Feeds

Windows Vista license change tackles virtualization

Thin client, not so fat wallet

The essential guide to IT transformation

Microsoft has updated Windows Vista licensing for centralized and thin-client computing, as virtualization offers users a chance to cut their software and hardware costs.

Customers using Windows Vista Enterprise Edition, and paying through Microsoft’s Software Assurance (SA) maintenance program, now have two new license options.

The subscription-based Windows Vista Enterprise Centralized Desktop (VECD) license lets users run Windows in virtual machines on a central server, while a second license lets users run Windows Vista on diskless PCs with storage managed centrally and the client using shared images of the operating system.

Both licenses promote a server-based, thin-client computing architecture and come with the looming prospect of lowered Windows Vista license revenue thanks to a growing array of competing thin-client, virtualized offerings.

VMware’s Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) has been built by the virtualization specialist so users can host individual desktops inside a server-based virtual machine on ESX Server. VMware's VDI pin-up is UK financial services giant Prudential.

Last April, meanwhile, VMware joined with IBM, Hewlett-Packard, Sun Microsystems and others – including long-time thin-client advocate and Microsoft partner Citrix Systems – in announcing the Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) Alliance. The goal is to create pre-integrated desktop virtualized products.

Smaller providers, like nComputing are also getting in on the act. NComputing allows multiple users to access the same client by tapping the PC’s unused resources. NComputing boasts it can get up to 30 end users on a single machine, saving on hardware costs and multiple Windows Client Access Licenses (CALs).

Microsoft has its own history in thin-client architectures, offering Terminal Services latterly in Windows Server 2003 - expected in the forthcoming Longhorn server. However, even this is proving insufficient in stopping the move to server virtualization from the likes of VMware. As such, Microsoft claims VECD is cheaper to run than Terminal Services because it uses less server hardware.

The changes to SA are the latest from Microsoft designed to increase its appeal, and follow denials by Microsoft last August it would offer users special incentives to drive Windows Vista uptake following years of delays.®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
The Return of BSOD: Does ANYONE trust Microsoft patches?
Sysadmins, you're either fighting fires or seen as incompetents now
Munich considers dumping Linux for ... GULP ... Windows!
Give a penguinista a hug, the Outlook's not good for open source's poster child
Intel's Raspberry Pi rival Galileo can now run Windows
Behold the Internet of Things. Wintel Things
Linux Foundation says many Linux admins and engineers are certifiable
Floats exam program to help IT employers lock up talent
Microsoft cries UNINSTALL in the wake of Blue Screens of Death™
Cache crash causes contained choloric calamity
Eat up Martha! Microsoft slings handwriting recog into OneNote on Android
Freehand input on non-Windows kit for the first time
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.