This licensing brief can help clarify Microsoft's licensing policies for the Windows Vista® operating system when there is potential for multiuser scenarios. The Windows client operating system (OS) license terms do not permit multiple users to access or otherwise use one licensed copy of the software simultaneously. Windows Server operating systems are both designed and licensed for multiuse scenarios and should be used for all multiuser scenarios.
Under existing licensing policies, multiple users violate licensing terms when accessing programs hosted on a single PC, however no such violation exits when accessing programs hosted on a single server. Programs such as the Microsoft® Office System suite and/or individual Microsoft Office suite components require individual licenses for each device they operate on whether on a local device or a shared server OS.
What's New in this Brief
- This brief replaces a previous version published in January 2008.
- Significant changes in this brief include:
- New section on the use of Windows Server
- Updated and expanded "Enabling Multiuser Scenarios" section and "Requirements for multiuse scenarios and clarifications of application licensing a Terminal Services Client Access License" section
Windows desktop PC operating systems license terms do not permit multiple users to access or otherwise use one licensed copy of the software simultaneously. The following use models of multiple users simultaneously accessing a single licensed copy of the Windows XP or Windows Vista operating system are examples of mislicensed use of the product.