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How Does The Office in Office 365 and Terminal Servers Work?

Office Pro Plus licensed through Office 365 is powerful while each licensed user can install the software on up to five devices for their own usage.  What happens when one of those devices needs to be a terminal server?

The problem is that terminal server cannot use the downloaded media from Office 365 while the 365 version includes subscription authentication.  Basically, this is technology that allows the software to verify that it has been paid for by connecting the installation to a user’s access for Office 365.  This authentication breaks when installed onto a terminal server due to the multiple user nature of the technology.

So, Microsoft has granted an exception for users to be able to take advantage of the exception.

“ Media Eligibility with Remote Desktop Services (RDS) If the user to whom you have assigned an Office 365 ProPlus license uses the software on a network server with RDS role enabled, in lieu of installing a copy of the software provided with Office 365 ProPlus on one of the five permitted devices pursuant to the Product Use Rights for Office 365 ProPlus, that user may 1) install one copy of the Office Professional Plus 2013 software on a network server and 2) access the Office Professional Plus 2013 software from any device.  Upon termination of your Office 365 ProPlus subscription you must uninstall Office Professional Plus 2013 software from the network server.”   This is from Microsoft Product Use Rights Guide - which is the best source for Microsoft licensing rules.

Practically, customers need to procure a single volume license media copy of Office Professional Plus and install that directly on the terminal server.  Most customer will already own this copy from a previous volume license (Open, Select, or EA Agreement).  For the clients who still need media, my suggestion would be to open a new Open Business agreement with Microsoft.  These agreements are low commitment with only five licenses of any type needed.  An organization could order a single copy of Office Professional Plus and then four other low cost items.  Hosted encryption, which can be used with Office 365 to encrypt sensitive emails can be had for less than $25 per year.

This posting is provided “AS IS” with no warranties, and confers no rights.

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