Microsoft raises tablet virtualization licenses to stave off iPad threat

Posted:
in iPad edited January 2014
In a bid to slow iPad adoption by enterprise customers, Microsoft has created an add-on licensing fee for tablets running virtualization programs to access Windows applications on corporate servers.

As its next-generation tablet lineup prepares to hit the consumer market, Microsoft has tacked on an optional Companion Device License (CDL) to the existing Software Assurance (SA) volume licensing agreement for Windows 8, which enterprise customers will need to deploy desktop virtualization apps on non-Windows tablets, reports CRN.

Large corporations already covered by SA agreements will have to pay the additional fee if they want to use virtualization software, with each CDL license granting the use of up to four iPads or Android tablets.

The licensing change will not affect upcoming Windows RT tablets which will automatically receive licensing rights free of charge, according to Microsoft. Windows RT is the naming scheme given to devices that run on ARM processors rather than traditional x86 silicon which carry the basic monikers "Windows 8" and "Windows 8 Pro."

"These rights will provide access to a full VDI image running in the datacenter which will make Windows RT a great complementary tablet option for business customers," said Erwin Visser, senior director in the Windows Commercial Group.

The move will make it more expensive for larger entities already invested in multi-year licenses for Microsoft software to employ tablets. Customers that do not already have SA commitments may benefit from the new CDL, however, as Microsoft's Virtual Desktop Access (VDA) license costs $100 per device per year.

Windows 8
Source: Microsoft


In order to access a company's Windows environment, tablets need to run desktop virtualization software like offerings from Citrix or VMWare. Currently, SA "Roaming Rights" are thought to be restrictive and don't apply to individually-owned devices. Microsoft's FAQs say that Roaming Rights are limited to "a device that is not controlled, directly or indirectly, by you or your affiliates (e.g., a third party's public kiosk)." Going further, these devices can only connect to public networks like those found at cafes.

The restrictions impacted virtualization app makers but not Microsoft as they didn't have competing technology at the time. Now that the Redmond-based company is ready to enter the tablet market with Windows 8, the Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) has been reconfigured to allow for a more relaxed set of rules.

"The SA Roaming Right rules never hurt Microsoft much, because it didn't sell a competitive tablet with an embedded OS," said Paul DeGroot, principal analyst at Microsoft licensing consultant Pica Communications. "But when it does -- when Windows RT devices hit the street -- the SA Roaming Right restrictions suddenly disappear, and remote access to VDI from company-owned or personally owned devices over company networks is OK."

Apple's iPad has seen tremendous growth in both the consumer and enterprise markets, and some analysts estimate that the tablet will one day outperform the PC market as a whole. Microsoft's first Windows 8 tablets are expected to arrive this fall.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 80
    bullheadbullhead Posts: 493member


    What a surprise, Microsoft leveraging their illegally obtained monopoly to stifle innovation and force their overpriced crap software on everyone.

  • Reply 2 of 80

    Once again, there's that microsoft tax you pay for buying any microsoft products. Since they can't compete on product, then they are going to make money from competitors products. What a shame…

    Cheers !
  • Reply 3 of 80
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 5,727member


    I think something's going to have to give.  An employee will most likely have a personal iPad already and to expect a company to make an additional expense and buy yet another tablet just to do a remote-desktop is pushing it.



    Makes no sense.  If I have a desktop PC running a licensed version of Windows8, then why should Microsoft care what kind of device I use to access that desktop PC?  Of course, I can already smell the putrid aroma of iHaters spinning this to apply to Apple's app store and walled-garden whining which is not even the same thing.



    I think the reality is Microsoft will get so much heat from it from everyone that they will lift that licensing restriction. 

  • Reply 4 of 80
    relicrelic Posts: 4,735member
    I think the biggest weapon Windows 8 for arm will bring is a full Microsoft Office Suite. That's pretty much it though. I know I don't like using my iPad at the office though, there isn't a decent filemanager that allows me to mount multiple server or NAS drives. No Java, Python support, I work for a bank and all of out frontend stuff runs on them. I really hope Apple releases a more OSX like version of iOS for business use.
  • Reply 5 of 80
    relicrelic Posts: 4,735member
    I wouldn't hold your breath, remember that Microsoft also sales the server software that will give more functionality to these devises.
  • Reply 6 of 80
    relicrelic Posts: 4,735member
    Never seen a company that allows personal devices on their network maybe the sales department.
  • Reply 7 of 80
    boogabooga Posts: 1,081member


     


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Relic View Post



    Never seen a company that allows personal devices on their network maybe the sales department.


     


    It's increasingly common for companies to offer a "personal" wifi network for personal devices that is outside the firewall inside the office.  Then the device can VPN in just like from home, except they do it while physically in the office.  This covers personal iPhones, iPads, and even your random MacBook Pro for casual company/meeting use.  Even then, though, it often takes the form of Citrix or a structured "dropbox" style access and isn't wide open to the corporate network.


     

  • Reply 8 of 80


     


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by sflocal View Post


    Makes no sense.  If I have a desktop PC running a licensed version of Windows8, then why should Microsoft care what kind of device I use to access that desktop PC?  Of course, I can already smell the putrid aroma of iHaters spinning this to apply to Apple's app store and walled-garden whining which is not even the same thing.



