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Can you help me with my software licensing question?

I have a small (50 seats) office domain that needs to have Office 2007 available to the users.

The cost to purchase volume licenses seems quite high at about $350/seat. Not all of the users will be using Office at the same time and most users do not sit at a desk, but roam around the office using different computers throughout the day.

Would it be more cost effective to setup a Terminal Server on 2008 and install Office there? Would Office have a concurrency license instead of a per user license?

Thank you, Keith

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marked as duplicate by Iain Feb 11 '12 at 14:16

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.

    
It seems like you're asking about licensing, not about installation. I'd consider updating the title. –  Evan Anderson Oct 13 '09 at 17:06

6 Answers 6

up vote 5 down vote accepted

Microsoft isn't that nice, I'm afraid. You have to have an Office license for each MACHINE, and then (if you're using terminal services) you need a Windows Server CAL and a Terminal Services CAL as well.

From microsoft's site on licensing:

Scenario 1: A customer has 50 Windows-based desktops in a call center and would like to use Microsoft Office on all of these. Two servers running Windows Server Terminal Services support using Microsoft Office on these desktops. The customer needs to acquire 50 Microsoft Office licenses—one for each desktop that accesses Microsoft Office on the servers. Even if a desktop is expected to use Microsoft Office infrequently, the customer still needs to acquire and assign a Microsoft Office license to that desktop. If 20 of these desktops never use Microsoft Office, then the customer only needs to acquire 30 Microsoft Office licenses. In addition, the customer needs TS CALs and Windows CALs for each device or user and one or more Windows Server licenses for each server.

Scenario 2: A customer has 100 Windows-based desktops in a call center and would like to use Microsoft Office on all of them using Terminal Services. The workers who sit at these desktops work in three eight-hour shifts, so the 100 desktops support 300 workers. Whenever a shift change takes place, the current worker closes Microsoft Office and logs off of the server so that a new worker can log on and begin running Microsoft Office. The customer needs to acquire 100 Microsoft Office licenses—one for each desktop from which Microsoft Office is used. Windows Server licenses and Windows and TS CALs are also required. Device-based CALs may be the right option when the users outnumber the devices.

Note: The number of desktops, and not the number of workers, is important to this licensing scenario.

Scenario 3: A customer has 40 Windows-based desktops and 30 employees who use Microsoft Office on all 40 desktops. The customer needs to acquire 40 Microsoft Office licenses. This is consistent with the per-device licensing policy.

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Agreed - any licensing questions should be directed to Microsoft Licensing and Pre-Sales support.

That said, 50 copies of Office SHOULD be cheaper than $350 per unless you're buying the top version. You can also consider using other products. OpenOffice.org is free, deployable through Group Policy, and works quite well.

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There is no "concurrent" licensing of Microsoft Office. You can't have a "pool" of shared Office licenses.

The Right Answer(tm) is to contact a licensing support desk at your vendor, or Microsoft themselves, and learn about the cheapest way to license the functionality you're looking for. An answer on Server Fault is a nice rule of thumb, but this isn't "End-User-License-Agreement Fault".

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You may want to investigate some of Microsoft's newer licensing schemes for Office. Disclaimer: I am not an expert in Microsoft licensing, and you should definitely confirm this information with an MS licensing rep.

OEM
If you plan to keep your hardware around for several years, and you know that you'll upgrade your software at the same time as your hardware, it might be more cost-effective to install OEM copies of Office on your machines. The downside is that it will be a nightmare to manage, and you can never re-install the software on different machines.

Open Value Company-Wide
If you intend to put Office on every computer in the organization, this will save you 10% right off the top. Of course, it's Open Value so you need to get Software Assurance with it.

Open Value Subscription
If the size of your staff is changing, an Open Value subscription allows you to use more licenses at any time, and at the end of the year you pay for the number of users you end up having.

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I don't know where you're getting the cost of 350 each from, but I would definitely echo the advice to speak with either Microsoft themselves or with an authorised reseller. My experience of dealing with MS is that they want you to use their software, and as such they may be prepared (but no guarantee) to almost bend over backways to get you using it.

A standard volume licensing agreement will come in considerably less than 350 per head, and depending on your line of work you may be eligible for further discounts.

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Cost effective you say? Have management consider low cost alternatives such as OpenOffice and Google Apps.

Else, I go with the rest. Talk to Microsoft or a Microsoft partner.

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