365 ProPlus desktop apps on RDS

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  • Some Promising News:

    I called into MS Partner support and pointed out both areas in the Product Use right document *updated Jan 2013*.  They fully understand the issue now and are escalating it to their internal contact.  If they don't know... it goes up the chain.

    The main issue is how does a new Office 365 (E3 or stand alone Office Pro Plus) customer who doesn't have volume licensing install Office 2013 on a Terminal Server.

    It this point I am assuming they did not think of this scenario and are going to suggest we use our partner volume licensing (download & MAK) in the mean time.  

    Either way, partner support seemed very surprised at the PUR change and wants to get to the bottom of it!!!


    3 out of 3 people found this post helpful.

  • Chris,  Thank you so much for utilizing additional support resources.  I've posted this issue on another board but keep getting the same results.  The support engineers, while very helpful keep referring to documents published before the latest PUR and don't seem to grasp the relevance of the current PUR and Licensing statements posted.  I've asked them to escalate the issue but don't know if that will get anywhere.  If you receive any additional information or if I can provide any assistance on my end please feel free to PM me.




    I just got off the phone with Microsoft support and here is the final explanation of how the new product use rights work:

    1.  In order to install Office Pro Plus 2013 on the terminal server you must have a volume licensing agreement.

    2.  Each user who accesses the terminal server will be considered a valid Office user if they have an (E3 or Office Pro Plus) Office 365 License.

    Here is how this is going to work in the real world:

    1.  You only need one volume license of Office Pro Plus in order to qualify for this product use right.  This will enable you to download the product and get the product key to install it on an RDS Server.  They key to this is that this one license has to be part of the 5 minimum licenses in order to start a volume licensing agreement.

    Scenario One:

    1.  Your customer already has a VL agreement.  

    All you have to do is add 1 license of Office Pro Plus.  Contact your reseller and they will know how to do this( the cost will be prorated with the existing VL agreement).  You will then just consider the terminal server a user and purchase the 1 volume license of Office Pro plus for it.  All actual users will get the Office 365 E3 Plan and then be considered valid users of to use Office Pro Plus on the terminal server.

    Scenario Two:

    2.  New Customer - no existing VL.

    In order to even install an RDS server on (2008 R2 or 2012) you must have RDS CALs and server CALs.  I guarantee these are going to be over 5 licenses, so you have already met the requirements for volume licensing.  Just add 1 License of Office Pro Plus to the same agreement and it will be eligible  for the same rights above.  The key is in this scenario to be aware of the extra volume license you need to add for Office Pro Plus before you start the entire VL agreement.  

    I think everything will fall under these two scenarios.  If it doesn't it means your customers are not properly licensed in the first place.

    It isn't everything we wanted to hear, but it this is a much better scenario than before.  We can save a ton of money still by using Office 365 E3 instead of volume licensing all users for Office Pro Plus.  All we need to do is add one license of Office Pro Plus VL and consider the Terminal server a user.  

    Good working with you Joe!

    2 out of 2 people found this post helpful.

  • The Product Use Rights (PUR) quoted by joeKM are correct and new as of January.

    A Volume Activation Office package is required to install on a Windows Server 2008 R2 or newer server with the Remote Desktop Services (RDS) role enabled. All Office 365 ProPlus packages use retail activation and because of that they do not install on a server with the RDS role enabled or function if installed first on the server then the RDS role is enabled after the Office install. Office setup will detect the RDS role at install time and the apps will also detect the RDS role when launched post installation.

    Note that installing Office 365 ProPlus on a virtual machine (client or server without an RDS role enabled) is now permitted as well according to the updated PUR. The virtual machine - as with a physical machine install - would be allocated to a primary user, meet Office 365 ProPlus system requirements and be able to connect to the Internet-based Office Licensing Service at least once every 30 days. In other words, we do not distinguish between a physical and virtual machine, as long as all requirements are met.

    For Office 365 ProPlus standalone and E3/E4, users may use one of their 5 allocated installations via RDS with the Volume License edition of Office Professional Plus 2013. The organization will however still need to procure a copy, appropriate keys and necessary RDS licenses via the Volume Licensing. The exception only grants the use rights of Office Professional Plus 2013 via RDS to users with an Office 365 ProPlus license.

    These are updates from the licensing terms prior to January 2013 for Office Professional Plus in Office 365, which did not allow for any form of virtualization to be used with Office desktop apps.

    The exception does not apply to Office 365 Small Business Premium - as it does not include Office 365 ProPlus.

    1 out of 2 people found this post helpful.

  • Hello

    Thanks for those usefull informations. What I understand is that we can use an E2 or E3 (in fact any office 365 plan including office pro) plan if the RDS server has at least one volume license for Office Pro. Is that right ?

    Now I have another question. We have a datacenter in wich one we have a lot of virtual server for our customers. We usually sell SPLA licences for Office pro when using it on a RDS server. So if one of our customer buy E2 or E3 Office 365 plans for his users, do we only need to buy 1 SPLA licence Office Pro for their RDS server to allow users to use Office Pro on the RDS server ?

    Sorry for my bad english.

    Thanks a lot

  • Hey Chris,

    Never got the chance to thank you for your contributions to the thread.  Turns out I still have to purchase the 5 licenses because my clients VL supplier (dell) can't sell 1 license as they are stating that to buy one copy you must first have started with the 5 Office 2013 licenses.  Oh well, back to the drawing board.

    Again, thank you for your help


  • Thought the following was worthwhile given the discussion.


  • Can Small Business Premium license/users be able to use Office on a Terminal server ?

  • In order to install Office in a remote desktop setting you must have the volume license version of Office.   You must buy your licenses through a distributor in order to get a VL Office 365.  Small Business premium from the Microsoft store won't cut it.

  • You can't buy one copy on a VL, though. So if you have to buy 5 VLs to Office 2013 to enable the solution, that sort of blows the traditional software vs. subscription calculation out of the water, doesn't it?

    1 out of 1 people found this post helpful.

  • You need as many copies of Office for the users accesing it remotely.  If more than one user needs it, you need X number of copies of Office to be legal for rds use.

    That said you can buy one copy of Office VL and then four copies of Forefront cals at $8.18 US

  • FYI the Microsoft Licensing Program does NOT require 5 copies of MS Office minimum. It requires 5 *points*. Every copy of MS Office qualifies as 1 point. But you could just as easily purchase 1 copy of MS Office and 4 server licenses (if you have a server & need some extra licenses). Or most any other Microsoft software qualifies as 1 point. So you can either decide whether there is any other Microsoft software that you may currently need, and purchase that along with the 1 copy of MS Office, or you can ask your sales rep what the cheapest SKU in the Microsoft Open License program is, and buy 4 of that + 1 license of MS Office Professional Plus. That will cost you less than 5 licenses of MS Office.

  • Hi Chris,

    We have a customer is planning to buy E3 through Advisor as they appreciate the monthly billing cycle. The want to use Office Pro Plus in an RDS environment.

    I understand they have to buy a single copy of Office Pro Plus as part of a new (or existing) VL agreement to install on the server. But do they have to buy the E3 licence through Open as well?

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