Analysts Highlight Microsoft Windows Per-User Licensing Nuances for Organizations

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by | November 19, 2014

Organizations likely will need a little guidance with Microsoft rolling out its new Windows per-user licensing, coming next month.

Microsoft’s new per-user licensing for volume licensees will be available for Windows Software Assurance (SA) and Virtual Desktop Access (VDA) plans, starting December 1. At first glance, the new licensing may seem like a huge shift. For instance, it seems to simplify matters for organizations contemplating virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) scenarios or bring-your-own-device (BYOD) support. However, the use rights of the new licensing is about the same as the per-device model and there isn’t much of a price break.

That view comes from Rob Horwitz, cofounder and research chair at Directions on Microsoft, an independent research and consulting firm. He outlined some of the nuances about the new per-user licensing in a Webinar on Thursday.

The new per-user licensing is just a simpler way to acquire some use rights, such as VDI rights, Horwitz explained. That’s the scenario where a bunch of virtual machines in a datacenter run the Windows Pro or Windows Enterprise operating system, which gets accessed by multiple client devices. The client devices used to access the virtual machines act like dumb terminals, and each virtual machine services one user at a time.



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