Microsoft Adds Per-User Software Assurance and VDA Licensing for BYOD Scenarios

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by | November 5, 2014

Microsoft has established new per-user licensing options for its Windows Software Assurance (SA) and Virtual Desktop Access (VDA) licensing plans.

Previously, those licensing programs were per-device based, which could make the licensing a bit tricky to contemplate for organizations trying to use noncorporate devices to access Windows at work in a sort of “bring-your-own-device” (BYOD) kind of scenario. Microsoft still offers those per-device SA and VDA plans, but it has now added per-user plans for its volume licensing customers. Organizations qualifying to use Microsoft’s volume licensing plans need to have more than 250 computers under license.

The new per-user SA and VDA plans are restricted to using Windows 7 or Windows 8/8.1 Pro or Enterprise Editions. Windows SA licensing confers the rights to use the Enterprise Edition of the latest Windows release, as well as downgrade rights.

Under the per-user plans, the operating system can be installed locally, on virtual desktop infrastructure or on Windows To Go thumb drives. Windows To Go is Microsoft’s portable desktop solution for mobile workers or for those who share a desktop computer, allowing them swap in a provisioned desktop by simply plugging a flash drive into a PC. The tablet devices used with this per-user licensing are required to have diagonal screen sizes of 10.1 inches or less.



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