Reference Guide

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Titlesort descending Summary
AAD

An online service that provides identity and access management for Microsoft-hosted services such as Office 365 and for customer and third-party applications; licensed primarily via User SLs (Subscription Licenses). See Azure Active Directory for in-depth entry.

Access

Most often used to describe when individuals or client devices make use of a server-based product or online service, the relevance being that access usually triggers a licensing requirement.

Activation

A validation process built into a small number of the most popular Microsoft products that must be successfully completed for the software to function correctly.

Active Directory

An overarching term for several AD (Active Directory) related Windows Server roles, including AD Domain Services, AD Federation Services, and AD RMS (Rights Management Services). See AD for in-depth entry.

Active Directory Domain Services

A Windows Server role (often called “AD”) that provides authentication and access management for an organization’s users, computers, and groups, and product activation; licensed via Windows Server CALs (Client Access Licenses) and server-side licenses. See AD Domain Services for in-depth entry.

Active Directory Rights Management Services

A Windows Server role that encrypts e-mails, files, and other content to prevent access by unauthorized users, including content moved to an unsecured file sharing service or shared by e-mail; See: RMS for a detailed entry.

AD

An overarching term for several AD (Active Directory) related Windows Server roles, including AD Domain Services, AD Federation Services, and AD RMS (Rights Management Services).

AD Activation

An activation method that uses an organization’s existing on-premises AD Domain Services to activate products on devices with access to the organization’s network.

AD Domain Services

A Windows Server role (often called “AD” or “Active Directory”) that provides authentication and access management for an organization’s users, computers, and groups, as well as limited product activation; licensed via Windows Server CALs (Client Access Licenses) and server-side licenses.

AD DS

A Windows Server role (often called “AD”) that provides authentication and access management for an organization’s users, computers, and groups, and product activation; licensed via Windows Server CALs (Client Access Licenses) and server-side licenses. See AD Domain Services for in-depth entry.

AD Federation Services

A Windows Server component that links user identities and their associated attributes across multiple identity management systems including Azure Active Directory; use covered by Windows Server licenses.

AD FS

A Windows Server software directory federation component that enables users in an organization to connect to resources controlled by a third-party’s directory; use covered by Windows Server licenses. See AD Federation Services for in-depth entry.

Add-on

A subscription-based license that layers an online service, technical support offering, or special use rights on top of certain license(s) the customer already purchased.

Add-on CAL

A type of CAL (Client Access License) that covers access to certain advanced or niche server features. See Additive CAL for in-depth entry.

Additional Software

Server software components that customers deploying server products can install and run on devices for free.

Additive CAL

A type of CAL (Client Access License) that covers access to certain advanced or niche server features.

Advanced Group Policy Management

Technology that gives administrators more control over the configuration of PCs via Group Policy; licensed with MDOP (Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack).

Advanced Threat Analytics

A Windows Server-based security application licensed with Client MLs (Management Licenses) that automatically analyzes AD Domain Services activity to learn normal behaviors and activity patterns and detect anomalies.

AGPM

Technology that gives administrators more control over the configuration of PCs via Group Policy; licensed with MDOP (Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack). See Advanced Group Policy Management for a detailed entry.

App-V

Software that runs client applications in an isolated environment on each user's computer or on servers, and allows organizations to centrally deploy and update the applications; licensed with MDOP (Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack) or RDS (Remote Desktop Services).

Application Virtualization

Software that runs client applications in an isolated environment on each user's computer or on servers, and allows organizations to centrally deploy and update the applications; see App-V for a detailed entry.

Assign

To allocate a product license to one device or user so that it is not considered to be in use by multiple devices or users simultaneously.

Audio Conferencing

A feature associated with Skype for Business Online and Teams that enables meeting attendees to call in to meetings (via traditional telephone lines) when they are unable to attend online; users scheduling meetings with audio conferencing enabled require a User SL.

Azure Active Directory

An online service that provides identity and access management for Microsoft-hosted services such as Office 365 and Intune, and for customer and third-party applications; licensed primarily via User SLs (Subscription Licenses).

Azure AD-Based Activation

An activation method specific to Windows Enterprise when licensed Per-User; use is optional except in two specific scenarios. See synonym Windows 10 Subscription Activation for in-depth entry.

