Microsoft Rolls Out Per-User Windows Enterprise Licensing
The software giant wants to help enterprises more fully embrace BYOD with a new licensing scheme that counts users, not devices.Microsoft has quietly added a new wrinkle to its Windows 8.1 volume licensing program. "Now you can license access to Windows Enterprise on a per-user basis through the new Windows Software Assurance per User and Windows VDA [Virtual Desktop Access] per User licensing options," reads Microsoft's Windows 8.1 licensing page for businesses. "These options put your users at the center of your Windows licensing solution, give you flexible options for how you deploy and access Windows across devices, and simplify Windows licensing and management." Per-user software licensing schemes have been gaining momentum in recent years, particularly among mobile-device management (MDM) vendors. Early last year, Sophos launched EndUser Protection, a combined endpoint-protection and MDM solution, offered on a per-user basis. Microsoft subscribes to the same tactic for its own cloud-based MDM product, called Enterprise Mobility Suite (EMS), which costs $7.50 per user per month for all three of its components (Azure AD Premium, Windows Intune and Azure Rights Management.
Documentation supplied by Microsoft asserts that the new licensing structure "frees your users to access Windows across all of their devices, regardless of who owns the device," enabling organizations to more fully support bring-your-own-device (BYOD) initiatives. "You get the flexibility to deliver Windows Enterprise across devices through local install, virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) or Windows To Go," continued the company.