Thin Client Licensing

Posted on 2011-05-13
Last Modified: 2012-05-11
I know I need to speak to an official MS Rep to get the official answer.

Please can someone confirm Thin Client licensing and cite a source, or reference material (source / reference required)? As I understand I need a Server CAL and TS CAL per device used. I do not need an OS License per device.
Question by:Vampireofdarkness
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    Expert Comment

    Generally thin clients have an embedded OS installed, but the license for that is handled by the manufacturer of the thin client, so you don't have to worry about anything from that side. If on the other hand you build your "Thin Clients" yourself you will of course have to make sure the OS you install is licensed properly. In such a situation I would suggest using some Linux variant as that uses an OpenSource License, or maybe something FreeBSD based. If you use a form of Windows then you'll have to license this properly with m$.
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    Accepted Solution


    Also referring to my experience and some communication with Microsoft licensing vendors

    You must have a Server license, with at least 1 CAL - Generally Server 2008 comes with 5 user CALS

    You must have sufficient user/device CALs for each Remote desktop user. These licenses are issued by the Remote desktop services licensing server which you must setup.

    You do not need a Server connection access license per user as this is covered with the RDS CAL and because the user is not connecting to the server directly. This is why RDS CALS are significantly more expensive than Windows Server CALs.


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