Azure Advanced Threat Protection

An online service that detects and identifies suspicious user and device activity on an organization’s network indicative of cyber-attacks before serious damage can occur; licensed via User SLs.

Azure Hybrid Benefit

A SA (Software Assurance) benefit specific to core licenses for Windows Server and SQL Server that waives certain Azure-related fees for comparable workloads hosted in Azure.

Azure Hybrid Benefit for SQL Server

A SA (Software Assurance) benefit specific to core licenses for SQL Server that provides a discount for various types of SQL Server-based workloads hosted in Azure.

Azure Hybrid Benefit for Windows Server

A SA (Software Assurance) benefit specific to core licenses for Windows Server that can reduce the cost of running Windows Server-based Azure VMs by as much as 45%.

Azure Information Protection

An online service that encrypts e-mails, files, and other types of business content to prevent access by unauthorized users, including content moved to unsecured file sharing or shared by e-mail; licensed by User SLs (Subscription Licenses).

Azure MultiFactor Authentication

An online service that secures enterprise applications and services through a two-factor authentication process; licensed by User SLs or a consumption-based model.

Azure RemoteApp

An online service that allows Windows client applications running on servers in an Azure datacenter to interact with a user’s local desktop; to be shut down in Aug. 2017.

Azure Rights Management

An online service that encrypts e-mails, files, and other types of business content to prevent access by unauthorized users, including content moved to unsecured file sharing or shared by e-mail; licensed by User SLs (Subscription Licenses). Renamed; see Azure Information Protection for in-depth entry.

Azure SQL Database

A Microsoft-hosted multitenant relational database service based on SQL Server; predominant charge is an hourly fee based on the performance, storage, and business continuity features selected.

Base CAL

A type of CAL (Client Access License) that covers access to the main features of a matching server-based product, but not access to certain advanced or niche features.

BitLocker Administration and Monitoring

Technology that manages BitLocker, Microsoft's full disk encryption technology; licensed with MDOP (Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack).

Blade

A compact self-contained server, usually on its own circuit board, that fits into an enclosure shared with other blades; treated as a freestanding server for licensing purposes.

CAL

Provides the right for a device or user to access all running instances of a particular server product deployed for the customer’s organization.

CAL Suite Bridge

Subscription providing the right for a user to access some subset of on-premises server products; used to “bridge” gaps between use rights included with traditional Core/Enterprise CAL Suites and use rights included with certain online service suites.

CAL Suite Bridge Contents

Illustration outlines the components currently in the various CAL Suite Bridge offerings.

CAL Suite Contents

Illustration outlines the components currently in the Core CAL Suite and Enterprise CAL Suite.

Calling Plan

Formerly called Skype for Business Online PSTN Calling, this service augments Phone System by providing domestic and international calling minutes; licensed via its own separate User SL.

CALs Included with Online Services Suites

Illustration lists the CAL (client access license) and Client ML (Management License) subscriptions included with Office 365 Enterprise suites, Enterprise Mobility + Security (EMS) suites, Microsoft 365 Enterprise suites, and Intune.

CIS Suite

Combines server-side licenses and SA (Software Assurance) for equivalent editions of Windows Server and System Center; licensed Per-Core. See Core Infrastructure Server Suite for in-depth entry.

Client

Refers to an end-user (person) or an end-user’s client device, or other types of non-server hardware, such as sensors.

Client Access License

Provides the right for a device or user to access all running instances of a particular server product deployed for the customer’s organization. See acronym CAL for in-depth entry.

Client device

PCs, Macs, tablets, smartphones, and other end-user devices people use to interact with Microsoft software or online services, as well as autonomous devices such as sensors that access a server-based product or online service.

Client ML

A Client Management License (ML) covers client-side licensing requirements for the two products governed under the Management Servers License Model, System Center and Advanced Threat Analytics (ATA); available Per-User, Per-OSE, or Per-Device.

Cloud App Security

An online service that monitors and controls access across multiple Microsoft and third-party hosted online services; licensed via User SLs (Subscription Licenses).

Communication Credits

Used to pay for telephony-related services not covered by Phone System or Audio Conferencing User SLs.

