Windows OS – OEM Reimaging Rights – Licensing and Techie Update

I thought it would be good to post this exchange on OEM Licensing as we have made some changes to the rules for our partners and also its a very common question that we get through the call centres, I have tried to give the complete picture, licensing and technology as they are so synergised these days its good to see the full story –

Let me start with what you can do with a Windows OEM License:
• You can work with an OEM to create an Custom Factory Image (CFI): the OEM can create an Image from their OEM toolkit and then use their Software Factory Integration service to install onto all your PCs at their factory prior to delivery. This type of reimaging service is available on most OEM business PCs and/or royalty OEMs – e.g. PCs installed with Windows 7 Professional.
• This can be done without any need for a Volume License for Windows.

If you also have a Volume License, there is more flexibility:
• The Volume License for Windows is an Upgrade License – for use on top of the OEM License (usually Windows Professional pre-installed).
• With a VL Windows License you can customize the image yourself or ask the OEM to customize to your specification. The OEM still supplies you with a PC that has the underlying OEM License attached to the PC (this is shown by the “Certificate of Authenticity” (COA) label on the back of a desktop PC or bottom of a laptop.
• Customers can take advantage of customizing Windows Enterprise Edition if they have Software Assurance – which offers more features than Windows Professional (such as disk drive encryption – BitLocker).
• Reimaging rights are granted to all Microsoft Volume Licensing (VL) customers as part of the license agreement(s), customers may reimage OEM Operating systems by using the media provided under their VL agreement, such as EA or Select Plus/Select.

You can reimage an OEM Operating system with VL bits as long as you meet the criteria set out in the brief attached – posted – HERE

Note that there are no reimaging rights for OEM Office unless there is Software Assurance on the PC.

In addition you can find good  Windows product licensing information on this section of Microsoft.com/licensing

Plus there is also a VL Brief regarding Windows re-imaging rights HERE, and a detailed technical/licensing whitepaper on the points above on HERE

Windows Remote Desktop Licenses – RDLs – What are they? Do I need them?

 

Many computer manufacturers (OEMs) have introduced a new desktop environment using blade hardware technology and Microsoft® Windows® XP Professional.

This technology solution enables end users to access Windows XP Professional running on these blade PCs that are stacked securely in a data center rather than sitting under or on an end user’s desk.

In this solution, end users connect to the blade PC using a small connection port and one of many different types of access devices, ranging from a desktop PC to a thin client.

Businesses can employ a variety of devices for access: desktop PCs or thin client devices running an embedded operating system. RDP (or a similar technology) is used to access Windows XP Professional running on the PC. Unlike server models which provide simultaneous access of multiple users to a single piece of server hardware, each blade PC can have only one user accessing it at a time.

Licensing Desktop Operating Systems for blade Infrastructures

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.

Please Note: An RDL does not provide you the right to access any desktop application running on the blade PC. It permits access to the Windows XP Professional software experience and to files and other data on the PC. Customers must refer to the use rights for any other application that resides on the blade PC to determine if this kind of access is permitted under the use rights for that application.

The accessing devices use RDP or similar technologies to access the Windows XP Professional software. Like some server Client Access Licenses (CALs), the customer has the flexibility to choose to license the accessing devices in their infrastructure in one of two ways —by device or by user:

  • · Device-based RDLs allow customers to license the access by devices (device can be used by any user, although each device will need to be licensed with an RDL)
  • · User-based RDLs allow customers to license the access by named user (each user can use any number of devices to access Windows XP Professional).

Each business can decide whether they want user-based or device-based licensing of RDLs, or a mix of the two. This will depend on what makes the most sense economically, technically, and operationally for each customer.

Did you know: When a customer acquires blade PCs from their OEM partners, Microsoft Windows XP Professional Blade PC Edition is preinstalled. Each preinstalled license of Windows XP Professional Blade PC Edition includes one RDL license. Only blade PCs acquired from OEMs will include one RDL license with Windows XP Professional Blade PC Edition. Additional RDLs will be available from OEMs and through all volume license programs.

