Thought-Leadership Blog


Is Windows Enterprise and VDA Roaming Rights Being Replaced by Windows USL?

Thought-Leadership by Shawn Kitzmiller
on March 1, 2016


“Roaming Rights for Windows Enterprise and Windows VDA is being discontinued as of either January 31, 2017 or the end of a Customer’s existing Enrollment or Agreement term, whichever is later.” – Microsoft 2016.

These rights allow the primary user of a device licensed for Windows with Software Assurance (SA) to access a VDI desktop on a third party-owned device used off the customer's premises. The Product Terms guide confirms on page 43 that customers with active SA for Windows Enterprise or VDA retain Roaming Rights until either the end of their agreement or January 31, 2017 – whichever comes later.

Roaming Use Rights defined

Roaming Use Rights is an SA benefit that permits the Primary User of a Licensed Device certain access and use rights. The Primary User may use a Qualifying Third Party Device to:

  1. Remotely access and use permitted instances or copies of the software

  2. Locally use a permitted instance or copy in a Virtual OSE

  3. Locally access a permitted instance or copy of the software on a USB drive via Windows to Go

Qualified Desktops and Devices do not include any Qualifying Third Party Devices from which a customer uses the software as well as any enterprise product solely under Roaming Rights, unless otherwise specified.

Is there a new justification for Windows Desktop Operating System SA Per User Add-on Subscription?

There appears to be a lot of cross-verbiage between Roaming Use Rights and Windows Desktop Operating System SA Per User Add-on from page 41 in Microsoft’s February 2016 Product Terms guide:

4.5 Windows Desktop Operating System SA Per User Add-on is a Subscription license that..

  1. purchased in addition to (and associated with a device licensed for) either the Windows Desktop Operating System with SA coverage (“Qualifying Coverage”) or VDA “Qualifying License”).

  2. assigned to the Primary User’s work device.

  3. ..permits use of the Windows Enterprise software subject to the Windows Enterprise per-User License Terms or the VDA per-User License Terms associated with Qualifying Coverage or Qualifying Licenses, respectively.

  4. ..expires upon the expiration of either the Qualifying Coverage or Qualifying License.

Additional stipulations were provided in the preceding section:

  • Windows Software Assurance Per User License Assignment Rules

    • Windows Enterprise SA Per User SL

The Licensed User must be the Primary User of at least one device licensed for Windows 10 Pro or Enterprise, Windows 8.1 Pro or Enterprise. or Windows 7 Professional or Enterprise. This one device must also be the Primary User’s primary work device.

  • Windows Enterprise SA Per User Add-on

The Licensed User must be the Primary User of a device with either active Windows Desktop Operating System SA coverage or Windows VDA coverage.

So what do you think? Do you see Windows Desktop Operating System SA Per User Add-on Subscription as the ideal replacement to Roaming Use Rights?


Related blog posts:

Topics: Core Infrastructure


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