Alternate Terminal server solutions is it legal ?

As you maybe know if you need a desktop virtualization the remote desktop/Citrix is one of the solution, however the licensing is a real cost problem.
CAL on server side and VDA on users side, it seems Microsoft don't want we use the terminal server.
Since 10 years we can see many alternate solutions, they are also using Terminal server technology.
Most of them can be used on 2003/2008 server and also in XP/Vista/W7 (desktop OS)

My question (please I need a clear answer) why Microsoft don’t' do any think to stop this business?
Is it legal?

Thank by advance for your answer
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Steven CarnahanNetwork ManagerCommented:
I'm not sure I fully understand what you are asking.  From my experience, Citrix and some of the other products you have listed are not really replacements for Microsoft Terminal Services but rather "ride on top of" sometimes adding additional benefits.

We were running Citrix for awhile. As you stated, it is not cheap. Since we were not taking advantage of any of the additional features we decided to save some money and just run Terminal Services since we already had it. We had to have it in order for Citrix to function. Keep in mind that this was many years/versions ago.

As for "xhy Microsoft don't' do any think to stop this bussiness" I would say is becuase to use these products still requires that Terminal Services be run keeping Microsoft in the loop.

Although some may think it strange that Microsoft permits such "free enterprise" and what appears to be competition, it really is only competition between the 3rd party vendors.

DISCLAIMER:  This is of course IMHO and in no way does it represent the views of anyone else.
CalvinGEAuthor Commented:
Good evening pony10us,

You are right citrix is a bad example because Terminal server service is needed on the back.
You understand correctly my question however I will need more information’s regarding the legal issue about this third party RDP solution providers.
I really need know if my company is covered if we deploy elusiva or 2X solutions.
I will keep this post open for somes days
Steven CarnahanNetwork ManagerCommented:
Well perhaps this will help with your question a little better:

care to sight a reference? as far as i can tell they do not breach the EULA and furthermore they adhere to the MS T&C with respect to the number of simultaneous connections on their pro products.

Terminal Services Client Access License (“TS CAL”) Requirements. In addition to a Windows CAL, if you wish to conduct a Windows Session, you must acquire a TS CAL for each User or Device. A ”Windows Session” means a session during which Server Software hosts a graphical user interface on a Device (whether via the Terminal Services component of the Server Software or via other technology).

Thats from the 2003 EULA and its in basically all their OS' after that.

so i fail to see how you can make that claim.

Id like to get Microsoft certifications and not kill the company I work for's partner status, which they can revoke both if you breach their EULAs.

at no point does the EULA make mention of simultaneous users.

a. Multiplexing. Hardware or software you use to
• pool connections,
• reroute information, or
• reduce the number of devices or users that directly access or use the
(sometimes referred to as “multiplexing” or “pooling”), does not reduce
the number of licenses you need.

And before you actually read the EULA and go 'lolz only installed on one device' yes but you are multiplexing by connecting from multiple other devices, and you need one license for each of those devices connecting in.

MS have ripped apart rivals for far far less, so the fact that these guys still operate and are taking a chunk of MS licensing away from them in a lawful manner earns my kudos.

They dont mention anything other then XP and no mention of office, why? because they know they cant.

So yeah, none of it's in the eula if you just go LA LA LA LA I CANT HEAR YOU! (sans XP, which is the exemption to the rule)

Taken from:

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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
Microsoft doesn't always enforce through technology licensing rules.  Many (if not all) of the products cited are compatible/capable of running on a server, so, to that end, they are potentially legal and MS won't necessarily go after the makers.  HOWEVER, just because there's nothing technological stopping you from doing something doesn't mean it's legal/endorsed/supported or otherwise permitted.  If you run a Terminal Server (or Terminal Server like system) with 50 clients connecting to it but only purchase one copy of office, you are in violation of licensing.  PERIOD.  And if a disgruntled user/fired employee/homeless guy on the subway who over hears you bragging about how you're getting away with this and decides to report you, the BSA (Business Software Alliance; one of the groups in the USA) can send you a nasty-gram that demands you prove you have properly licensed all software you are using and if not, sues you for a truly HEFTY amount of money - enough that some businesses are put out of business (depending how badly you are violating licensing).  It's not that you'll be arrested and thrown in jail - it's that you are violating civil laws (as I understand it) and are subject to civil penalties.

