Desktop Virtualisation, Microsoft VDI – VECD gets a name Change – Virtual Enterprise Centralised Desktop


I attended the VM Expo @ Earls Court this week, a big hello to all who came to speak to me on Licensing, I must say I was inundated and given a lot of food for thought, most of the questions, not surprisingly were in reference to Desktop Virtualisation

I first posted on VECD way back in March 2008, but, as VDI grows I felt it necessary to repost bringing VECD up to date for Windows 7 and also point you to the new blog entries on VDI Suites, VECD and VDI Suite are designed to compliment one another, in most cases you will need both SKUs.

We have created 2 licensing SKUs in Volume Licensing so that customers can license the Windows desktop operating system for use in virtual machine environments deployed in a centralized data centre environment – basically the Windows OSE running on a server

These products permit access remotely by either traditional PCs licensed for Windows 7 Pro or Ultimate with Software Assurance or thin-client devices not licensed for the Windows desktop PC operating system or fat clients with no SA coverage. VECD even covers devices that need to connect to your network that you don’t own!!!!!

VECD for SA and VECD are licensed on a per-device, non-perpetual, monthly subscription basis

For PCs licensed for Windows Desktop OSE with Software Assurance there is the VECD for Software Assurance offering.

For Thin clients, PCs with NO active SA or devices you don’t own, there is the VECD offering.

Installation rights provided by VECD: You may install unlimited copies of the Desktop OS software on a network server or remote storage device, at any one time, you may run no more than four copies in virtual machines (or otherwise emulated hardware systems) and remotely access those on the licensed device. Despite the allowance of more than one copy, use of the software is limited to one user at a time.


  Licensing Options and Program Availability

VECD for SA covered PCs – Windows Virtual Enterprise Centralized Desktop for Software Assurance: VECD for Software Assurance is a Windows 7 Enterprise license that is intended for customers who wish to procure VECD for their Software Assurance-covered traditional PCs (or similarly licensed diskless PCs).

The eligibility requirement to purchase VECD for Software Assurance is that the licensed PC for which VECD is being purchased must be covered with active Software Assurance for Windows.

VECD – Windows Virtual Enterprise Centralized Desktop VECD is available for Thin Clients, fat clients with no SA active coverage or devices belonging to a 3rd party contractor accessing your servers, it is a Windows 7 Enterprise license that is intended for customers who have or plan to have thin clients as the primary accessing device but do not have Software Assurance for Windows on those thin clients.

Editions: You may use Windows 7 Enterprise, Windows 7 Pro, Vista Business, Windows Vista Enterprise, or Windows Vista Ultimate or a prior business version for any of the additional copies permitted above.

Program Availability: Select, Enterprise, Open Value, School and Campus

Pricing Guide: Always check pricing with an authorised reseller as a rough guide

VECD for SA is approx $23 per device per year and VECD is approx $110 per device per year


One of the most common questions I get is, why cant I use FPP on the server for VDI, so, short answer is, you can, but please be aware of the limitations on this below, for most solutions, VECD will be the correct option

VECD versus FPP

Note: VECD for SA subscription license will remain restricted to devices owned by the organization that buys the license.

Note: When SA coverage ends or when the agreement terminates VECD rights and the right to the 4 local virtual OSEs ends

Note: OEM cannot be used as it is single use and tied to the original device with no network use rights permitted

Note: SA/VECD provides the right to purchase MDOP for the end device



  1. Hi LarsYes for VECD scenarios the RDS CAL will be required especially with the App V piece, we have also launched the VDI Suite which contains the RDS/MDOP and System Centre/Hyper V componentsSee you next weekCheersEmma

  2. Thanks for the clarification. Now, if only this product would be availible for SPLA partners. Offering VDI solutions is perfect fit for SPLA, why won\’t Microsoft go ahead and introduce VECD to the SPLA program? License it per user having access, and slap a mid-sized price tag on it and we\’d jump for joy! :)/Andreas

  3. In the case of diskless workstations – there was some press previously about Vista Enterprise adding the license right for diskless PCs, however, I am hearing from my local licensing manager that with Windows 7 – VECD will be required for diskless PCs, is this correct, or can I continue just using Windows + SA (Enterprise)

  4. Hi DarkThis was buried in my inbox so apologiesWindows Vista Network Use Right (remote boot): Customers with Software Assurance coverage for Windows desktop systems on August 6, 2009 remain eligible for Windows Vista Network Use Right during the current term of their Software Assurance coverage. Customers who obtain or renew their Software Assurance after August 6, 2009 will not be eligible for Windows Vista Network Use Right, but will be able to purchase VECD or VECD for SA license separately. VECD and VECD for SA provide network use rights.CheersEmma

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