Compliance Center

Prior name for Web-based console licensed by Office 365 Enterprise suites for managing security and compliance-related functions, including archiving, mobile device management, data loss prevention, basic eDiscovery, and retention. See Security and Compliance Center for in-depth entry.

Configuration Manager

A Windows Server-based management application that automates software deployment and patching, hardware and software inventorying, and compliance with configuration policies; licensed under the Management Servers License Model via System Center Server MLs and Client MLs. See System Center Configuration Manager for in-depth entry.

Core

An independent processing unit contained on a physical processor chip.

Core CAL Suite

A collection of six client-side licenses for accessing Microsoft server software.

Core CAL Suite SA Benefits

Summary of SA (Software Assurance) benefits associated with the Core CAL Suite, organized by high and low value benefits

Core CAL Suite Timeline

Outlines major changes to the Core CAL Suite’s content and pricing.

Core Infrastructure Server Suite

Combines server-side licenses and SA (Software Assurance) for equivalent editions of Windows Server and System Center; licensed Per-Core.

Core Infrastructure Server Suite SA Benefits

Summary of SA (Software Assurance) benefits associated with Core Infrastructure Server Suite, organized by high and low value benefits.

Core Infrastructure Server Suite Timeline

Outlines major changes to the Core Infrastructure Server Suite’s license model and rules, edition lineup, and pricing.

Core License Model

A license model used for SQL Server and a few other server-based applications; use of the product covered by purchasing a license for each physical core in a server or licenses based on the processing resources allocated to a Virtual OSE; See Per Core License Model for in-depth entry.

Core/CAL License Model

A license model exclusive to Windows Server 2016 that requires at least 16 core–based licenses per physical server and CALs (Client Access Licenses) for users or access devices.

Core/CAL License Model Flowchart

Flowchart explains how to calculate the number of core licenses required for Windows Server 2016 Datacenter and Standard editions under the Core/CAL License Model.

CRM Online

An online service that delivers customer relationship management, marketing, sales, and service capabilities. See synonym Dynamics CRM Online for in-depth entry.

CRM Server

An on-premises, Windows Server-based application that delivers customer relationship management, marketing, sales, and service capabilities. See synonym Dynamics CRM Server for in-depth entry.

Cross edition

A form of substitution, whereby a customer owning a license for a specific product edition deploys a different, generally lower-level edition instead. See synonym down edition for in-depth entry.

Current Branch

A type of fast cadence servicing model currently offered for System Center Configuration Manager; was also used by Windows 10 and Windows Server, but was superseded by SAC (Semi-annual channel) in 2017.

Current Branch for Business

A type of servicing model offered for the Windows client OS (Windows 10) and for Windows Server (version 2016) that delivered feature updates to a computer as often as two to three times a year; replaced by SAC (Semi-Annual Channel) model.

Customer's Premises

Generally understood to mean the physical buildings an organization owns or leases to conduct its day-to-day business. See synonym premises for in-depth entry.

Customer’s Premises

Generally understood to mean the physical buildings an organization owns or leases to conduct its day-to-day business. See synonym premises for in-depth entry.

DaRT

Tools for diagnosing and repairing failed PCs or applications and recovering lost or deleted data; licensed with MDOP (Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack). See Diagnostics and Recovery Toolset for a detailed entry.

Data Loss Prevention

A compliance feature built into and licensed as part of various online services and on-premises products that helps minimize the likelihood that sensitive information is not misused, for example, forwarded or sent outside an organization via e-mail and document sharing.

Date available

Used to refer to the month and year a product version was officially released to volume licensing customers. See synonym Generally available for in-depth entry.

Delve

A broad brand for social networking and document discovery features in Office 365; licensed through Office 365 Enterprise suites.

Desktop Applications License Model

License model used for traditional Office suites, Project, and Visio; generally requires a license for each client device used to present the product user interface (UI).

Desktop Operating Systems License Model

A Per-Device License model applicable to the Windows Pro Upgrade and to Windows Enterprise Per Device licenses purchased without SA (Software Assurance).

Desktop Optimization Pack

A suite of technologies to help organizations centrally manage PCs; see MDOP for a detailed entry.

Developer Tools License Model

A license model exclusive to Visual Studio and MSDN offerings that generally requires a license for each user who accesses the included software and online services.