Basic Licensing Model

The following cases compare the RDL model to the licensing model that existed prior to November 1, 2004.

Case 1: Pre-RDL solution Case 2: New solution (device-based)

In both cases, the customer needs a total of 25 licenses. However, with the pre-RDL solution, the customer would need to acquire a total of 25 licenses (all Windows XP Professional). In the new RDL solution, the customer only needs to acquire 15 licenses (10 Windows XP Professional Blade PC Edition and 5 RDLs). Because 10 RDLs are included with each license of Windows XP Professional Blade PC Edition preinstalled on the blade PCs, they only need to acquire an additional five RDLs for Windows XP Professional.

In Case 2, we assumed the customer has decided on a device-based solution. The following section explores the options a customer has for choosing the environment (device-based, user-based, or mixed) that best suits their business needs.


LICENSING OPTION SCENARIOS

Scenario 1: Mixing user-based and device-based RDLs for Windows XP Professional

Assume we have the same scenario as in Case 2 above, but with 15 users instead of 15 accessing devices. Nine of these fifteen users are shift workers in three shifts of three and never overlap. Each shift has three devices available, one for each user on the shift. The other six users are sales staff each of whom has 3 devices they use to access a blade PC. In this scenario, the customer would elect three device-based RDLs for the shift workers and six user-based RDLs for the sales staff. With a mixed RDL approach, the customer needs to have nine RDLs. Since they are licensed for to up to 10 RDLs that were included with Windows XP Professional installed on the blade PCs, there is no need for additional license purchases. In fact, they have one RDL for Windows XP Professional that is unused and available for future growth.

Two months from now, the customer adds two more workers per shift and two more thin client devices to support the new workers on each shift. Also, assume the customer hires three more sales staff each requiring the use of three devices. The table below shows the additional licenses they will need to acquire from their OEM or volume licensing reseller.

 

Scenario 2: Using desktops already licensed for Windows XP Professional

Let’s go back to our Case 2 example above. Assume 10 of the 15 accessing devices are thin clients running an embedded operating system, and five are desktop PCs running Windows XP Professional. How many RDLs for Windows XP Professional do you need? Per Volume Licensing Product Use Rights, below, devices already licensed with Windows XP Professional do not need RDLs to access other workstations running Windows XP Professional. You will only need 10 RDLs for the ten thin clients. The 5 accessing devices (in this case desktop PCs) which are already licensed for Windows XP Professional do not need RDLs. And, in this case, the 10 RDLs for Windows XP Professional were included with your Windows XP Professional Blade PC desktop operating system license from the OEM, so you do not need to acquire additional RDLs.

 

When do I need to acquire a Remote Desktop License (RDL) for Windows XP Professional?

If you need remote access to PCs running Windows XP Professional, you will need an RDL unless you meet the criteria in the Windows XP Professional EULA or Volume Licensing Product Use Rights for Windows XP Professional: you are the primary user of the PC, or the device you are using to access the PC is already licensed for Windows XP Professional. If you set up your blade PC infrastructure so that each blade has a single, primary user[1], then the primary user will not require an RDL to access their blade PC. They will need an RDL if they access another person’s blade PC


[1] The primary user is the individual who uses the computer most of the time it is in use.

 

From the PUR

Remote Desktop. The single primary user of the licensed device may access a session from any other device using Remote Desktop or similar technologies. A “session” means the experience of interacting with the software, directly or indirectly, through any combination of input, output and display peripherals. Other users may access a session from any device, using these technologies, if:

  1. the remote device is separately licensed to run the software; or
  2. the user or remote device has the appropriate Remote Desktop License (RDL).

 

For other common FAQs see the RDL Brief here

Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack and Kidaro/MEDV Licensing

 

I am from the school of a picture speaks a 1000 words, and in the case of licensing, sometimes a pic puts it into perspective!

MDOP in a nutshell below,

The "new" feature with the star is Kidaro, renamed Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualistion<MEDV> Not to be confused with Windows Vista Enterprise Centralised Desktop <VECD>, oh the joy of acronyms eh!

