Terminal Services Alternative LEGAL ???


  • The point is, that regardless of the OTHER software used, if you access the virtualized Windows session (as in terminal server solution) or a virtualized desktop (a in VDI) you must comply with MS licensing terms. So, whatever VDI suite or "terminal server alternative" you are using you still have to buy appropriate MS licenses - Server CALs, RDS CALs, VDA or SA etc. At the end, the full licensing cost of those alternative solutions is at least as high as cost of "pure MS" solution - cause you have to buy BOTH Microsoft AND the other party (GraphOn, Citrix, ) - unless you of course go for a Linux desktop VDI ;)

    From :

    "Do I need an RDS CAL if I am using a third-party technology such as Citrix XenApp, Ericom PowerTerm WebConnect, Quest Virtual Access Suite, GraphOn Go-Global to directly or indirectly access the server software to interact with the graphical user interface?


    Yes. An RDS CAL is required irrespective of the technology used to directly or indirectly interact with the graphical user interface. This includes (but is not limited to) the use of Windows Server 2008 R2 Remote Desktop Services or other third-party software that enables multiuser scenarios on Windows Server.

    Note: Windows Client operating system license terms do not permit multiple users to access or otherwise use one licensed copy of the software simultaneously. For more information on this topic see the Licensing Windows Client Operating Systems in Multiuser Scenarios document at: "

    Of course, some (or most) of those products offer extra features, not available in "pure MS" - Citrix and VMware beeing notable examples (as they offer MUCH more ;) ).

    So those solutions are legal - IF you license them properly buying appropriate MS licenses. The nasty part is that they are often marketed as a ALTERNATIVE to MS licensing, what is clearly not true. If someone is knowingly doing that - then, in my opinion, they should be held responsible for fraud. But in real life they simply AVOID stating anything about MS licensing terms and just keep the end user unaware. And at the end, it is the end user who will be blamed/punished for license violation. Unfair business practices, to say it mildly ...

    > why Microsoft don’t' do any think to stop this business

    I do not know. But for sure, by not doing anything, the MS is making it harder for honest partners to sell Microsoft's own solutions.


    Pawel Mazurkiewicz

    Saturday, February 02, 2013 4:33 PM