Device

A server, client PC or Mac, tablet, smartphone, or other physical hardware used to run, access, or otherwise make use of a Microsoft product.

Device CAL

Provides the right for a device to be used by any person to access all running instances of a particular server-based product deployed by the customer’s organization.

Diagnostics and Recovery Toolset

Tools for diagnosing and repairing failed PCs or applications and recovering lost or deleted data; licensed with MDOP (Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack).

Disaster Recovery Rights

A SA (Software Assurance) benefit offered for most on-premises server licenses that waives the need to license backup servers used for disaster recovery in some scenarios.

DOP

Desktop Optimization Pack (DOP) is a suite of technologies to help organizations centrally manage PCs; see MDOP for a detailed entry.

Down edition

A form of substitution, whereby a customer owning a license for a specific product edition deploys a different, generally lower-level edition instead.

Downgrade

A form of substitution, whereby a customer owning a license for a specific version and edition of a product deploys an older version or a lower-level edition instead.

Dynamics 365

A family of online services and on-premises products that provide customer relationship management (CRM) and enterprise resource planning (ERP) functionality.

Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement

Online service providing customer relationship management (CRM) capabilities previously packaged in Dynamics CRM Online; licensed primarily via User SLs (Subscription Licenses).

Dynamics 365 for Operations Server

A Windows Server-based server application, formerly called Dynamics AX Server, that delivers enterprise resource planning (ERP) capabilities, tailored for multinational midmarket organizations; licensed under the Server/CAL License Model and listed in the Product Terms under Dynamics 365 On-Premises.

Dynamics 365 for Operations Server SA Benefits

Summary of SA (Software Assurance) benefits associated with Dynamics 365 for Operations Server product, organized by high and low value benefits.

Dynamics 365 On-Premises

On-premises server software, Dynamics 365 Server and Dynamics 365 for Operations Server, that deliver customer relationship management (CRM), sales management, and enterprise resource planning (ERP) functionality; licensed under the Server/CAL License Model.

Dynamics 365 On-Premises Packaging

Illustration outlines the spectrum of Dynamics 365 On-Premises products and the technical features and capabilities each makes accessible via server licenses and user and device CALs (client access licenses) and SLs (subscription licenses).

Dynamics 365 Online

Set of online services that provide customer relationship management (CRM), sales management, enterprise resource planning (ERP), retail, and human resources (HR) functionality; packaged as Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement and Dynamics 365 Unified Operations and licensed primarily via User SLs.

Dynamics 365 Online Packaging

Illustration outlines the spectrum of Dynamics 365 Online subscription offerings and the technical features and capabilities each makes accessible to licensed users or client devices.

Dynamics 365 Server

A Windows Server-based server application, previously called Dynamics CRM Server, that delivers customer relationship management (CRM), sales, and service capabilities; licensed under the Server/CAL License Model and grouped under the Dynamics 365 On-Premises packaging.

Dynamics 365 Server SA Benefits

Summary of SA (Software Assurance) benefits associated with Dynamics 365 Server, organized by high and low value benefits.

Dynamics 365 Unified Operations

Online service providing enterprise resource planning (ERP) functionality previously packaged in Dynamics AX Online; licensed primarily via User SLs (Subscription Licenses) and Device SLs.

Dynamics AX Online

The previous name for Dynamics 365 Unified Operations, an online service that delivers enterprise resource planning, plant operations, and retail capabilities; licensed primarily via User SLs (Subscription Licenses); now packaged as part of Dynamics 365 Online.

Dynamics AX Server

A legacy Windows Server-based enterprise resource planning (ERP) platform tailored for multinational midmarket organizations; primarily licensed under the Server/CAL License Model. The application’s successor is Dynamics 365 for Operations Server, which is included under the category of Dynamics 365 On-Premises.

Dynamics AX Server SA Benefits

Summary of SA (Software Assurance) benefits associated with Dynamics AX Server, organized by high and low value benefits

Dynamics CRM Online

The previous name for Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement, an online service that delivers customer relationship management, sales, and service capabilities; licensed primarily via User SLs (Subscription Licenses); now packaged as part of Dynamics 365 Online.

Dynamics CRM Server

A legacy Windows Server-based server application that delivers customer relationship management, sales, and service capabilities; licensed under the Server/CAL License Model. Renamed and repackaged under Dynamics 365 Server.

