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Remote Desktop Services Licensing

Introduction

Following the release of Windows Server 2008 R2 in September 2009, the Terminal Services (TS) role has been renamed “Remote Desktop Services” (RDS). This reflects the addition of new and improved features for traditional TS scenarios and the expansion of the role to provide an extensible platform for Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) solutions. This includes a change in name from Terminal services CAL to Remote Desktop Services CAL which can cause some confusion. This article is designed to help answer common questions about this transition.

There are several key elements to the changes we have introduced with Windows Server 2008 RDS CALs:

  • Equivalency of the new Window Server 2008 RDS CAL and the previous Windows Server 2008 TS CAL

  • The Windows Server 2008 RDS CAL is priced marginally more than the TS CAL it replaces.

  • The new RDS CAL is available at a price equivalent to the Windows Server 2008 TS CAL it replaces from its introduction on September 1, 2009 until December 31, 2009. Beginning January 1, 2010 the RDS CAL will revert to its new price.

  • Customers no longer need to purchase App-V CAL for Terminal Services to allow devices or users to connect to Session Hosts (terminal servers) managed with Microsoft Application Virtualization for TS (App-V for TS).

  • Microsoft will stop selling the App-V CAL for TS as a stand-alone offering beginning November 1, 2009.

  • An Application Virtualization CAL for TS Transition Program that provides customers who have Microsoft Application Virtualization CALs for TS with active Software Assurance with 1 Windows Server 2008 RDS CAL for every 4 App-V CALs for TS they own.

Windows Server 2008 TS CAL and Windows Server 2008 RDS CAL equivalence.

Despite the new name for the Windows Server 2008 TS CAL as Windows Server 2008 RDS CAL it is important to note that Windows Server 2008 TS CALs and Windows Server 2008 RDS CALs are functionally equivalent. Customers who purchase new Windows Server 2008 R2 licenses for their servers can allow any user or device covered with a Windows Server 2008 TS CAL to access Remote Desktop Services on Windows Server 2008 R2 licensed systems. The Windows Server 2008 RDS CAL can be used with both Windows Server 2008 TS and windows Server 2008 RDS server roles.

Price Change and Transition Offer – September 2009-January 2010

With Windows Server 2008 R2 Remote Desktop Services (RDS), Microsoft has added new capabilities that improve the traditional Session Host scenarios (formerly known as terminal server) and enable new emerging Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) scenarios. For example, RDS provides:

  • Simplified management with a unified and scalable connection broker for both Session Desktops and VDI Desktops

  • Unified RD Web Access and a ‘RemoteApp and Desktop Connection’ feature for access to VDI and Session Desktops

  • Ensures users can only see the apps they are supposed to with per-user RemoteApp permissions and filtering

  • Provides the user a rich remote experience, bringing the experience closer to that enjoyed by users accessing local computing resources:

    • True multi-monitor support

    • Windows Media® Player redirection,

    • Bidirectional audio,

    • Enhanced bitmap acceleration for 3D applications and rich media content such as Silverlight and Flash.

  • Improved application compatibility and management of RD session host servers with the inclusion of App-V for RDS

To reflect the addition of the new features and capabilities in Windows Server 2008 R2 Remote Desktop Services the price of the Windows Server 2008 RDS CAL will be approximately 5% higher than the previous Windows Server 2008 TS CAL. In recognition that this may be an unexpected cost for some customers Microsoft will offer Windows Server 2008 RDS CALs at a price equivalent to the old TS CAL from their introduction on September 1, 2009 until December 31, 2009. Beginning January 1, 2010 any new RDS CAL sales will be at the normal RDS CAL price.

For exact pricing please contact your Microsoft reseller or account manager.

Availability of Windows Server 2008 TS CAL

Due to the changes outlined here the Windows Server 2008 TS CAL will no longer be available for purchase beginning September 1, 2009. After this date customers who need to purchase new or additional CALs for Windows Server 2008 Terminal Services or Windows Server 2008 R2 Remote Desktop Services will need to purchase Windows 2008 RDS CALs.

Inclusion of App-V for TS in the Windows Server 2008 RDS CAL / TS CAL

Application compatibility and management is a driver of cost for many TS / RDS customers. By including the right to use App-V for TS as part of the TS & RDS CALs we have simplified licensing and enabled a broader set of RDS customers to enjoy the benefits that Microsoft Application Virtualization for Terminal Services provides which in addition to solving app-to-app conflicts and multiuser application conflicts also enables the RDS / TS customer to:

  • Consolidate Session Host / terminal servers and end server siloing

  • End application conflicts and regression testing

  • Accelerate application deployment for Session Hosts

  • Reduce Deployment Risk

  • Simplify Profile Management

For more information on the benefits of Microsoft Application Virtualization for TS see http://www.microsoft.com/systemcenter/appv/terminalsvcs.mspx .

Note: Customers will no longer be able to purchase App-V CAL for TS after November 1st 2009.

App-V CAL for TS Transition Program

Microsoft is offering a Transition Program to facilitate this licensing change. Customers that have App-V 4.5 or 4.1 CALs for TS with Software Assurance will be granted one Windows Server 2008 RDS CAL for every four App-V CALs they own.

This grant is automatic and the Microsoft Volume License Service Center (VLSC) will be automatically updated to reflect these changes in the Customer Licensing Position (CLP) in the second half of 2010.

This program is only available to customers who had App-V CAL for TS with active Software Assurance as of September 1, 2009.

Frequently Asked Questions

View all answers

Q.  Does this mean I get App-V (MDOP) for my desktops too if I have a Windows Server 2008 TS CAL or Windows Server 2008 R2 RDS CAL?

Q.  How will the right to use App-V for TS be granted if I own Windows Server 2008 TS or RDS CALs?

Q.  Which TS / RDS customers can take advantage of these changes?

Q.  Can I still buy App-V CAL for TS 4.1 CAL for App-V for TS 4.5 separately?

Q.  What happens when the RDS CAL returns to normal pricing on January 1, 2010?

Q.  I don’t have Software Assurance on my App-V CAL for TS – can I get transition CALs?

Q.  If App-V CAL for TS will be discontinued as a separately sold license, do I still have perpetual license rights to my previously purchased App-V CALs?

Q.  I am a Select / Open / EA customer and have X years of L and SA remaining on my App-V CAL for TS that I have already purchased. Do I still need to pay that?

Q.  Do these changes apply to External Connectors (EC) and Subscription Licenses?

Q.  When will I get App-V for TS / RDS software as a result of this change?

Q.  Will my Customer License Position (CLP) display the additional RDS CALs/ECs if I qualified for the grant?

Q.  After September 1, 2009, where do I get the App-V for TS / RDS software from?

Q.  If I own OEM, Retail or ISVR TS / RDS CALs, can I get App-V for TS / RDS?

You can find additional information from the Microsoft Product Use Rights site at http://www.microsoftvolumelicensing.com/userights/PUR.aspx.