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Office 365 and Office 2010 in a RDS/Citrix environment

  • Hello

    Today we have our Office 2010 Pro Plus on a EAS agreement .
    We are planning to migrate to Office 365 on a E3 Plan for all our users.

    At the same time we still need to run Office 2010 Pro Plus central on our RDS/Citrix, because they integrate heavily into our central business application that can only run from HQ.
    E.g. Dynamic AX and Cognos that are connected to our backend SQL and are very sensitive to high latency.

    Furthermore, users from our branch offices need to access our internal Sharepoint site from RDS/Citrix via Office 2010.
    Microsoft told me that we are not allowed to install the Office 2010 SKU from Office 365 into a RDS/citrix environment.
    Additionally,we are not allowed to use our current Office 2010 Pro Plus because of the transition to Office 365 via a Bridge CAL.
    This means I cannot not go for a E3 Plan in Office 365. We need the Exchange Online/Sharepoint features from the E3 Plan.

    In your opinion do I have any other option besides paying double for the Office 2010 (one for each standard user and one for each RDS/Citrix user)



    Jesper Ravn

  • You could only license the RDS/Citrix users with the E1 or E2 license; neither of these include Office Pro Plus so you would not be paying to license these users.  

  • Yes, but the RDS/Citrix users also need the Exchange online/Sharepoint features from the E3 plan.

    Also it's going to be a real pain, to control who need access to our central ERP systems and who need the features form the E3 plan etc.


  • Hello

    the Office version offered with Office 365 CANNOT be installed in a remote desktop (or Citrix) environment

    you must use a retail or VLA product

  • Then I have to pay once for the Office 2010 on E3 plan via the EA bridge CAL and one more time for the Office 2010 retail/VL in a RDS/terminal server  enviroment. In that case im paying double for the same function/product.

  • You can purchase the SharePoint Plan 2 functionality separately for the users that need it.  So you would but E1 and the SharePoint Plan 2 ala Carte for those users.

  • Hello Sean

    Sorry for the late response.

    I just don't get it. let's say you are 1000 users in a company.

    Most of the users need the exchange and sharepoint features from the E3 plan.

    Most of the users also need the RDS service to access your business appplications and internal sharepoint sites.

    I then have to sign them up to a E1 plan + E2 Exchange and E2 Sharepoint.

    Compared to the price for the E3 plan that's going to be very expensive.

    Another way could be to pin-point each and every user who needs access to different services.

    That's going to be a big administrative task that is almost impossible.

    Microsoft, your current O365 license policy for mid-seize and large companies running RDS/Citrix is simply insane.

    Companies running RDS/Citrix cannot purchase your E3/E4 plan..

    Am I the only one who thinks this is a really big problem.

    Anyone, please speak up and let Microsoft know that they have to change this asap.

  • Hi All,

    I work for a large consultancy in UK and we run into this problem in every technical workshop. In some cases there's a workaround (as mentioned above and in some cases using Office Web Apps), in other cases, it's a show stopper. In any case, we need this sorted for medium to large enterprises as most of them have some sort of virtual desktop environment or project.

  • Hi Ravnen -- hope all is well...

    I'm ex MSFT EPG Sales -- feel free to drop me a line.  I may be able to help you with your options.


    David Bleecker


    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.

  • This LinkedIn thread has some deeper information on the RDS discussion:

    There is also table of the Office 365 (Wave15) use rights (and where you need VL media) from our January blog post.  In addition to RDS, Windows to Go & Pooled VDI also require a VL license: