Get answers to your Microsoft Licensing questions!

by Shijaz Abdulla on 10.02.2013 at 19:12


Check out the newly refreshed Microsoft Volume Licensing website with easy ways to understand all of the licensing agreements that Microsoft offers and uncover what licensing requirements you require for your organization.

Follow the Blog, Activate a Product, Learn about Pricing through Microsoft Partners, and understand from A-Z how Microsoft Volume Licensing works. 

A great resource for you with information that is easy to consume and a website that is super simple to navigate.

If you want answers to your questions on Microsoft Volume Licensing, check it out now.

Simplified Licensing in System Center 2012

by Shijaz Abdulla on 18.01.2012 at 07:48

Yesterday, Microsoft announced System Center 2012.

I am pleased to see that licensing has been greatly simplified in System Center 2012 without compromising on value and by increasing scalability – more power to the customer!

System Center 2012 maximizes your private cloud value while simplifying purchasing. This is achieved by:

  • Private Cloud Value – Maximizing cloud capacity with unlimited virtualization
  • Simple Licensing – Delivering a consistent, easy-to-manage model
  • Consistent Capabilities – Every license includes all private cloud features.

The licensing changes at a glance:

  • No more console licenses. Console licenses (with SQL Runtime) are included with the System Center Standard or Datacenter licenses.
  • No more standalone server management licenses.
  • Both the Standard and the Datacenter licenses include server management licenses for all 8 System Center components. The 8 components are:
    • Operations Manager
    • Configuration Manager
    • Data Protection Manager
    • Service Manager
    • Virtual Machine Manager
    • Orchestrator (formerly Opalis)
    • Endpoint Protection (formerly Forefront Endpoint Protection)
    • App Controller (new product)


  • Both Standard & Datacenter Edition are on a processor-based model. Each single System Center license (Standard or Datacenter) covers 2 processors on the host machine.
    • Standard Edition allows a maximum of 2 Operating System Environments (OSEs)
    • Datacenter Edition allows unlimited OSEs.
    • A single license cannot be ‘split’ between multiple hosts. (Example: A single Standard Edition license which supports 2 processors cannot be ‘split’ between two 1-processor servers)
  • Software Assurance is included with all licenses.
  • Client Management licenses are still required for client machines being managed by System Center (non-Server OSEs).

Here are some licensing examples based on the new scheme:


Microsoft VDI Licenses for partners

by Shijaz Abdulla on 08.06.2011 at 06:14

A partner approached me recently requesting Virtual Desktop Access (VDA) licenses for internal use.

Here’s the official statement on the matter:

Windows Virtual Desktop Access (VDA) is licensed only to those partners who have either the Gold Desktop or Gold Virtualization competency; these partners receive 5 VDA licenses.  Windows VDA licenses are required for devices to access the VDI environment.  Windows VDA is a device-based subscription and licensed per device per year.  Beyond what is licensed for gold desktop or gold virtualization competency, partners would need to purchase VDA licenses unless the partner has Software Assurance outside of the program.  SA includes rights to Windows VDI desktops. 

There’s a good Windows licensing for VDI overview that may be a helpful resource.

Forefront Endpoint Protection now bundled in the Core CAL Suite

by Shijaz Abdulla on 04.05.2011 at 17:29

Forefront Endpoint Protection, the best-in-class anti-malware solution from Microsoft for clients and servers, is now bundled with the Core CAL suite.

If your organization already has a licensing agreement that includes the Core CAL suite, you are licensed to use the Forefront Endpoint Protection under the licensing terms and conditions.

Licensing Promo on Threat Management Gateway

by Shijaz Abdulla on 20.12.2009 at 07:22

Threat Management Gateway (TMG), is the next generation of ISA Server, released earlier this month. I explained in detail the new features and benefits of Threat Management Gateway in an earlier post.

Forefront TMG includes new URL filtering, Web antimalware, and intrusion prevention technologies to protect businesses against the latest Web based threats. These technologies are integrated with core network protection features to create a unified, easy-to-manage gateway. The highly accurate Web security enforcement features are based on reputation information aggregated from multiple Web security. It also includes all the traditional network protections of ISA server, including firewall and secure application publishing.

Licensing Promo for customers:

The following promo is available till the end of December 2009:

  • 35% off on Standard Edition on Licensing & Software Assurance
  • 15% off on Enterprise Edition on Licensing & Software Assurance



Partners are eligible to earn SSA incentives (Security Software Advisor) on TMG as well. Remember that you will get an additional 50% bonus over your normal SSA incentive for each implementation of our security products you complete on or before December 31, 2009. [More details]


Free OCS Public IM connectivity for Windows Live Messenger

by Shijaz Abdulla on 09.07.2009 at 21:15

windows live messenger logo image Microsoft has made licensing changes on the Public  instant-messaging (IM) connectivity supported by Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 (OCS).

Live Communications Server Public IM Connectivity (LCS PIC) license has been renamed to “Office Communications Server Public IM Connectivity (OCS PIC). Those with certain OCS Client Access Licenses (CALs) will no longer require Public IM connectivity licenses to federate with Windows Live — but still will require them to federate with AOL and Yahoo.

Windows Live Federation offers users the option to add Windows Live Contacts (MSN/Hotmail contacts) to their Office Communicator contact lists, view presence status and chat with those contacts.

The licensing change took effect on July 1, 2009.