Virtual environments licensing issues with Terminal Services (RDS)

Recently I have been asked several times for Virtual environments for contractors Terminal Services (RDS)

There is a critical distinction to make, virtualizing the OS or Applications has different issues.

to put in Q&A format:

  • Do any of the rights of the desktop Office 2010 license extend to the hosted environment?

Yes, If the computers accessing Office on the RDS server are owned by the company, you only need to use the license through volume licensing for Office for each desktop whether Office is run on the local desktop or from the RDS server.

  • What about remote access from home  or contractor PCs not owned by us?

you will need to get a license of Office for each desktop and a license through volume licensing for each RDS session. Unless you had SA because SA comes with Roaming Rights. (SA has MDOP – Microsoft Desktop Optimization Platform)

A contractor is not part of your organization so roaming rights ONLY apply for primary users of the company

  • What if we want to do a virtual image of the OS?

make sure the home PCs from primary users have its own valid Windows OEM, then by using VDA licenses if you did not purchase Software Assurance will be the subscription you need. If you own Software Assurance with MDOP subscription you are good to go.

Again roaming rights apply only to primary users

A valid option will be Office 365 for example for Office, it gives up to 5 installations to each user and the company can assign the licenses to the users they authenticate.

more info:



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