Microsoft Licensing – Common Misconceptions!
We all agree, even people in the Microsoft Education Group, that licensing is complex. We, like our customers, would very much like to see simplification. The good news is that several licensing improvements are planned. The bad news is that these need to be consistently applied on a worldwide basis and so they will take a while to be implemented. In the meantime let me try and clarify some common questions about Microsoft licensing. Operating System Licences
The Microsoft Operating System licence that ships with a PC, lives and dies with the device and can never be transferred. So, the most cost effective way to licence a Microsoft OS in Education is to buy the cheapest possible OEM licence version, such as Vista Home, and then use a volume licence agreement to upgrade to your licence version of choice. If schools receive donated PCs that have been completely wiped, an operating system must first be installed before it can be upgraded. The volume licence agreement only allows upgrades and never fresh installations. The good news is that Microsoft has a programme to cater for this eventuality called Fresh Start. Select the UK at the link below: http://www.microsoft.com/Education/F.../FSSplash.aspx The Fresh Start programme has been created specifically for primary and secondary schools to help eliminate confusion about whether donated personal computers have a legitimate operating system licence. The programme provides licence documentation and Windows installation CDs—at no cost—for an original Windows 2000 operating system on qualifying donated personal computers.
Here's how it works: a school completes a short online application. Once Microsoft has reviewed and approved the application, it will provide the school with a letter that serves as proof of valid Windows 2000 licenses for its donated personal computers. Microsoft will also provide one copy of the software on CD for customers who have received donated personal computers. Client Access Licences and External Connectors
This is one of the areas where we are hoping for some simplification. The external connector option on products such as Exchange and SharePoint are for use by non-employees. So, in the case of a school this would include students, parents, governors and anyone not employed by the school or local authority. Even then this is a grey area, but for the purposes of this discussion, a teacher (or their device) requires a CAL whilst all other users can be licensed via a User/Device CAL or external connector, whichever is the cheaper.
One additional piece of information which may be useful, is that Microsoft considers the parent to be licensed where the student has a valid licence. So, this needs to be applied sensibly, but in the case of SharePoint for example, a student CAL or external connector would also cover parental access.
When using Client Access Licences (CALs), there is normally a choice of licensing either the device or the user. Licensing the device in a school environment is often the most cost effective choice as there are typically fewer devices than there are users. The other potential option, is a processor licences. SQL would be a good example where a processor licence, that covers everyone accessing the system, can often be more cost effective.
The other thing to watch out for is cheaper licences for students. For example, there are Student CALs for Exchange.