Were the 2 differ, VECD is designed to provide a virtual OS solution, MEDV is designed to eliminate App to App and App to OS conflict in a virtual environment, so it sits very well inside the MDOP offering

Were the 2 are similar, SA is required on the Windows Client OS before you can subscribe to either VECD or MDOP<with MEDV>

The most important piece of info I want to portray is that MDOP is a subscription based per device offering, only available for customers who have active SA on the Windows Client OS, it actually builds on top of the Win Client OS

I cannot convey enough to you that moving forward with technology, new versions and new acquisitions we will leverage SA to "add" these features into existing products, Kidaro is a great example, whether you get the "right to use" or not will more than often come down to whether you have SA or not, so be aware of that when deciding about SA and make sure its not just a decision based on "do I want a new version in the next 3yrs or not", its now a much deeper conversation, I am prepared to help you out on this were possible, get in contact…….

Due for release in the next few months and customers on MDOP will get MEDV for free, anyone who wants to start deploying the technology simply signs up to MDOP subscription, provided they have active SA on there Windows Desktop OS!

Kidaro is no longer available as a product

I know all you techies want to know about licensing the cool feature of Kidaro were you can have the virtual machine on a USB stick, we are ironing out the legalities and licensing policy around this as I write, more to come in the not to distant future………

Product Highlight – Attaching Software Assurance to the Windows Desktop OS – Windows Vista Enterprise and Ultimate

 

Attaching Software Assurance to Windows Vista Business provides the right to deploy Windows Vista Enterprise or Ultimate, as here 

One of the main benefits is in relation to Virtualisation, I talked about Vista Enterprise and VECD in a previous blog, so If you you haven’t seen it, its here

The important question is, which "bits" stay when the SA is not renewed on Windows Vista

So, Windows Vista Enterprise and Windows Vista Ultimate use rights are perpetual for the life of the device that was covered with SA when the products were available. This means, that if a customer had active SA coverage while Vista Enterprise was available, it can be installed on that device.

If you drop SA coverage on that device, Vista Enterprise can continue to run for the life of that device: as below

Rights that stay!

Perpetual Use Rights (do not require active SA agreement)

  • Windows Vista Enterprise, including 4 differentiating features:
  • · BitLocker Drive Encryption
  • · Licensing Rights to 4 Virtual Operating Systems
  • · Subsystem for Unix-based Applications (SUA)
  • · Multi-lingual User Interface (MUI)
  • Rights to Windows Vista Ultimate edition

Rights that expire!

Non-perpetual (require active SA agreement)

Did you know – With the launch of Vista, MUI is a feature of Windows Vista Enterprise.

Did you Know – Windows Vista ULTIMATE OEM/FPP has MUI "built-in"

You must have an EA/SA agreement in order to get Windows Vista Enterprise.

You may not install Windows Vista Enterprise on replacement PCs after their EA/SA agreement expires. If you want to run Windows Vista Enterprise on replacement PCs, you must either renew SA or attach SA onto the new OEM PC purchase.

Tip: Windows Vista Enterprise is not a separate SKU it is an SA benefit, it requires activation on MVLS or eOpen, once activated the media will ship out to the SA Benefits Administrator in your company, always activate Windows Vista Enterprise so you get the media shipped out.

Tip: Windows Vista Ultimate is provided as FPP media with NO VLK, it cannot be used to re-image company wide, each install requires activation web or phone

Product High-Light – Windows Desktop OS- What is a Qualified Base license in Volume Licensing?

 

The top "program" question I get is in relation to Qualified base Licenses for the Volume Licensing Agreements – more details on agreements here

The reason qualified base licenses are required is due to the fact that in Volume Licensing Agreements, ANY VL Agreement, the Desktop OS provided is an UPGRADE only, you cannot purchase naked PCs and use your volume licensing agreement to install XP Pro/Vista, you need a pre-existing OEM/FPP copy of the Windows Desktop OS on the PC first

Some details:

The choice of Qualified Base license depends on:

  1. The Agreement type
  2. If its a new or existing Agreement
  3. Agreement version

Windows XP Professional and Windows Vista Business Upgrades

Customers who wish to acquire either the Windows XP Professional or Windows Vista Business Upgrade license through the Select License or Open License programs must first have licensed and installed on their desktop a qualifying operating system.

