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MS Office Volume Licensing on Remote Desktop Services

Posted on 2013-06-24
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I am going to build out an RDS server on Windows Server 2012. 10 users from a remote location will RDP through VPN to the server and work remotely. They require MS Office. I know I have to have a volume license for MS Office. I want to be able to go from MS Office Standard to MS Office Pro in the future if needed. Will someone please explain what I will need in terms of RDS CALs, Windows CALs, and MS Office licensing for this scenario. I see that MS' "Open Value" licensing will allow me to do the "Step-up" (included with software assurance) to go from Standard to Pro, correct? If so, is an "Open Value" license ok to use with RDS?

Thanks!
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Question by:MISquared
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by:Rob Stone
ID: 39273191
I wouldn't want to give you numbers, but here are some good references.

Microsoft Volume Licensing Brief:
http://www.microsoft.com/licensing/about-licensing/briefs/remote-desktop-services.aspx

FAQs:
http://www.microsoft.com/licensing/about-licensing/product-licensing-faq.aspx#tab=3

An extract from the FAQ which looks to fit your question quite well.
I have installed Microsoft Office on a network server for access using Windows Remote Desktop Services. I have acquired Remote Desktop Services User Client Access Licenses (CALs) for each of my employees. I want my employees to be able to access Microsoft Office from any desktop/thin client. What licenses are needed to properly license Microsoft Office within this environment?

Since Microsoft Office is licensed through a device-based licensing model only, each desktop desktop/thin client that is used to access Microsoft Office using Remote Desktop Services must have a separate Microsoft Office license dedicated to it. Licenses for Microsoft Office cannot be shared across desktops to support concurrent use. Furthermore, with the 2007 release, generally only licenses obtained through Volume Licensing can be deployed to a network server for remote access. The same rules apply to VDI scenarios. Each desktop/thin client that is used to access Microsoft Office running on virtual desktops on the server must have a separate Microsoft Office license dedicated to it. For more information, download the Volume Licensing Brief for Licensing of Microsoft Desktop Application Software for Use with Windows Server Terminal Services.
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Lee W, MVP earned 900 total points
ID: 39273479
You need 10 Windows CALs, 10 RDS CALs, and 10 Office licenses.  I'm not intimately familiar with the Open Value program, but as far as I know you NEED Pro licenses if you want Pro.  SA does not cover stepping up from Standard to Pro - it covers UPGRADES to a future versions (2010 to 2013, 2013 to 2016 (assuming that's a version).

That said:
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 and laws allowing them to be enforced can differ by country and/or region and what we understand to be true in our area could be false in your area.  "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).
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by:MISquared
ID: 39274403
Stoner79, thanks for your input; however, that is information I was able to obtain already, and I was looking for, "you need this, this, and this" as leew provided. Thanks, leew, for your input. That's what I was looking for. From what I understand though, with the open value plan, the step-up does allow you to move from standard to pro through SA, but this is not the case with the normal open license.
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