Microsoft now licensing Windows by the user, across multiple devices

Redmond's silly VDI arrangements look to be a thing of the past


Microsoft has changed the way it licences Windows so that it is now possible to buy licences on a per-user basis.

Explained here, the main effect of the new policy is that a single licence can now apply to different devices.

As Microsoft explains, this new arrangement means it's now possible for employees of organisations that adopt Software Assurance to “use or access Windows Enterprise across all their devices.”

“Gain the simplicity of counting users instead of counting all of their various devices,” Microsoft suggests. Importantly, a device can also be a virtual desktop. Microsoft's not been super-keen on VDI before, but in a BYOD world a locked-down virtual desktop is a more desirable (virtual) device.

Here's how it all apparently now works.

Microsoft's new Windows licensing scheme

Microsoft's new Windows licensing scheme

Making a single Windows licence apply to an on-premises machine and a BYOD has impressed analyst outfit Forrester, which describes the new plans as “significant, and good, news” for Microsoft customers, and “a sound move by Microsoft to maintain its dominance of the enterprise desktop market, by making it easier for CIOs to support BYOD programs.as it will make bring-your-own-device rather easier.”

“Those of you who previously rejected BYOD and/ or VDI on cost and security grounds should revisit that decision,” writes the firm's Duncan Jones. “Microsoft enterprise desktops layered on top of various native operating systems just became much simpler and cheaper.”

Microsoft's not posted price lists we can spy, so we're not sure if the price of Windows just went up to cover the fact it's no longer tied to a device. Nor do we know whether this new regime applies to desktop-as-a-service, for which Microsoft currently insists that service providers use a re-skinned version of Windows Server. We've asked the questions and will bring you news as it arrives. ®

Similar topics


Other stories you might like

  • Stolen university credentials up for sale by Russian crooks, FBI warns
    Forget dark-web souks, thousands of these are already being traded on public bazaars

    Russian crooks are selling network credentials and virtual private network access for a "multitude" of US universities and colleges on criminal marketplaces, according to the FBI.

    According to a warning issued on Thursday, these stolen credentials sell for thousands of dollars on both dark web and public internet forums, and could lead to subsequent cyberattacks against individual employees or the schools themselves.

    "The exposure of usernames and passwords can lead to brute force credential stuffing computer network attacks, whereby attackers attempt logins across various internet sites or exploit them for subsequent cyber attacks as criminal actors take advantage of users recycling the same credentials across multiple accounts, internet sites, and services," the Feds' alert [PDF] said.

    Continue reading
  • Big Tech loves talking up privacy – while trying to kill privacy legislation
    Study claims Amazon, Apple, Google, Meta, Microsoft work to derail data rules

    Amazon, Apple, Google, Meta, and Microsoft often support privacy in public statements, but behind the scenes they've been working through some common organizations to weaken or kill privacy legislation in US states.

    That's according to a report this week from news non-profit The Markup, which said the corporations hire lobbyists from the same few groups and law firms to defang or drown state privacy bills.

    The report examined 31 states when state legislatures were considering privacy legislation and identified 445 lobbyists and lobbying firms working on behalf of Amazon, Apple, Google, Meta, and Microsoft, along with industry groups like TechNet and the State Privacy and Security Coalition.

    Continue reading
  • SEC probes Musk for not properly disclosing Twitter stake
    Meanwhile, social network's board rejects resignation of one its directors

    America's financial watchdog is investigating whether Elon Musk adequately disclosed his purchase of Twitter shares last month, just as his bid to take over the social media company hangs in the balance. 

    A letter [PDF] from the SEC addressed to the tech billionaire said he "[did] not appear" to have filed the proper form detailing his 9.2 percent stake in Twitter "required 10 days from the date of acquisition," and asked him to provide more information. Musk's shares made him one of Twitter's largest shareholders. The letter is dated April 4, and was shared this week by the regulator.

    Musk quickly moved to try and buy the whole company outright in a deal initially worth over $44 billion. Musk sold a chunk of his shares in Tesla worth $8.4 billion and bagged another $7.14 billion from investors to help finance the $21 billion he promised to put forward for the deal. The remaining $25.5 billion bill was secured via debt financing by Morgan Stanley, Bank of America, Barclays, and others. But the takeover is not going smoothly.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022