Qualifying OS Rules (Each of these conditions must be met in order for the base OS to qualify you for the VL Upgrade.):

  • The qualifying OS must be installed on the device to which the VL Upgrade license is to be assigned.
  • Except as provided below, you must remove the qualifying Operating System from the device in order to deploy the VL Upgrade license.
  • Customers who wish to install or run more than one licensed OS at one time (including the qualifying OS), may either:
  1. acquire Software Assurance for their VL Upgrade license, or
  2. purchase full Windows Vista licenses separately. We do not offer full Desktop OS licenses in Volume Licensing.

Customers that have active Software Assurance coverage do not need to uninstall the qualifying OS and may install and run the qualifying OS and Windows Vista at the same time.

The key notes are on Enterprise Wide Agreements, so EA and OV Company Wide, there are key differences to the qualified base license permitted between NEW and EXISTING agreements, for example XP HOME cannot be used as a qualified base license on an existing or renewal EA/OVCW/OVS agreement

Please take this into consideration when purchasing new PCs to include into an existing agreement, this has been the rule since EA 5.2 Agreements, round about 1999/2000, so really quite a while

 

Did you know – Windows XP HOME is not a qualified base license for Windows Vista Business Upgrade on any corporate program, only the Academic Agreements may use Windows XP HOME

Did you know – NON-MS software can also be used as qualified base licenses, IBM and MAC as above

 

As a caveat, below, we offered customers who had EXISTING Windows XP Home to PURCHASE the VL Vista Upgrade + SA

Customers* with Windows XP Home Edition licenses purchased on or before December 31, 2006 may acquire Windows Upgrade Licenses with Software Assurance (U & SA). 

This offer expired September 30, 2007.

*For customers under Enterprise Enrollments and Open Value company-wide agreements, this offer applies only to initial orders under new enrollments and agreements.  It does not apply to subsequent orders under new enrollments and agreements, nor to renewal enrollments and agreements.

The core offering in volume licensing is Windows Vista BUSINESS, attach SA to this offering and it becomes Windows Vista Enterprise or Ultimate

Windows Vista Enterprise

Customers with Software Assurance in the systems product pool as of November 1, 2006 are eligible for this benefit during the term of their Software Assurance coverage.  For each Windows license covered under Software Assurance, customers have the option to use Windows Vista™ Enterprise in place of Windows Vista Business on their licensed device. The type of Windows Vista Business license acquired determines whether there is an ongoing right to use Windows Vista Enterprise.

Software Assurance customers with a perpetual license for Windows Vista Business, will have a perpetual right to use Windows Vista Enterprise on the SA covered device. (a customer can continue using Windows Vista Enterprise on this device, even after their SA coverage has expired for that device).  Otherwise, the right to use Windows Vista Enterprise expires upon the expiration of rights under the Windows license for which Software Assurance coverage was acquired.

And also Windows Vista Ultimate……..

Windows Vista Ultimate

Customers with Software Assurance in the systems product pool are eligible for this benefit during the term of their Software Assurance coverage. Customers with fewer than 600 licensed devices with active Windows Software Assurance have the option to use Windows Vista™ Ultimate in place of Windows Vista Business on up to five of those licensed devices. Customers with 600 or more licensed devices with active Software Assurance have the option to use 1 Windows Vista™ Ultimate in place of Windows Vista Business on up to one for every 100 of those licensed devices.

Customers, who either have Software Assurance in the systems product pool under an Academic Select, Campus or School agreement or had active Software Assurance in the systems product pool between November 1, 2006 and November 30, 2007 have the option to use Windows Vista™ Ultimate in place of Windows Vista Business on any of their licensed devices with active coverage.

Software Assurance customers with a perpetual license for Windows Vista Business, will have a perpetual right to use Windows Vista Ultimate on the SA covered device (a customer can continue using Windows Vista Ultimate on this device, even after their SA coverage has expired for that device).  Otherwise, the right to use Windows Vista Ultimate expires upon the expiration of rights under the Windows license for which Software Assurance coverage was acquired.

