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Can you help me with my software licensing question?

So as we slowly move towards web applications my company still has some legacy Windows applications we need to support - specifically Outlook, Quickbooks and UPS Worldship.

My ultimate goal is to remove Microsoft / Windows from the picture completely. Unfortunately, I've hit a roadblock in the path forward.

My options seem to be:

  1. Maintain individual Windows desktops join to a Domain.

  2. Thin clients that use cloned virtual desktops.

  3. Thin clients that use Terminal (Remote Desktop) Services.

Regardless of these options, even when taking advantage of Citrix and/or VMWare offerings, it seems like there is no way of getting around paying for one Windows desktop license (whether it be "physical", virtual, or CAL) per one user. Using Citrix or VMWare clouds the license picture even further.

Now, I can understand paying for one user license per Outlook instance, but per user for a common base to deliver the application? But whatever - that's just the way it is if we're going to use software built for Windows environment - unless there's a loophole I'm missing? Is there some configuration where I can simply deliver the applications to the end users without multiple middle-man fees per user?

I'm just curious which of these options is the cheapest and simplest, software license wise?

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marked as duplicate by jscott, Scott Pack, Zoredache, sysadmin1138 Feb 15 '11 at 20:15

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

I feel like my question is more technical than that. Is there one setup that uses less licenses than another, or no one simply able to answer a question like this because they have to know twenty intricate variables about the user environment? – Earls Feb 15 '11 at 20:10
Licensing questions are off-topic on SF, regardless if the example question addresses your exact requirements. The subject is far too complex to answer here -- contact your vendor/sales-rep. – jscott Feb 15 '11 at 20:12

No loopholes. Pay for the licenses you're going to use. Microsoft has built a good platform that you obviously benefit from as a business. Compensate them for their work as you would want your clients to compensate you for yours.

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Thank you very much. – Earls Feb 15 '11 at 20:12

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