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    VDI & Windows XP Remote Desktop Licensing

    pnarducci Novice

      I have read that Microsoft requires a special "remote desktop license" if you want to access a Windows XP computer (or VM) from a non-Windows XP computer (such as a thin client running Windows CE).  Is this true?  Does anyone know the approximate cost of such a license?  Are there any other licensing rules or work arounds when using VDI with XP?

        • 1. Re: VDI & Windows XP Remote Desktop Licensing
          TomHowarth Guru
          vExpertUser Moderators

          No that is not the case,  Windows XP is licensed as 1 concurrent user, either interactively or via RDP.  not both.

           

          the license you are refering to relates to server based connections and under 2003 relates to all Terminal server connections,

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: VDI & Windows XP Remote Desktop Licensing
            paramd Enthusiast
            VMware Employees

            For Windows XP (a desktop operating system) there is no such "RDP license" requirement if you are connecting remotely.

             

            The remote connection license requirement is for Windows Server 2000 or 2003 operating systems and is referred to as TSCAL.

            1 person found this helpful
            • 3. Re: VDI & Windows XP Remote Desktop Licensing
              Master

              This is a great question! I am not the authority, nor representing Microsoft. I think the best advice any one can give you is to check with Microsoft. each EULA OEM. Retail, Select, Volume, Open etc. is slightly different.

               

              I will add this though. If yo read the EULA at http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/sp2/proeula.mspx  

               

              Section 1.4 is of most interest. Specific to remote desktops its says.

               

              "You may use the Software's Remote Desktop feature (or other software which provides similar functionality for a similar purpose) to access a Workstation Computer Session from any Device provided you acquire a separate Software license for that Device. As an exception to this rule, the person who is the single primary user of the Workstation Computer may access a Workstation Computer Session from any Device without acquiring an additional Software license for that Device."

               

              It specifically says as an exception, the primary user can access it from any device. Again, I think to be safe you should get confirm your agreement with Microsoft. I would also see if your session broker or device provider has an agreement with Microsoft that can also indemnify you, as some of them do.

              • 4. Re: VDI & Windows XP Remote Desktop Licensing
                pnarducci Novice

                I should have added this link in the original post.  The document refers to blade PC environments, but a VDI setup should also apply.

                 

                download.microsoft.com/download/7/8/5/7855930A-7660-4971-8230-189E9CD06366/rdl_licensing.doc

                 

                Licensing Desktop Operating Systems for blade Infrastructures[/b]

                The Microsoft® Remote Desktop License for Microsoft® Windows® XP Professional has been added to the Volume License programs as of November 1, 2004. RDLs are procured in the form of a license; there is no software provided with them. The RDL permits a remote device (laptop, PDA, cell phone) to access any other device that is running Windows XP Professional without the need for the remote device to be licensed separately for Windows XP Professional.[/i]

                 

                This makes it sound like the remote device needs an RDL.

                • 5. Re: VDI & Windows XP Remote Desktop Licensing
                  Master

                  I forgot to add the description and uses of RDL's are describe in the MLPUR.  read page 16 Section II a.b.c.d

                   

                  http://www.microsoftvolumelicensing.com/userights/Pur%2

                  0Archive/MicrosoftProductUseRights(WW)(English)(Dec05).doc

                  • 6. Re: VDI & Windows XP Remote Desktop Licensing
                    Master

                    Read section b. of the link I sent where it covers again that the single  Primary user of the device may access a session from any other device using Remote Desktop OR similar technologies.

                     

                    You will see in the doc, unlike the XP EULA it calls the additional use cases (1) (2)

                     

                    This is all because of blades where there have been case were XP was used as a Multi-user system. You might ask whats the point since XP by default will not allow more than one user to connect right. Well you can hack around and do it and some product do it also. Its about covering bases. beyond the 10 user file and print and the primary remote desktop user.

                    • 7. Re: VDI & Windows XP Remote Desktop Licensing
                      TomHowarth Guru
                      User ModeratorsvExpert

                      at the vast price of Microsoft Windows Professional Remote Desktop License. $21.00

                       

                      hardly a show stopper in the great scheme of things

                      • 8. Re: VDI & Windows XP Remote Desktop Licensing
                        paramd Enthusiast
                        VMware Employees

                        ok so let me clarify. My earlier post made an assumption about a dedicated Windows XP VM per user in the VDI model

                         

                        1) In a dedicated desktop VM per user model: the user becomes the primary user and so no RDL is required.

                         

                        2) In a pooled model: There won't be any primary users for a desktop VM. So if users connect to a desktop VM from a licensed Windows XP client machine an RDL is not required. But if users connect to a desktop VM from a non Windows XP client, an RDL is required.

                         

                        An RDL normally runs around $20-$25 like a previous post mentioned. So the cost is very absorbable.

                        • 9. Re: VDI & Windows XP Remote Desktop Licensing
                          Master

                          So pooling I think is a Grey area. These are all new capability's not really around at the time the EULA was created, right. So, with pooling a user is still assigned an instance only for as long as they are using it. So, they are the primary user.

                           

                          There would be  more than one user if something had been installed or modified that allowed more than one user to log in and use that desktop at the same time concurrently. In which  case each one beyond the first would likely need a RDL.

                          • 10. Re: VDI & Windows XP Remote Desktop Licensing
                            TomHowarth Guru
                            User ModeratorsvExpert

                            pooling is not a grey area, 

                             

                             

                            It is simple, XP device to XP VM, no license needed.

                             

                            None XP device (Linux, CE etc) to XP VM: RDL required.

                            • 11. Re: VDI & Windows XP Remote Desktop Licensing
                              mreferre Virtuoso

                              So the cost is very absorbable.

                               

                              I wouldn't quite agree on this. Exceptions left aside for a moment .... I would say that the vast majority of the customers I meet are very concerned about the overall cost of the solution. At some extremes they tend to compare the amount of money they spend to buy a PC which includes an OEM license (between 350€ and 600€ depending on the customers) to the overall cost per user of a VDI infrastructure (you don't need to tell me these are different things .... I know I know...).

                               

                              However if you factor in all the costs of a VDI infrastructure (servers, VMware sw, thin clients, broker, XP retail licenses, services etc etc etc) we get to a number that is often very difficult to digest. The last thing we need right now is a (stupid?) "tax" that one of the players claim to get. Even 25$ counts in this excercise (especially if you factor it by the thousands of users you need to serve).

                               

                              I am not saying MS is evil etc etc etc .... if it is reasonable for them to protect their revenues and do what they think it's appropriate with XP licensing (i.e. if you don't use the OEM version than you have to buy a retail version which costs more .....) we all also must admit that this is an unreasonable tax. Why should I give you more money if I decide to work on my LICENSED XP workstation on a different keyboard and mouse ? Come on ........

                               

                              Massimo.

                              • 12. Re: VDI & Windows XP Remote Desktop Licensing
                                TomHowarth Guru
                                vExpertUser Moderators

                                I agree completely with you here, it is an unreasonable tax.

                                 

                                especially has there is no other way to access the device other than via RDP.

                                • 13. Re: VDI & Windows XP Remote Desktop Licensing
                                  Master

                                  I guess the reason I still think pooling is a grey area is because the EULA's reference RDL's being required only after the first user.

                                   

                                  To be clear, I am not talking about a situation where someone had four users and one XP virtual desktop and was trying to rotate the users through that image and not pay for four XP licenses. 

                                   

                                  I am just  talking about pooling where desktops are dynamically created, assigned and possibly destroyed after use. However, each user is licensed to use XP.

                                   

                                  I know there are VDI deployments where non XPe or CE based devices are being used, pooling is being used, they are not using RDL's and it was blessed by MS.

                                  • 14. Re: VDI & Windows XP Remote Desktop Licensing
                                    TomHowarth Guru
                                    User ModeratorsvExpert

                                    I think as this is a developing marketplace there will be grey area's,  however that is for the Legal team to worry about .  the technical team just need to provide the solutions.

                                     

                                    MY gut feeling is that this will be a none issue,  MS will look at it is a pragmatic way  a VDI solution can be accessed via only one method, RDP .

                                     

                                    therefore, aslong as all users or devices are correctly licesensed (via a select, volume or Open agreement, I just dont beleive that Retail will cut it here due to activation). Microsoft will be happy that you are fully licensed.

                                     

                                    VDI is not like taking a XP machine and haking it into a 5 users Terminal Server, or even Blade PCs, it is distinct seperate virtual machines for individual users.  it is this point that the distinction can and will be made

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