Terminal Server CALs and Windows 2000 Equivalency/ Windows 2003 Transition Plans


Windows 2000 Server

Windows 2000 Server is the first server edition to have TS "Built in" before 2000, TS was a separate offering so NT Server or NT + TS

Licensing requirement for Windows 2000 Server with TS enabled

Windows 2000 Server

Windows 2000 CALs

Windows 2000 TS CALs *

External Devices could be covered with Windows Internet Connector

* Windows 2000 TS CALs are NOT required for devices running Windows 2000 Pro or Windows XP Pro, any other version of the Desktop OS needs a 2000 TS CAL, having Windows 2000 Pro or XP Pro on the desktop was "equivalent" to having a TS 2000 CAL, as below

The OS equivalency provision states that there is no need for a Microsoft Windows Server Terminal Services Client Access License (CAL) for devices accessing Microsoft Terminal Services that are running a corresponding version of the Professional Edition of the Microsoft Windows® Desktop Operating System. The following table summarizes the versions of the Microsoft Windows Professional Desktop Operating System that correspond to a version of Microsoft Windows Server Terminal Services:

With the release of Windows Server 2003, April 24th 2003, the "equivalency" was removed, as below, and replaced with a time limited transition plan

Removal of the Operating System Equivalency Provision

As part of this announcement, Microsoft also announced that the provision for Operating System Equivalency (OS equivalency provision) will not apply to Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Terminal Services.

This decision was made based on:

· Additional features/functionality that have been added to Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Terminal Services.

· The OS Equivalency provision that was inconsistent with Microsoft’s new software licensing framework, in providing consistent and flexible licensing terms.

Microsoft realizes that the removal of the OS Equivalency provision for Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Terminal Services will affect some customers and is committed to ensuring that existing Microsoft customers who would like to take advantage of Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Terminal Services features have a cost-effective way of doing so. As a result, we have developed a transition plan to provide a cost effective means for existing Volume Licensing customers to migrate to Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Terminal Services CALs, upon product launch.

Did you know – There are no USER CALs for Windows 2000 or TS 2000, so if you purchase Win 2003 CALs or TS CALs to downgrade to Windows 2000, make sure you purchase per DEVICE CALs, Windows 2000 Server can not technically support User CALs

Did you know – The Windows Internet Connector is maxed out at 200 connections, the new Windows External Connector has unlimited connections


Windows 2003 Server

Summary of Windows Server 2003 Terminal Server Licensing Requirements :

1) In addition to a Windows Server CAL, all users or devices that connect to a server running Windows Server 2003 Terminal Server require either:

a. Windows Server 2003 TS Device CAL- Device CALs are allocated to devices;

b. Windows Server 2003 TS User CAL- User CALs are allocated to individual users; or

c. In the case of qualified external users, TS External Connector license.

2) The External Connector license may be acquired for an individual server running Terminal Server software. It permits an unlimited number of “External Users” to access that copy of the server software. External Users cannot be employees, temporary personnel, or independent contractors on assignment at the worksite of the organization, or customers to whom organization provides hosted services. In general terms, External Users are an organization’s business partners or customers (for whom the server software is not being hosted).

Customer Eligibility for Transition Plan

To be eligible for the complimentary Terminal Server CAL, customers must meet one of the following criteria:

– Acquired Windows XP Professional license before April 24, 2003 (date of Windows Server 2003 launch)

– Have active Software Assurance or Upgrade Advantage coverage, or an active Enterprise enrollment, School Agreement or Campus Agreement before April 24th 2003 covering their Windows desktop operating system

Any such customers with upgrade protection coverage for Windows Professional will be deemed to have upgrade protection coverage for the complimentary Terminal Server CALs they receive. Customers with Windows XP Professional licenses without upgrade protection coverage will receive complimentary Terminal Server CALs without upgrade coverage protection. All other customers will need to acquire Terminal Server CALs for Windows Server 2003 via regular channels and prices. This includes customers with older versions of Windows desktop OS (e.g. Windows 2000), as well as those who acquire licenses for Windows XP Professional on or after April 24, 2003.

Process for Participation in Transition Plan

The process by which eligible customers obtain tokens for their complimentary Terminal Server CALs varies depending on how they acquired their corresponding Windows XP Professional licenses. Below are 2 scenarios:

Scenario 1: Windows XP Professional licenses acquired through volume licensing – Using the “Install Licenses” function of the Terminal Server Licensing administration tool, a customer needs to provide volume licensing program information (i.e. Enrollment number, Agreement number, or License and Authorization numbers, depending on program type) along with a requested number and type of Terminal Server CAL tokens. The information entered into the Terminal Server Licensing administration tool will be validated by the Microsoft Clearinghouse, and assuming that request for tokens falls within the boundaries of the entitlement, license tokens will be installed onto the Terminal Server License Server..

Scenario 2: Windows XP Professional licenses acquired through Retail or OEM channels – Customers who acquired Windows XP Professional licenses in these channels will have received a product key with their software. After April 24th, 2003, they will be able to go to a Web site specially created for this purpose, https://activate.one.microsoft.com, and input the product key using the “Install Client Access License tokens” option. The Web site will validate eligibility. Once validation occurs, the Web site will return to the customer a license key pack that should be entered into the Terminal Server Licensing administration tool.

For more detail on how either of these 2 scenarios works, please see an upcoming technical white paper, which will be available after April 24, 2003. It will appear on the Microsoft Web site at http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2003/technologies/terminalservices/default.mspx under the title, “Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Terminal Server Licensing: Licensing Technology White Paper”.

Ability to acquire Software Assurance on complimentary Terminal Server CALs: If customers would like to acquire Software Assurance (SA) for Terminal Server CALs received as part of this transition plan, that option will be available through December 31, 2003. Normally, Microsoft requires customers to purchase SA at the time of license acquisition.. In this case of the transition plan, customers will have until the end of the 2003 calendar year, to acquire Software Assurance for their Terminal Server CALs.

Customers enroll the complimentary licenses in SA by acquiring the “Windows Server 2003 Terminal Server CAL – Transition” SKU.  This will be available from June 1-December 31, 2003. The License component of the L&SA SKU is not a second license in addition to the complimentary TS CAL customers receive; it is representative of that license.

The transition plan ran originally till 31st December 2005, Microsoft then extended till June 30th 2007

The following table summarizes the migration path to Microsoft Windows 2003 Server Terminal Services CALs for customers by agreement and license type, at the time of the Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Launch, April 24th 2003



Did you know – In recognition of the commitment that EA and EAS customers make to Microsoft software, desktops added in future years to agreements signed before April 24, 2003, via the true-up mechanism, will be granted Windows Server 2003 Terminal Server CALs. These trued-up desktops, in other words, will receive the same grant as other transition-plan participants. Qualifying companies will use the same Terminal Server token redemption process as outlined above, to receive these complimentary Terminal Server CALs.

Did you know –  When customers visit the Activate Web site, they will see and be able to download a letter confirming that each license of Windows XP Professional acquired before April 24, 2003, is equal to a license for a Terminal Server CAL. If customers show a valid Windows XP Professional license and that letter, Microsoft’s licensing requirements will be satisfied from a compliancy perspective

Did you know – As part of the TS licensing transition plan, customers will be able to receive either a Terminal Server User or Device CAL

Did you know – You may switch from TS User to Device CALs and vice versa ONLY if you have active SA on the TS CALs and ONLY at SA renewal time


TS Team can deal with all/any queries on 0800 0188 354 Option 2



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