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Is it possible with the correct licensing and in a business enviroment to install MS office on a server which the the clients on the business's network can access?

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migrated from superuser.com Jan 17 '10 at 15:26

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I don't actually want to do this, i just need to research it. –  Jonathan Jan 17 '10 at 15:06
    
Whenever you ask about Microsoft licensing please state which part of the world you are talking about as it can vary from place to place. –  John Gardeniers Jan 18 '10 at 1:21

2 Answers 2

up vote 2 down vote accepted

You will need one license of Microsoft Word for each desktop device that will access it and use it from the Terminal Server.

So you can't get just one license and share it via Terminal Services. While that's technically possible, it's legally a violation of the terms of the license. Below are some supporting references.

From the Microsoft SMB (small & medium business) blog.

Microsoft Office is a desktop application. As such, you need (1) Microsoft Office license per desktop using the Microsoft Office software. Terminal Services does not change the number of devices accessing and using a software application, it merely provides another avenue to access the software through. So licensing Microsoft Office doesn't change at all regardless if Terminal Services is used or not. You still need one license per device accessing and using the Microsoft Office application.

From Microsoft TechNet:

Evaluating licensing requirements

You cannot run all versions of the 2007 Office system on a Terminal Services-enabled computer. Be sure that you understand and meet the following licensing requirements before you deploy the 2007 Office system on a Terminal Services-enabled computer.

You can run the 2007 Office system on a Terminal Services-enabled computer only if your version of the 2007 Office system uses a volume license product key and does not require activation. If you install a retail version, pre-installed version (PIPC), or original equipment manufacturer (OEM) version of the 2007 Office system on a Terminal Services-enabled computer, you will see the following error when you try to run a 2007 Office system program:

This copy of Microsoft Office cannot be used on Terminal Server. Please contact your local authorized Microsoft retailer for more information.

Also:

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Just on Friday, we were talking to a Microsoft licensing specialist about licensing Office for our virtual desktops. And he confirmed exactly what you've said. You can provide Terminal Services or VDI as a means of access, but the user still has to be licensed for the individual copy. –  Alex Jan 17 '10 at 16:36
    
It's worse than what you present. Every device which can connect must have a license. So if you have 10 people who can access from a work laptop and a home PC, you need 20 licenses. You need to get a specific, written "blessing" from your Microsoft rep on this, as nobody will ever give you the same answer twice. –  duffbeer703 Jan 18 '10 at 2:05
    
Somebody down-voted my answer, and didn't comment so I'm not sure why. I hope it's not just because they disagree with Microsoft's licensing. I'm only reporting what I discovered! –  Chris W. Rea Jan 18 '10 at 13:59

It's definitely possible yes. Terminal services would be the technical solution.

But concerning the licencing, I still think you need an individual office licence for each individual user that's accessing the server and using office on it.

For more details see this article.

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