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New Windows Enterprise Licensing Helps — But Beware the Fine Print


On paper it sounds great: Microsoft’s new Windows Software Assurance (SA) per User program and Windows Virtual Desktop Access (VDA) per User option (PDF) let you shift from a per-device licensing fee to a per-user fee.

Given the Byzantine nature of the current SA and VDA programs, the fact that you need only count noses, instead of devices (both real and virtual, company-owned and BYOD), cuts through layers of annoying and obfuscating legalistic bafflegab.

But… (we’re talking about Microsoft licensing, so you were expecting a “but,” weren’t you?)

Here’s the carrot, per Microsoft’s licensing announcement:

With per user licensing you can:

*Free your users to use or access Windows Enterprise across all their devices.
*Deliver Windows Enterprise across devices through local install, Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI), or Windows To Go.*
*Gain the simplicity of counting users instead of counting all of their various devices—enabling Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) scenarios without the need to track every device and license.

*Subject to licensing and technical limitations

Here’s the stick:

The following conditions must be met for a licensed PC to be eligible for a Volume Licensing upgrade license: