Microsoft Improves Windows VDA Licensing

First of all I better explain what VDA licensing is.

VDA (Virtual Desktop Access) licensing is the right to run Windows desktop in a virtual environment, otherwise known as VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure).

Up untill now all Windows Desktop licenses were sold per device, basically forbidding the installation of Windows desktop editions in a virtual environment. If you wanted to run Windows in a VDI environment you had to purchase an additional VDA license for each copy of windows at an annual cost of $100.

Microsoft just released a new and more relaxed licensing model. Windows can now be licensed on a per user basis.

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.

Only Windows Enterprise is supported for VDI deployments so you’ll need to purchase SA (Software Assurance) to receive the upgrade to Enterprise edition which includes the VDA License. Still this is a Major shift and should save quite a few dollars for many organisations.

The new licensing also helps with BYOD as a user can now have windows installed both locally and on a Windows to Go Thumb Drive.

The following agreements or licensing plans can be used in conjunction with the per user licensing model:

  • Enterprise Agreements
  • Enterprise Agreement Subscriptions
  • Microsoft Products and Services Agreements
  • Select or Select Plus licensing or
  • Enrollment for Education Solutions plans.

All in all this should make the Option of  Remote Desktop Services in Virtual Desktop Mode cheaper and more appealing.


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