Will Microsoft’s VDA license stall desktop virtualizaion?

One of the major hurdles for mainstream VDI deployments used to be Microsoft’s VECD (Virtual Enterprise Centralized Desktop) license requirement. Microsoft modified this requirement earlier this year to help encourage VDI adoption. However, Microsoft introduced a new license requirement for devices/machines where users want to access a virtual copy of Windows, but which don’t qualify for coverage under the Windows Client Software Assurance agreement. That includes things like thin clients, third-party contractor PCs, non-Windows-based PCs and smartphones, among other platforms. This license is called Windows Virtual Desktop Access (VDA) and is “supposed” to simplify license. However, some clients are not seeing how this new license will simplify things. A Microsoft customer states:

“Since one of the main goals of any VDI rollout is reduction in soft costs, I fail to see how requiring a full Windows client (that must be patched, locked down and otherwise managed) helps achieve that goal,” he continued. “Over three years the cost for Windows Client SA is roughly $100 + $40 + $40 + $40 = $220. Over five years it’s $300. VDA price is $300 for 3 years, $500 for five.”

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