E-learning

A now defunct SA (Software Assurance) benefit that provided self-paced online courses targeted at end users and IT professionals; replaced by free offerings branded “Microsoft Learn.”

ECAL

A name often given to a CAL (Client Access License) that covers access to a subset of advanced server functions only, and has as a prerequisite a matching base CAL. See synonym Enterprise CAL for in-depth entry

ECAL Suite

A collection of client-side licenses for accessing Microsoft server software that is a superset of the Core CAL Suite. See synonym Enterprise CAL Suite for in-depth entry.

ECS

Enterprise Cloud Suite (ECS) combined User SLs (Subscription Licenses) for Windows Enterprise, Office 365 Enterprise E3 suite, and the Enterprise Mobility + Security (EMS) E3 suite. Renamed; see Microsoft 365 Enterprise E3.

Edition

Used to distinguish the various SKUs within a product line, with differences including technical features, price, and occasionally use rights and license model.

Edition downgrade

A form of substitution, whereby a customer owning a license for a specific product edition deploys a different, generally lower-level edition instead. See synonym down edition for in-depth entry.

EMS

Suites that offer a collection of User SLs (Subscription Licenses) for several online services used to manage and protect user identities, devices, applications, and corporate data, along with licenses for corresponding on-premises software. See the in-depth entry Enterprise Mobility + Security.

Enterprise CAL

A name often given to a CAL (Client Access License) that covers access to a subset of advanced server functions only and has as a prerequisite a matching base CAL.

Enterprise CAL Suite

A collection of client-side licenses for accessing Microsoft server software that is a superset of the Core CAL Suite.

Enterprise CAL Suite SA Benefits

Summary of SA (Software Assurance) benefits associated with the Enterprise CAL Suite, organized by high and low value benefits

Enterprise CAL Suite Timeline

Outlines major changes to the Enterprise CAL Suite’s content and pricing.

Enterprise Cloud Suite

Enterprise Cloud Suite (ECS) combined User SLs (Subscription Licenses) for Windows Enterprise, Office 365 Enterprise E3 suite, and the Enterprise Mobility + Security (EMS) E3 suite. Renamed; see Microsoft 365 Enterprise E3.

Enterprise Desktop Virtualization

Technology that enables organizations to centrally define and distribute VMs (virtual machines) to PCs; licensed with MDOP (Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack).

Enterprise Mobility + Security

Two suites that offer a collection of User SLs (Subscription Licenses) for several online services used to manage and protect user identities, devices, applications, and corporate data, along with licenses for corresponding on-premises software.

Enterprise Mobility + Security Suite Add-ons

Illustration summarizes the various Add-on options for the Enterprise Mobility + Security suites, including their prerequisites and contents.

Enterprise Mobility + Security Suite Packaging

Illustration summarizes which online services are included with Enterprise Mobility + Security suites.

Enterprise Mobility Suite

A collection of User SLs (Subscription Licenses) for several online services used to manage and protect user identities, devices, applications, and corporate data, along with licenses for corresponding on-premises software. Renamed; see Enterprise Mobility + Security for in-depth entry.

Enterprise Source Licensing Program

Permits qualifying organizations to view Windows client OS source code for debugging or other purposes; licensed on a subscription basis through SA (Software Assurance) covered Windows Enterprise Per Device licenses, Windows Enterprise User SLs, and VDA (Virtual Desktop Access) subscription licenses.

EOP

An online service that filters incoming and outgoing e-mail for malware and spam, is included as a built-in feature of Exchange Online, and is available for Exchange Server installations. See Exchange Online Protection (EOP) for in-depth entry.

Excel

Spreadsheet application available on client devices and platforms including Windows client OS, Mac, Android and iOS mobile devices, and Web browsers; typically licensed as part of an Office suite.

Exchange Hosted Filtering

A discontinued Microsoft-hosted service that filtered e-mail going into or out of organizations. See successor product Exchange Online Protection for in-depth entry.

Exchange Online

An Office 365-branded online service that provides e-mail, calendars, contacts, and tasks; works with Outlook clients; licensed standalone or as part of suites via User SLs (Subscription Licenses).