DISCLAIMER: Licensing advice offered here is a "best effort" and based on the understanding of the respondents. Licenses can change and we may not be aware of these changes or may misunderstand them. Further, licenses can differ by country and/or region and what we understand to be true in our region could be false in your region. "they told me on Experts-Exchange" will not be a valid defense in a software audit.  All licensing questions should be confirmed with the appropriate licensing authority (the maker of the software/issuer of the license).  

FURTHER: I am not an attorney and my information with regards to anything of a legal nature is hearsay at best - consult an attorney, preferably one who specializes in such laws, before acting on any advice I give (and I doubt an attorney would be willing to post anything definitive here for risk of being sued himself)
I have used Elusiva on a 2003 SBS Server before and it works very well and solved my need to upgrade to a full Server 2003.

I have had no issues with it at all after installing it.  I can highly recommend it
CalvinGEAuthor Commented:
Thx for all this information’s however there is still no clear explanation regarding the fact Elusiva do a very big business and high turnover with this MS remote desktop since more than 8 years.
I understand Leew’s answer however this don’t explain how the alternate providers like Elusiva can do this business, if we go on Elusiva Web site (or any others one) we can’t find any disclaimer ??

regarding the EULA & VDA (Software insurance) Why ?

We have an SPLA licensing for our customers, and let's imagine we provide an applications service on datacenter environment with Elusiva TS then pay to MS all related licenses for infrastructure. Then we buy for your clients the VDA license (~100$ per year/device to cover the EULA)?

If we use Elusiva do you think we are covered by them?
Tribus, you said you are using Elusiva, are you sure you are in line with the law?
Elusiva's ToU:

If I am not mistaken the Elusiva Terminal Services solution use their own services that are copyrighted/patented by them.  It is not overlapping and back dooring MS:TS.

I also found this as well, which seems to be an official statement from Microsoft regarding this issue:

And for the record I do own full TS licenses for the server that I run Elusiva on.  I found out the hard way that SBS didn't have a "Full" TS server.  I bought the licenses and then had to find a third party app to make it work without a full OS upgrade.  Elusiva filled that gap.
CalvinGEAuthor Commented:
Hi Tribus,
Thx for all this information’s, is still unclear regarding desktop OS like XP W7, on the page  is clearly writing:
 "Terminal Server Pro allows Windows® XP and Windows® Small Business Server 2003 to host multiple remote desktop sessions"
However on Microsoft document is writing:
"Windows® client operating system (OS) license terms do not permit multiple users to access or otherwise use more than one licensed copy of the software simultaneously"
This mean Elusiva sale an unauthorized product when is installed on desktop OS!!!!! ???
And what’s happen when we use an alternate solution without RDP protocol like Go-Global on mobile device like iPhone, iPAD, and other android tablet??? !!!  This is it covered by the VDA license?
I know I will need to read all the term agreement in Elusiva however I’m sure if you purchase this you have already find where is clearly writing regarding this (if not I will try to understand with my bad English)
It also seems that if we install Elusiva on a server we still need to buy TSCAL, so, why  to directly use remote desktop ?
I used it because SBS only allows TS for Administrator's and I bought the RDP license's not knowing this.  So I went looking for a solution and I found Elusiva.  It solved my issue and I own the license's for RDP/TS and Elusiva.

I suppose it depends on how you use the software that would make it legal or illegal.
CalvinGEAuthor Commented:
OK Tribus, to resume this means we are allowed to install ELUSIVA only on SBS ;-) however I’m getting sure you need to paid the VDA license, approx. 120$ per year/per device to be allowed to use the MS graphical interface, so if i understand clearly you are still not legal !

I will keep this post open for one week, if anyone has more information’s...

Regarding client OS & Elusiva, maybe..they can sale but we are not alowed to use :-))
I am not using RDP for desktops though either, it is for direct connection to the domain controller for use of a server application and SQL database.
Guy Hengel [angelIII / a3]Billing EngineerCommented:
This question has been classified as abandoned and is closed as part of the Cleanup Program. See the recommendation for more details.
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