Monthly Archives: February 2014

New Reporting Portal

Thought this was a simple way to report SPLA licenses

You can email the team to learn more at

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Posted by on February 19, 2014 in Uncategorized


New DaaS information for SPLA

Thinking about offering Desktop as a Service? Pay attention to how you are allowed to license the solution in a hosted environment before implementing! I highlighted below two ways in which you can offer hosted dekstops and only one way to provide desktops in a non virtualized environment.

1. Using SPLA- You have the right to provide a desktop experience in a shared environment using Windows Server and RDS. In this model, you will need to license Windows by processor and RDS for each user. In addition, you can add Office under SPLA for each user as well. No, this is NOT Office 365. but Office under SPLA.

2. Dedicated Outsourcing- Under this model, the end customer has licenses for Windows client OS with SA or VDA subscription under separate volume licensing contract. Great read from my friend at – you can check it out Here As a service provider, you must deploy and manage the licenses on their behalf within a physically isolated hardware environment. The end customer must provide the appropriate number of CALs for their virtual desktop. The Windows OS does not have license mobility rights. Ugh.

3. Rent the Desktop using SPLA – Probably a last resort for SPLA partners. Renting a desktop would require you (the service provider)to have a PC that your company owns that already has a qualified OEM license installed, and use Windows desktop OS for SPLA and Office to rent it out. This is only available per a rental addendum. If you are renting desktops today without an addendum, please contact your reseller.

Last, new language in the SPUR states that if you are providing hosted desktops you must explicitly identify that you are providing this using Windows Server, not the desktop license in your marketing materials. This is new in the SPUR. There’s a lot of compliance issues with hosting desktops, this is a way for Microsoft and your customer to know what they are actually getting.

Thanks for reading,



Posted by on February 13, 2014 in DaaS


Self Hosted Rights and Office

The other day I was on a call with a customer who developed a financial application that takes a customer’s information and then reports it back from Excel.  The goal would be to have it deployed via a web browser, possibly using SharePoint.  Immediately I thought of Office Web App.  Browser based, users could not only read it but edit it as well, sounds like a perfect fit  What about the licensing?  Since this is their own Intellectual Property (IP) I thought of the self hosted rights for volume licensing.  SPLA might be too expensive since users could not be tracked. This is where we got stuck. 

Self hosted is a software assurance benefit. It allows volume licensing customers to host their application that runs on Microsoft technology to third parties. I included the terms and conditions directly from the Product Use Rights (PUR) at the bottom of this post (in case you are really bored) but in my opinion this will allow developers to continue to build their applications and utilize volume licensing that offers the greater discount.

As a SAM manager, I was engaged by the customer to review both past and current licensing.  Since this was a new offering, nothing was licensed or even deployed yet.   Whew…Rule #1 – before building a datacenter make sure the solution fits the licensing. Secondly, this is being provided as a service, not simply allowing external users to access.

What did we advise? In order for a solution to qualify as “self-hosted” all applications must be self hosted eligible. Unfortunately, Office does not qualify. Ugh. There goes that option. Now we must look at SPLA for everything (one unified solution as defined in the PUR). The problem with SPLA is you must license Office STD or PRO to enable Office Web Apps. To add more complexity, Office in a server environment is licensed by user (SPLA) Since user count is expected to be very high, this does not seem to be an economical solution. What I proposed was to get rid of Office. That’s right, I recommended they remove it from the solution and use Open Office. The solution worked and met the compliance guidelines set forth by Microsoft.

In conclusion, I hated my recommendation but went with it in order to be compliant. Microsoft Office is a superior product to “Open Office” If only Microsoft would allow Office to be self hosted eligible, I think it would benefit the service provider, Microsoft, and more importantly the end customer.

Bottom line- make sure if you have your OWN application (not license someone else’s) and you decide to use volume licensing to host, make sure all software is eligible or risk BIG compliance risk.

Thanks for reading.


From the PUR
You must have the required Microsoft licenses and maintain Software Assurance coverage for:
• the Self-Hosted Applications run as part of the Unified Solution; and
• all access licenses used to make the Unified Solution available to external users (See Universal License Terms, Definitions).
All Microsoft software used to create and deliver the Unified Solution must:
• be licensed through a Volume Licensing program that is subject to these license terms (e.g., Enterprise Agreement, Select Plus Agreement, Open License Agreement) and not any other (e.g., Services Provider License Agreement, Independent Software Vendor Royalty License and Distribution Agreement); and
• be marked as ‘Yes’ for ‘Self Hosting of Applications Allowed’ in these license terms
Your software must:
• add significant and primary functionality to the Self-Hosted Applications that are part of the Unified Solution (dashboards, HTML editors, utilities, and similar technologies are not a primary service and/or application of a Unified Solution);
• be the principal service and/or application, and sole point of access, to the Unified Solution;
• be delivered over the Internet or a private network from your datacenter to end users. The Self-Hosted Applications component may not be loaded onto the end user’s device; and
• be owned, not licensed, by you, except that your software may include non-substantive third party software that is embedded in, and operates in support of, your software.

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Posted by on February 4, 2014 in Compliance, Self Hosted


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