Exchange Online Advanced Threat Protection

An online service that augments the Exchange Online Protection service to provide additional protection against previously unknown malware, malicious URLs, and other types of threats. Renamed; see Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection for in-depth entry.

Exchange Online Archiving

An online service that archives e-mail from Exchange Online or Exchange Server in Microsoft data centers; licensed via User SLs (Subscription Licenses) or the Enterprise CAL Suite.

Exchange Online Protection

An online service that filters incoming and outgoing e-mail for malware and spam, is included as a built-in feature of Exchange Online, and is available for Exchange Server installations.

Exchange Server

A Windows Server-based server application that provides e-mail, calendaring, contact management, voice mail, and other collaboration features; licensed under the Server/CAL License Model.

Exchange Server CAL Types and Features

Illustration outlines the technical features licensed by the Exchange Server Standard CAL (Client Access License) and Enterprise CAL; covers versions 2013 through 2019.

Exchange Server SA Benefits

Summary of SA (Software Assurance) benefits associated with Exchange Server, organized by high and low value benefits

Exchange Server Timeline

Outlines major licensing and packaging changes to Exchange Server.

Extended hotfix support

AThis SA (Software Assurance) benefit, in the process of being phased out, waives certain fees associated with nonsecurity hotfixes for products in the Extended support lifecycle phase.

Extended Security Updates

Support offering that provides security updates and bulletins for versions 2008 and 2008 R2 of SQL Server and Windows Server, as well as for Windows 7 Enterprise and Professional, for three years after these product versions leave Extended Support.

External Connector

Licenses access by an unlimited number of nonemployees to instances of Windows Server running on a single physical server.

External User

An individual who is neither an employee of the licensed organization nor a contractor or agent working on the organization’s physical premises.

Fail-over Rights

A SA (Software Assurance) benefit specific to SQL Server and Dynamics 365 On-Premises that waives the need, under limited circumstances, to license systems used for passive fail-over.

Federation Services

A Windows Server software directory federation component that enables users in an organization to connect to resources controlled by a third-party’s directory; use covered by Windows Server licenses. See AD Federation Services for in-depth entry.

Firstline Worker Online Suite Packaging

Illustration summarizes the online services and features included with Office 365 Enterprise and Microsoft 365 Enterprise “F1” suites targeting Firstline workers, a population generally requiring more modest IT services compared to knowledge workers.

Flow

An online service allowing users to automate repetitive tasks such as data collection, file synchronization, and e-mail or text notification; licensed separately or as part of Office 365 Enterprise suites and Dynamics 365 Enterprise Edition offerings.

Forefront Online Protection for Exchange

A discontinued Microsoft-hosted service that filtered e-mail going into or out of organizations. See successor product Exchange Online Protection for in-depth entry.

Forefront Online Security for Exchange

A discontinued Microsoft-hosted service that filtered e-mail going into or out of organizations. See successor product Exchange Online Protection for in-depth entry.

Forms

An online service for conducting Web-based surveys, quiz¬zes, and polls; licensed through Office 365 Enterprise suites.

From-SA

A special class of subscription-based licenses that provide EA (Enterprise Agreement) customers a 10-20% discount if they already own related on-premises licenses covered by SA (Software Assurance).

Generally available

Refers to the month and year a product version was officially released to volume licensing customers.

Hardware partition

A discrete and isolated subset of processor, memory, and other resources within a physical server, treated as its own server for licensing purposes.

Hardware thread

A discrete computational unit to which the operating system can assign an independent instruction stream; sometimes relevant under the Per Core License Model and Server/CAL License Model.

Home Use Program

This SA (Software Assurance) benefit permits employees of organizations purchasing Office applications with SA to buy an additional Office application license for the employee’s noncommercial use on a home PC or Mac at a nominal charge. See HUP for a detailed entry.

HPC Workload

Refers to a scenario involving Windows Server-based high performance computing (HPC) clusters licensed via volume licensing programs where client access is “free,” meaning neither Windows Server CALs (client access licenses) nor External Connectors are required.

HUP

This SA (Software Assurance) benefit permits employees of organizations purchasing Office applications with SA to buy an additional Office application license for the employee’s noncommercial use on a home PC or Mac at a nominal charge.

