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Terminal Services Alternative LEGAL ???

Answers

  • 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 http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2008/tr/tr/licensing-terminal.aspx :

    "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?

    A.  

    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: http://download.microsoft.com/download/3/d/4/3d42bdc2-6725-4b29-b75a-a5b04179958b/windows_multi_user.docx "

    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.

    Regards,

    Pawel Mazurkiewicz

    Saturday, February 02, 2013 4:33 PM

All replies

  • 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 http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2008/tr/tr/licensing-terminal.aspx :

    "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?

    A.  

    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: http://download.microsoft.com/download/3/d/4/3d42bdc2-6725-4b29-b75a-a5b04179958b/windows_multi_user.docx "

    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.

    Regards,

    Pawel Mazurkiewicz

    Saturday, February 02, 2013 4:33 PM
  • What about a scenario where you use one of these third party programs to create an RDP session to a Non-Server OS, like Win7 Pro or Win8 pro, which don't have CAL options.  Would purchasing another OS license for each RDP Connection be considered compliant?

    If I have one Windows 7 Pro machine and need 3 RDP Sessions, could I buy 4 Windows 7 Pro licenses?  Instead of having to install a Full Server OS for 4 users?

     
    Tuesday, February 03, 2015 5:21 PM
  • As for multiuser scenarios (multiple users accessing concurrently single client OS instance), the answer IMO is basically "no way".
    See http://www.microsoft.com/licensing/about-licensing/briefs/windows-multi-user.aspx.

    As for the client OS instances running as VMs and accessed remotely, I think, you would need VDI licenses for this. See:

    http://www.microsoft.com/licensing/about-licensing/briefs/win8-virtual.aspx


    Regards,

    Pawel Mazurkiewicz




    Tuesday, February 03, 2015 10:32 PM
  • I have read articles considering restrictions as abusive (when you buy a jeans the seller doesn't have the right to impose that you are the only one that can wear it).

    Why Microsoft don’t do any think to stop this business? Did MicroSoft try but fail?

    Can you give examples of companies that were condamned (only) for using www.thinstuff.com xpvs-server?

    I would like to use only windows rdp to avoid customer to install anything on their computer, no ms-office, only freewares and access run-time apps... but the CAL price makes me considering re-writing the access application in filemaker (multiplatform, 3000€ for unlimited users license... but this for MS this is only 30 RDP cals). Also, it seems that RDP CAL's have to be bought again at each server upgrade, so this is not a one-shot price for the customer.


    Alain Bourgeois




    Friday, August 28, 2015 9:48 AM