     


    This isn't about RDPing into your desktop PC. The license is for accessing entirely additional copy of Windows running on a server somewhere. Or single applications running on a server displaying on a tablet (I refuse to use this stupid 'Virtual Desktop Infrastructure' and 'Virtual App' or 'App Streaming' terminology). It also seems to cover this 'Windows To Go' thing which is simply yet another copy of Windows locked down with whatever your corporate IT department want to lock down and booted off a USB key. What they are saying is that if you buy a Windows RT tablet you get rights to do this anyway, if you have an iPad you have to buy one 'Companion Device License' for each user and each user can have 4 devices.


     


    If course the cheap way to do this is to not drink the 'Virtual Desktop' KoolAid and provide a VPN + Firewall mechanism which allows the user to connect to their PC and only their PC via one of the many RDP clients available.

  • Reply 9 of 80
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,217member


     


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by bullhead View Post


    What a surprise, Microsoft leveraging their illegally obtained monopoly to stifle innovation and force their overpriced crap software on everyone.



     


    I was wondering the same thing. How do they think they will get away with crossing over that PC/Tablet boundary. Especially if they aren't doing it to their own Windows tablets (if they were then perhaps they could get away with it)

  • Reply 10 of 80


    Hey, if you can't out innnovate,  This, right here, is why Microsoft needs to go down.

  • Reply 11 of 80


     


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by chelgrian View Post


     


     


    This isn't about RDPing into your desktop PC. The license is for accessing entirely additional copy of Windows running on a server somewhere. Or single applications running on a server displaying on a tablet (I refuse to use this stupid 'Virtual Desktop Infrastructure' and 'Virtual App' or 'App Streaming' terminology). It also seems to cover this 'Windows To Go' thing which is simply yet another copy of Windows locked down with whatever your corporate IT department want to lock down and booted off a USB key. What they are saying is that if you buy a Windows RT tablet you get rights to do this anyway, if you have an iPad you have to buy one 'Companion Device License' for each user and each user can have 4 devices.


     


    If course the cheap way to do this is to not drink the 'Virtual Desktop' KoolAid and provide a VPN + Firewall mechanism which allows the user to connect to their PC and only their PC via one of the many RDP clients available.



     




    I read it that way as well. I know of no tablet use that would compare to a targeted iOS app. Heck, I don't even RDP from my iPad (torture) - only from my MBP at home. I only connect to their intranet on all my iOS devices in order to access internal web sites related to software development.

  • Reply 12 of 80
    freerangefreerange Posts: 1,594member


    Here we go again. MSFT using their market dominance to try to crush competition. Up to their old, anti-competitive tricks. We'll give it to you for free, but for someone else's OS we are going to charge you out your butt! When you can't compete on your own merits, fk the other guy.

  • Reply 13 of 80
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,408member


    Proof that MS is threatened by the rate of iPad adoption. Once again, they are too late to the party.

  • Reply 14 of 80
    freerangefreerange Posts: 1,594member


     


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Relic View Post



    I think the biggest weapon Windows 8 for arm will bring is a full Microsoft Office Suite. That's pretty much it though. I know I don't like using my iPad at the office though, there isn't a decent filemanager that allows me to mount multiple server or NAS drives. No Java, Python support, I work for a bank and all of out frontend stuff runs on them. I really hope Apple releases a more OSX like version of iOS for business use.


     


    The reality is that Office is a huge bloated pig. The resources required to run the full version will put tablet devices running it into a whole new hardware category versus current tablets so they will cost a pretty penny covering more RAM, larger and faster processors, more storage, etc. - and force the hardware manufactures into the same old commodity pricing that has driven out their profits.

  • Reply 15 of 80
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    freerange wrote: »
    Here we go again. MSFT using their market dominance to try to crush competition. Up to their old, anti-competitive tricks. We'll give it to you for free, but for someone else's OS we are going to charge you out your butt! When you can't compete on your own merits, fk the other guy.

    While a cheap tactic I see nothing anticompetitive about it.
  • Reply 16 of 80
    eksodoseksodos Posts: 186member


    Windows 8 will struggle to be widely adopted by corporations anyway. I don't see tacking on an additional tax as being harmful to Apple. On the contrary, it may persuade more businesses to stick with Windows 7.

  • Reply 17 of 80


    it certainly will be anticompetitive if they will treat Windows 8 tablets accessing the virtual environment in a different. IE not needing the additional license.

  • Reply 18 of 80
    mactelmactel Posts: 1,275member


    What a cheap trick!  Will the DoJ turn a blind eye to this?

  • Reply 19 of 80
    brutus009brutus009 Posts: 356member
    At my company, we can't access wifi with personal devices. I want to get an iPad just to see how I can make use of it at work... like maybe with iWork on the pad and then iCloud.com on my work desktop, but that's not a particularly good reason to drop $500. :P
  • Reply 20 of 80
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    stehsegler wrote: »
    it certainly will be anticompetitive if they will treat Windows 8 tablets accessing the virtual environment in a different. IE not needing the additional license.

    If Windows 8 on tablets gets a dominate market share then I could see that being an issue as it then artificially prevents others vendors from competing but with the iPad dominating this could lead to Win8 not being adopted as quickly or, worse for MS, more Macs being adopted by corporations.
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