Hyper-threading

A hardware performance enhancement technology that allows each physical core within a physical processor to execute two (rather than one) independent instruction streams simultaneously; can be a factor under the Per Core License Model.

Hypervisor

Technology that allows multiple VMs (virtual machines), each running its own OSE (Operating System Environment) and applications, to execute concurrently on a physical device without interfering with one another.

Identity Manager

A Windows Server-based directory synchronization and user credential management product that replaced Forefront Identity Manager; licensed on a Per-User basis with an Identity Manager CAL (Client Access License).

Install

To make a product ready to use by running the associated setup procedure or duplicating an existing installed copy.

Instance

Most often used to describe software that is loaded into memory and either executing or ready for execution.

Internal User

An individual who is an employee of the licensed organization or a contractor or agent working on the organization’s physical premises.

Intune

An online service that provides antimalware, hardware and software inventory tracking, health monitoring, software updating, and policy management for mobile devices, Windows 10 PCs, and Apple Macs; licensed primarily via User SLs (Subscription Licenses).

Key Management Service

An activation method that allows organizations to deploy and use on-premises servers to activate products on devices with access to the organization’s private network. See synonym KMS for in-depth entry.

KMS

Key Management Service (KMS) is an activation method that allows organizations to deploy and use on-premises servers to activate products on devices with access to the organization’s network.

License

Provides the legal right to install, run, access, or otherwise interact with a product.

License Assignment

To allocate a product license to one device or user so that it is not considered to be in use by multiple devices or users simultaneously. See synonym Assign for in-depth entry.

License grant

New version licenses received as a benefit of SA (Software Assurance). See new version rights for in-depth entry.

License Mobility Across Server Farms

A special provision, usually associated with SA (Software Assurance), that allows licenses assigned to servers to be reassigned with unlimited frequency within the confines of a server farm.

License Mobility through SA

A SA (Software Assurance) benefit, offered for most server applications, that allows server-side licenses to be reassigned to cover workloads running on a service provider's multitenant servers, including Microsoft's own Azure.

License Mobility through Software Assurance

A use right provided through volume licensing programs that allows customers to repurpose server licenses with active SA (Software Assurance) toward workloads running on a service provider's multitenant servers. See synonym License Mobility through SA for in-depth entry.

License model

Determines how a customer is charged for use of a Microsoft product by defining a set of license types, which devices or users require them, and under what circumstances.

Licensing Reference Set Illustrations

Lists all the Illustrations available as part of the Licensing Reference Set

Licensing Reference Set Tables

Lists all the tables available as part of the Licensing Reference Set

Licensing Reference Set Timelines

Lists all the timelines available as part of the Licensing Reference Set

Live Meeting

A retired online service that provided large meeting support. See successor product Skype Meeting Broadcast for in-depth entry.

Logical Processor

A discrete computational unit to which the operating system can assign an independent instruction stream; sometimes relevant under the Per Core License Model. See synonym hardware thread for in-depth entry.

Long Term Servicing Channel

A type of servicing model offered for Windows client OS, Windows Server, and most System Center products, that allows customers to defer feature upgrades for up to ten years while keeping computers eligible for product support. See LTSC for in-depth entry.

LTSB

The Long Term Servicing Branch (LTSB) is the label used for the slow cadence servicing model offered for System Center Configuration Manager; the term was previously used for Windows Enterprise and Windows Server until the word Branch was replaced by “Channel” (LTSC)

LTSC

The Long Term Servicing Channel (LTSC) is a type of servicing model offered for Windows client OS, Windows Server, and most System Center products, that allows customers to defer feature upgrades for up to ten years while keeping computers eligible for product support.

Lync client

Client applications for desktop and mobile devices that provides access to Lync Server and Lync Online features that provided presence, instant messaging (IM), voice and video, and application sharing. Name changed; see successor product Skype for Business client for in-depth entry.

Lync Online

An online service that provided presence, instant messaging (IM), voice and video, and application sharing. Name changed; see successor product Skype for Business Online for in-depth entry.

Lync Server

A Windows Server-based server application that provides presence, instant messaging (IM), voice and video, and application sharing. See successor product Skype for Business Server for in-depth entry.

