Microsoft Office Licensing for Terminal Server

Posted on 2012-08-15
Last Modified: 2012-08-16
A client of our is looking to invest into upgrading to Microsoft 2010 Office on their terminal server.  They currently have a Microsoft E-Open licensing agreement for other software and an account setup.  My question is how does Microsoft handle terminal server licensing for Microsoft Office copies when multiple users use the same machine?  Would the client be required to purchase one copy for each user that is expected to be using Microsoft Office on the terminal server or would they be able to buy one copy of Microsoft Office and have it installed and all users be able to use it?

I just want to make sure I correctly inform our client as to Microsoft's terms and agreements with terminal server licensing I wasn't able to find clear cut information on Microsoft's site.

Thank you for your advice on this matter.
Question by:mrichline
    LVL 6

    Accepted Solution

    These 2 links should help you.

    Some quotes:

    "Microsoft licenses its desktop applications on a per-device basis. Per-device licensing means a customer must obtain a license for each desktop on or from which the product is used or accessed. For example, when a desktop application is accessed remotely across an organization using Windows Server Remote Desktop Services, a separate desktop application license is required for each desktop from which the application is accessed."

    " Microsoft Office is a desktop application. As such, you need (1) Microsoft Office license per desktop using the Microsoft Office software. Terminal Services does not change the number of devices accessing and using a software application, it merely provides another avenue to access the software through. So licensing Microsoft Office doesn't change at all regardless if Terminal Services is used or not. You still need one license per device accessing and using the Microsoft Office application."

    Thus in basic terms, each device that access the remote desktop services / terminal server that requires to use Office will need a license.
    LVL 95

    Assisted Solution

    by:Lee W, MVP
    Put another way, you need an Office License for each RDS (TS) CAL you have because each CAL provides for a potential device connecting - whether it's a phone, a thin client, or a desktop computer (or something else).  

    And at the end of the day, no matter WHAT we say or who we claim to be or what information we link to, the only authority in licensing matters is the license grantor.  In this case, Microsoft.  They are the only one who can provide a definitive answer based on whatever statements you make to them.

    Further, in a software audit, "they told me on experts exchange" will not be a defense.  "fines" are basically legal battles, so showing evidence that your licensing guidance was provided directly from Microsoft will be a far better defense than by someone on a forum providing links to Microsoft.  (myself included).

    Author Comment

    Thank you both for answering my question, both answers were very clear as to how the licensing works and I will further pursue a confirmation with Microsoft with the type of licensing we choose to go with.

    Thank you again for the help.

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