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SUMMARY: Knowing who, when, and what needs a Client Access License (CAL) is a great question and one our team answers often. Under most scenarios, CAL requirements are generally straight forward, however, there are several specific scenarios which we address below. In this Licensing How To post, we cover the basics of Client Access Licensing, and recap a few common scenarios which may apply to you.
The Licensing How To series posts are provided by our Customer Service Presales and Licensing team members. These scenario based licensing topics are written on trending topics and issues based on their interactions with customers, Partners, and field sellers. For more posts from the Licensing How To series, search the “Licensing How To” tag on this blog.
It’s a question we answer daily, “I have scenario X, Y, or Z. Do I need a CAL?” Server software licensed via the Server / CAL licensing model always requires some sort of server license (which may be per instance or per processor depending on the Product) as well Client Access Licenses (CALs) for users and/or devices to access the server software. However, the question of who or what needs a CAL, along with any noted exceptions, varies by product.
As part of the larger licensing document simplification effort we have redesigned the Volume Licensing Product List to improve the ability of customers to read, understand, and act upon our licensing. Much attention has been given to eliminating redundant and non-legal content; centralizing and enhancing product specific content; organizing the content for easier discovery and navigation. As a result, the redesign process has reduced the size of the document by more than 50% making it more manageable to understand.
New customer needs surface regularly and where possible Microsoft adjusts licensing policies to enable new and desirable scenarios. A good example of this is the April 1st change to align Volume Licensing programs across Windows Embedded (Industry) and Windows Client, which will facilitate the flexibility enterprise customers are seeking to build intelligent systems powered by the best Microsoft platform for the job.
Why the update?
Looking across the marketplace, we see significant and rapidly growing interest to deploy industry specific intelligent systems and industry devices on Microsoft technologies. Windows Embedded (Industry), the latest product in the Windows Embedded family, brings all the capabilities of Windows 8.1, plus the functionality needed to enable industry scenarios. This industry application oriented OS plays an important role in retail, health, manufacturing and financial services.
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The feedback from customers and partners since our December launch of the Microsoft Products and Services Agreement (MPSA), a new licensing agreement for both on-premises software and online services, has been very positive. As hoped, they are finding it a simpler way to purchase and manage software.
“The entire licensing purchasing and management experience is so much simpler and more aligned with what I want it to be.” – Joel Albertson, WINNEBAGO INDUSTRIES
“The user experience has definitely improved. The portal is a lot more user friendly and provides a simple step-by-step way to enter information.” – Kelly McCormick, CDW
Customers are finding value in consolidating multiple agreements into one MPSA, and an easier experience establishing online services, for example going from obtaining a quote to having users up and running in under a day. Our early customer satisfaction ratings are also showing significantly higher results than customers on older agreements.