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Windows 10 on a Virtual Machine PC not VDI

Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2020-03-24
Good day to All
I have some virtual machines with Windows 10 Pro installed on them, what is the best method for licensing them - I am getting conflicting information.  I want to use them as full PCs for one person each to RDP into, I cannot use VDI as I have bespoke software which is not compatible with VDI.
I am being pointed in the direction of CSP subscriptions which appear to be either user or device licenses - I feel that those are for VDI installations
The alternative offering is an upgrade to Windows 10 Enterprise but I don't need Enterprise so again I think that is for VDI installations.
So , in my case can I just buy Volume or Retail windows 10 Pro licenses and crack on.
Microsoft don't make these things easy, it should be sooo simple.
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David Johnson, CDSimple Geek from the '70s
Distinguished Expert 2019

Just buy the license (VL or Retail) which ever is cheaper. 
Distinguished Expert 2019
as David pointed out, enterprise, is a volume licensed version of win10 pro.
The retail, you gave to keep track which key you used for which VM, while the volume license you merely have to account for number ofvdi's are within the range of licenses purchased.

Have you looked into fusion with vmeare workstation to remote into VDI

If you are RDPing, why not use a server in VM with RDS?

I.e. Windows server 2019'with Remote Desktop services per user license.
EricIT Systems and Asset Manager


Hi All

Thank you for your suggestions, I had thought about RDP-ing into a server but I was thinking of Windows10 user experience - however 2016 is not that different, I will experiment.

Have a good day/evening or whatever time it is where you are.
Philip ElderTechnical Architect - HA/Compute/Storage

Windows Desktop is OEM/OEI or Retail (not sure these are available anymore).

Open Business or any kind of Volume Licensing for Desktop OS is always an _upgrade_ to an in-place OEM/OEI license.

Desktop OS Software Assurance gives VDI grant rights on top of the Upgrade. Our clients are licensed Desktop OS E3 which is Enterprise Upgrade with some additional fixins. VDI being one of them. VDA (license for non-employees to access VDI) is required as per spec.

A standalone PC/Laptop can be accessed via Remote Desktop Gateway but that requires an RDS User/Device CAL for each endpoint on the internal network being accessed remotely. An RDS CAL is required for each User/Device accessing VDI or Remote Desktop RemoteApp or Session Host. Per User means one user can access any device on the internal network (RD Session Host, RemoteApp, PC, Laptop, VDI Desktop OS). Device is usually for shift work where two or three or more users use one machine to access the RD resources.