Office needs mobility rights

13 Dec

The number one post on is “Office 365 under SPLA”  To date over 20,000 users have read it, several have commented on it, and many more are still asking – what am I missing and why can’t I offer “SPLA Office” in the same fashion as Office 365?

Microsoft recently announced mobility rights for Remote Desktop Services  (RDS).  I wrote about it here I think that’s a great move by Microsoft as it provides more flexibility for both service providers and consumers.  In my opinion, we need Office mobility rights, and we needed it yesterday.

Think about your environment and the licensing restrictions around Office.  To legally deploy Office for a customer that has Office 365, you as a service provider would need to have your customer purchase 1 volume licensing copy of Office, install it on your server, and for each user for Office 365, they must allocate one of the five licenses (Office 365 allows 5 installations of Office on 5 devices per user) to access Office remotely.  The Office bits on Office 365 has issues with installing it on server. Thus, the reason for a volume license copy of Office.  (at least that’s my experience in the past, maybe that’s changed now) Doesn’t sound too bad.  Five devices is a lot anyways, and now with RDS mobility rights, the service provider can use the end customers RDS licenses (if they have software assurance).  YES!!!!

Ahh…but what about Office?  Does Office have mobility rights? The answer is….no.  Although the service provider can have customer RDS mobility rights, since Office is installed, the entire environment has to be dedicated.  Yes, that includes the hardware and the VM.  That’s the issue I struggle with and I am sure many of you do too.  Why offer RDS mobility rights but not Office?  This would solve some of the issues between Office 365 and the service provider community.  Office is expensive for SPLA’s, let’s allow end customers to leverage their existing volume licensing agreements to purchase it and allow service providers to host it in a shared hardware/ dedicated VM using mobility rights? Think of how many users would purchase Office under Office 365 if they did this?  Or if they didn’t purchase Office 365, they would at least need to purchase Office with Software Assurance.  Think of how many service providers would push volume licensing on behalf of Microsoft and the resellers if they allowed this? Either way Microsoft, service providers, and more importantly the end customer would win.

Thanks for reading,



Posted by on December 13, 2013 in License Mobility, Office 365


Tags: , , , , , , ,

19 responses to “Office needs mobility rights

  1. Rob

    February 14, 2014 at 4:46 pm

    But what if My customers only want Office 365 P1 or P2? P1 and P2 do not include Office, just the exchange mailbox and service and so you are not agreeing to the PUR agreement, but MicrosoftOnlineServicesUseRights(English)(January2014) agreement which does not say anythign about dedicaded hardware?

    • splaman

      February 14, 2014 at 5:03 pm

      Thx for reading. I was referring to hosting providers who want to offer “Office” using Office 365 in their datacenter. What you are referencing is Microsoft hosted. Which you’re right, follows the Online Services Use Rights.

      Hope this helps.

  2. Rob

    February 17, 2014 at 8:31 am

    Thanks for the response. I am sorry I should have been clearer in my description. The client I would have would be hosted on shared equipment in my datacenter using SPLA for a citrix environment, including Office. So I would be reporting everything for RDS, OS, Office, SQL. But they would like to use the Microsoft Hosted Office356 for just email using Plans P1 or P2. Would that be ok in an SPLA environment?

    • splaman

      February 17, 2014 at 9:38 am

      Hi Rob- I don’t see an issue with that. Exchange would be hosted in Microsoft datacenters.

  3. Marcus Robinson

    April 1, 2014 at 6:07 am

    Has there been any development on this? Becoming more of an issue now as if customers have Office in a hosted environment via SPLA and they want Office for iPad they need to purchase Office twice, once via Office 365 and once as part of the SPLA agreement. This is correct? Very frustrating.

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    April 23, 2014 at 7:33 pm

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    • splaman

      April 24, 2014 at 1:25 pm

      Thank you for reading. Much appreciated

      SPLA Man

  5. Luc

    May 23, 2014 at 2:51 pm

    If I read this right, there are two different issues: First, not being able to install Office 365 on a RDS server and use the same subscription on another device. Second, having dedicated servers (HW and VM) for each client in a multi-tenant environment. Is that so? And event the second not diminishing the first?

    • splaman

      May 27, 2014 at 8:21 am

      Correct- you need to dedicate HW and VMs for any customer owned licenses that are not license mobility eligible.

      • James Knight

        August 20, 2014 at 3:39 pm

        If I have a single physical server providing VM’s to multiple customers for File/Print/AD services
        then it can use SPLA, correct? I can spin up an RDS VM for a customer to host a custom or non Microsoft application and still use SPLA, correct?

        If one or more of those customers wants to use RDS with their Office 365 account then I have to dedicate a physical server (no VM allowed) just for that customer and install a volume license version of Office 2013 Pro Plus, Is that correct? If yes then can this dedicated server legally access the VM’s running on the shared hardware for this customer that uses SPLA?
        If I have a single physical server dedicated to 1 customer could I have three VM’s on this server and use SPLA? The entire machine is dedicated to the one client.
        (VM-1) running File/Print/AD
        (VM-2)running a custom application
        (VM-3) RDS w/VLA-Office 2013 and Office 365?

      • splaman

        August 22, 2014 at 8:11 am

        Hi James

        For specific scenarios shoot me over an email. tough to answer completely on a comment thread.

        In short, anything shared=SPLA. Anything physically dedicated that is running the OS can have customer owned licenses. Mobility is the only use case for dedicated VM and shared hardware. That’s why we need Office to have mobility rights. Doubt if it will ever happen, but you never know 🙂

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