Licensing Terminal Server in Windows Server 2003 R2

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Terminal Services functionality in Windows Server 2003 R2 lets you remotely execute applications on a Windows-based server from a wide range of devices over virtually any type of network connection. A server running Terminal Services can be referred to as a Terminal Server (TS).

Terminal Server Licensing Requirements
Windows Server License

The Windows Server 2003 R2 licensing model requires a server license for each copy of the server software installed. Terminal Services functionality is included in the Windows Server license.
Windows Server Client Access License

In addition to a server license, a Windows Server Client Access License (CAL) is required. If you wish to conduct a Windows session, an incremental Terminal Server Client Access License (TS CAL) is required as well. A Windows session is defined as a session during which the server software hosts a graphical user interface on a device. For Windows sessions, a TS CAL is required for each user or device.
Device-based versus User-based Terminal Server CALs
Two types of Terminal Server Client Access Licenses are available: TS Device CAL or TS User CAL.

A TS Device CAL permits one device (used by any user) to conduct Windows Sessions on any of your servers.

A TS User CAL permits one user (using any device) to conduct Windows Sessions on any of your servers.

You may choose to use a combination of TS Device CALs and TS User CALs simultaneously with the server software.
Terminal Server Client Access Licensing Mode

Terminal Server CALs are available in Per User/Per Device mode only. In Per User or Per Device mode, a separate TS CAL is required for each user or device that accesses or uses the server software on any server. You may reassign a TS CAL from one device to another device, or from one user to another user, provided the reassignment is made either (a) permanently away from the one device or user or (b) temporarily to accommodate the use of the TS CAL either by a loaner device, while a permanent device is out of service, or by a temporary worker, while a regular employee is absent.

TS CALs are not available in Per Server mode as Windows sessions are not allowed in Per Server mode.

Note: To use User and Device TS CALs simultaneously on one Terminal Server, the server must be configured for Per User TS CAL mode. Failure to have the appropriate number of User CALs or Device CALs for each device or user connecting to the server is a violation of the license agreement.
Terminal Server CAL Changes

The following licensing changes have been made with regard to Terminal Server Client Access Licenses.

Removal of Operating System Equivalency in Terminal Server

With Windows 2000 Server Terminal Server licensing, if a client device is running the most recent version of the Windows desktop operating system, a TS CAL is not required to satisfy the licensing requirement. However, with Windows Server 2003, a TS CAL is required for each device or user using Terminal Server functionality, irrespective of which desktop operating system is running on the device.

Terminal Server Licensing Transition Plan

Microsoft realizes that the removal of operating system equivalency will affect customers and is committed to accommodating existing Microsoft customers who would like to take advantage of Windows Server 2003 features.

Every Windows XP Professional desktop license that you own on the date of the public launch of Windows Server 2003 (April 24, 2003) is eligible for a Windows Server 2003 TS CAL.

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