CALs.   Both of those items are of course assuming you didn't purchase SA for them as well.

    LVL 4

    Expert Comment


    I can't find anything that states it outright.   If you have any doubts, just call up CDW to purchase it and ask the CDW rep and he'll tell you how it works.

    Here is a good link to understand what you need for a TS Server:

    LVL 15

    Assisted Solution

    TS CAL's are like all other CAL's and licenses. Once you've purchased them, they're yours. There's no time limit on them, they'll work forever with that particular version of software.

    When you buy a TS CAL with Software Assurance (SA), the SA lasts for 2 years. That entitles you to new versions of TS CAL's (eg for Longhorn) for two years from the date of purchase of SA. At the end of the 2 years, you can renew the SA for another 2 years if you want to. Any licenses that you receive during the SA period are yours for life. The licenses don't expire at the end of the 2 years if you don't renew the SA.
    LVL 19

    Assisted Solution

    I would buy and implement User TCALs, not Device TCALs if you don't have any reason not to.  User TCALs aren't tracked yet so the original number just stays.  I don't mean to suggest you cheat Microsoft, that is a really bad idea for a ~$40 license but it is nice when you never need to reissue TCALs again.  
    Before User TCALs you would usually run into a situation where temp machines would gobble up some of your TCALs or you would rebuild workstations and therefore need to call MS and have some of them reissued.  Since switching to User licensing I have not had the issue.  

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