Client Licensing for VDI

Applies To: Windows 8.1

For a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) deployment in education, there are many Windows Virtual Desktop Access (VDA) licensing options for a variety of client operating systems including Windows, Android, and iOS.

Microsoft licenses client access to VDI sessions through Windows Virtual Desktop Access (VDA). Windows VDA is a device-based subscription that licenses Windows 8.1 for virtual desktops by access device:

  • Devices covered by Microsoft Software Assurance. Virtual desktop access rights are a benefit of Software Assurance. Devices covered under Software Assurance have access to a VDI desktop at no additional charge.

    Table 7 list the Windows 8.1 VDI licensing options based on the operating system running on the device used as a VDI client.

    Table 7. Windows VDA Licensing Options

Client Operating System VDA License Options

Windows 8.1 Pro

Windows VDA license and free upgrade to Windows 8.1 Enterprise included

Windows RT

Windows VDA license included when the device is associated with a primary device covered by Software Assurance (for example, the primary device is running Windows 8.1 Enterprise and is covered by Software Assurance)

Windows 7

Windows VDA license and free upgrade to Windows 8.1 Enterprise

Windows Vista

Windows VDA license included; licensed to use Windows Thin PC as an RDP and RemoteFX client on these devices

Windows XP

Windows VDA license included; licensed to use Windows Thin PC as an RDP and RemoteFX client on these devices

Android

Must purchase a Windows VDA license for each device

iOS

Must purchase a Windows VDA license for each device

Note

The licensing listed in this table applies only to institution-owned devices. All personally owned devices require a Windows VDA subscription.

  • Devices not covered by Software Assurance. These devices (such as thin clients) must purchase a Windows VDA license for each device to access a VDI desktop, regardless of the operating system running on the device. This includes personally owned devices.

Additional resources

See also