Microsoft has made changes to its licensing model for Windows Vista to meet the needs of enterprise customers in the finance and government sectors using bleeding-edge technologies. The software giant will announce April 2 a subscription license called Windows Vista Enterprise Centralized Desktops, which allows customers to use Windows in virtual machines centralized on server hardware. It is also giving its Software Assurance customers using Windows Vista Enterprise the license right to use Vista on diskless PCs – essentially machines without hard drives.
Microsoft Changes Vista Licensing to Cover New Deployment Models
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2007-04-02 11:12 pmLaurence
The impression I got from the artical was that both diskless terminals and virtual machines are supported and licensed for.
Given it’s footprint, you’d want at least a gigbit network to run Vista diskless though
Edited 2007-04-02 23:14
I wish some form of usable diskless dumb thing clients would take hold in the enterprise. As someone who works with the vulnerabilities of thousands of windows machines, just patching servers sounds much nicer than trying to keep all those desktops patched.
2007-04-03 12:38 pmCPUGuy
Use WSUS and just push down the updates.
2007-04-03 10:56 pmDoc Pain
“I wish some form of usable diskless dumb thing clients would take hold in the enterprise. As someone who works with the vulnerabilities of thousands of windows machines, just patching servers sounds much nicer than trying to keep all those desktops patched.”
I agree and may add the following:
IT managers in enterprises seem to think they need one PC per seat. This leads to the usual problems. First (and most interesting) of all: Costs. You need to buy an expensive high-end PC to run “Vista” at useful speed, you need to purchase a “Vista” license.
Here in Germany, you can see a high grade of suqndering at Karstadt (big trading house company) and most customer banks (e. g. Deutsche Bank, Sparda-Bank): They (ab)use full featured PCs as dumb terminals for a 3270 terminal session! Maybe they thought their “old fashioned” IBM terminals don’t look good… okay, maybe they’ve been right here, but consider the following: High price for introduction of each client system, higher energy consumption, high rate of maintenance operations (diagnostics, updates, troubleshooting, replacements). Another point: Viruses, malware, spyware and this “Windows” typical stuff. This has lead big banking enterprises to be huge spam sending networks. Why is this?
Simple solution: Centralized software system (server), maintenance in one point, clients with nothing breakable can be exchanged easily on demand.
So… sometimes the easiest (dumbest) solution still is the best… says the mainframe guy in me. 🙂
For those of you who have trouble translating Microsoft’s ‘It’s all for the benefit of customers’ and “Customers have been beating down our doors demanding this feature’ speak, here’s a translation:
The move is also Microsoft’s response to requests from those customers to open new licensing scenarios for Windows Vista so that they can take some very nascent architectures around the centralization of Windows into their production environments, he said.
There is absolutely no reason why anyone couldn’t do this before, so we’re closing this loophole which is a big threat to our business model of per-seat, licensed clients – just as thin clients were. Because of this, we aim to make Windows on virtual machines just as expensive and difficult to manage, if not more so, than a regular desktop Windows environment – just like we did with Terminal Services.
Asked how VECD compared to Terminal Services, which provides desktops for users running Windows server, among other things, Woodgate said that Terminal Services used one copy of Windows Server in sessions, and scaled at about 10 times more than running VMs inside a virtual machine stack.
You should be able to run virtual machines and Terminal Services, but we don’t want to talk about that in case anyone gets any ideas.
“So, with VECD, I would be spending up to 10 times as much on hardware to support the same number of users as I would on Terminal Services, which is a great alternative for those price sensitive, non-early adopter customers,” he said.
Personally, I don’t know how to take that statement. There’s a figure in there of spending ten times as much on hardware if you use virtual machines (I’ve no idea where this got pulled from, considering you’re using less hardware), and then he goes on to say that it’s great for price sensitive, non-early adopters.
I just take that to mean that they’re not too keen on virtualisation, and don’t quite know what to do with it.
2007-04-03 2:16 pmTBPrince
The per-seat model Microsoft uses is not best-fit for all scenarios, no doubt about this. However, one cannot say Microsoft didn’t try to react by enhancing the licensing model.
For example, starting with W2003 R2 you can run up to 4 VM instances of Windows with a single license. Plus I believe others are charging per-seat too (we’re talking about support contracts here, I guess… not unsupported installations).
I believe Terminal Services can scale better than VMs and require less hardware but maybe there are situations were you would want to use both, expecially for ease of use / maintenance.
When considering licensing costs, however, I don’t know which way it would be better to mix.
“We tried to be very flexible”
Not really. If they really did they would use GPL.
MORE flexible would be a better word than VERY flexible.
In the spectrum of licences, this one is one of the least flexibles.
Edited 2007-04-03 16:00
2007-04-03 4:54 pmgoogle_ninja
the GPL removes rights from the creator and gives them to the end user. while that may be acceptable in a community environment, it is far too restrictive from an intellectual property perspective to be viable in most real world software business.
Does Windows support diskless pc’s that boot over the network, or is this a client connecting through rdp to the Windows machine running elsewhere?