Windows Vista Ultimate cannot be activated using volume license keys. It requires activation one desktop system at a time.  Upon activation of this benefit, customers will need to contact the Software Assurance Call Center for product activation.

 

Downgrade” right for Windows XP Professional and Windows Vista Business licenses purchased via Volume Licensing
Volume licensing customers with a license for Windows XP Professional or Windows Vista Business are eligible to use a prior version in place of the version they have licensed. Eligible Prior versions of Windows XP Professional include Windows 2000 Professional, Windows NT Workstation 4.0 or 3.51. Eligible prior versions of Windows Vista Business include Windows XP Professional and Windows 2000 Professional, Windows NT Workstation 4.0 or 3.51.

Microsoft has extended the above downgrade rights under Windows Vista Business Upgrade to allow you to downgrade to Windows 98 or Windows 95. If the customer exercises this right to use a prior qualifying Windows operating system for which there is Microsoft Plus! Software available, the customer may also use the appropriate Microsoft Plus! Software. For example, a customer who enrolls Windows Vista Business under Software Assurance may choose to use Windows 98 and Microsoft Plus! For Windows 98 instead of Windows Vista Business. Windows Millennium and Windows XP Home Edition are not prior versions of Windows Vista Business.

OEM Windows XP Pro Licenses may be downgraded to Windows 2000 Pro, Windows 98 Second edition and Windows 95

OEM Windows Vista Business and Ultimate may be downgraded to Windows XP Pro 32 bit, 64bit or Tablet PC edition only

FPP Windows XP Pro and Windows Vista Business/Ultimate licenses have no downgrade rights

Did you know – You can use any legal media to "downgrade" if you have downgrade licenses associated with your license type

 

Current Windows Promotions

Windows Software Assurance Attach Offer

For a limited time (February 1, 2008 – June 30, 2008), customers who purchased Windows Business or Professional Licenses with new PC’s through OEMs after December 31st, 2006 but more than 90 days prior, will be allowed to acquire Software Assurance coverage for those licenses. This promotion is applicable for the following programs and for the following Microsoft Windows products only:

Open Value and Select programs only

  • · Windows XP Professional (32 bit or 64 bit)
  • · Windows XP Professional N
  • · Windows Tablet PC edition
  • · Windows XP Professional Blade PC Edition
  • · Windows Vista Business
  • · Windows Vista Blade PC Edition
  • · Windows Vista Ultimate

Upgrade or OEM Licenses acquired prior to January 1, 2007 are ineligible for SA coverage under this promotion. Similarly, after June 30, 2008, OEM licenses acquired more than 90 days prior, are ineligible for SA coverage under this promotion.

Windows Vista Business + Desktop Optimization for SA

As a limited time offer from December 1, 2007 through June 30, 2008, Open Value and Select customers are eligible to acquire U&SA for Vista Business at potential savings.

Windows SA Attach

For a limited time (February 1, 2009 – June 30, 2009), customers who purchased Windows Business or Professional Licenses with new PCs through OEMs after July 31, 2008 but more than 90 days prior, will be allowed to acquire Software Assurance coverage for those licenses. This promotion is applicable for the following programs and for the following Microsoft Windows products only:

 

• Open Value and Open License programs only
• Windows XP Professional (32 bit or 64 bit)
• Windows XP Professional N
• Windows Tablet PC edition
• Windows XP Professional Blade PC Edition
• Windows Vista Business
• Windows Vista Blade PC Edition
• Windows Vista Ultimate

 

Upgrade or OEM Licenses acquired prior to August 1, 2008 are ineligible for SA coverage under this promotion. Similarly, after June 30, 2009, OEM licenses acquired more than 90 days prior, are ineligible for SA coverage under this promotion.

 

Please see the Product List for complete details.

In addition, from December 1, 2007 through June 30, 2008, customers that are purchasing Vista Business U&SA under this offer are also eligible to acquire subscriptions for Desktop Optimization for Software Assurance 4.1 (MDOP) at potential savings.

More on MDOP later………..