MAK

Multiple Activation Key (MAK), one of several available activation methods, requires devices to connect to a Microsoft-hosted activation service to complete the product activation process

Management Servers License Model

A license model exclusive to System Center products (and Advanced Threat Analytics) that requires managed servers and clients to be licensed with Server MLs (Management Licenses) and Client MLs respectively.

MBAM

Technology that manages BitLocker, Microsoft's full disk encryption technology; licensed with MDOP (Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack). See BitLocker Administration and Monitoring for a detailed entry.

MDOP

A suite of technologies to help organizations centrally manage PCs; licensed on a subscription basis through SA (Software Assurance) offerings for Windows Enterprise and through VDA (Virtual Desktop Access) subscription licenses.

MED-V

Technology that enables organizations to centrally define and distribute VMs (virtual machines) to PCs; licensed with MDOP (Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack). See Enterprise Desktop Virtualization for a detailed entry.

Microsoft 365 Enterprise

Offering that combines User SLs (Subscription Licenses) for Windows Enterprise, Office 365 Enterprise suites, and Enterprise Mobility + Security suites or components.

Microsoft 365 Enterprise Suite Add-ons

Illustration summarizes the various Microsoft 365 Enterprise Suite Add-on options, including their prerequisites and contents.

Microsoft 365 Enterprise Suite Packaging

Illustration summarizes the online services and features included with Microsoft 365 Enterprise E3 and E5 suites.

Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack

Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack is a suite of technologies to help organizations centrally manage PCs; see MDOP for a detailed entry.

Microsoft Developer Network

A set of fee-based offerings that license a broad collection of Microsoft software and online services on a Per-User basis, with use limited to application development and test, problem diagnosis and resolution, demonstration, and evaluation. See MSDN for in-depth entry.

Migration grants/licenses

New version licenses received as a benefit of SA (Software Assurance). See new version rights for in-depth entry.

Migration rights

This SA (Software Assurance) benefit provides the right to deploy new product versions that become available during the term of SA coverage. See synonym new version rights for in-depth entry.

MSDN

A set of fee-based offerings that license a broad collection of Microsoft softwares and online services on a Per-User basis, with use generally limited to applications development and test, problem diagnosis and resolution, demonstration, and evaluation.

MSDN Operating Systems

A discontinued MSDN offering targeting operations personnel managing test labs and Windows developers who did not need a Visual Studio integrated development environment (IDE); replaced by MSDN Platforms.

MSDN Platforms

Per-user license covering non-production use of a broad array of Microsoft products; targets operations personnel who support developers and test labs, developers who do not need a Visual Studio IDE, and IT professionals involved with evaluation and troubleshooting.

Multicore

Used to describe a physical processor with more than one core. See related term core for in-depth entry.

Multiple Activation Key

An activation method that requires devices to connect to a Microsoft-hosted activation service to complete the product activation process. See synonym MAK for in-depth entry.

Multiplexing

Describes scenarios where clients communicate with a server product or online service through an intermediary rather than directly.

Multitenant

Describes architectures where server hardware at a service provider is shared among multiple customers, but in such a way that customers cannot access each other’s data.

MyAnalytics

An online service designed to help users increase their productivity by better understanding how they spend their work time within Office 365; licensed via User SLs (Subscription Licenses).

New Version Rights

This SA (Software Assurance) benefit provides the right to deploy new product versions that become available during the term of SA coverage.

Non-perpetual

Describes a license that allows a customer to use the associated product for a specified period of time only.

Off-site

Generally understood to mean anywhere other than the physical buildings an organization owns or leases to conduct its day-to-day business.

Office

Name for client application suites for Windows PCs and Macs licensed under Desktop Applications License Model, but also used in other contexts.

Office 365

A set of service plans that combines Microsoft-hosted online services, such as Exchange Online e-mail, with User SLs (Subscription Licenses) to the Office suite and related software.

Office 365 Activation

The default activation method for Office 365-branded applications; uses a Microsoft hosted service to manage the activation of applications installed on users’ devices.

Office 365 Advanced Compliance

A set of legal- and regulatory-related features that augment core compliance capabilities built into Office 365 services; licensed via User SLs (Subscription Licenses).

Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection

An online service that augments the Exchange Online Protection (EOP) service to add protection against previously unknown malware, and augments EOP and Office 365 ProPlus to protect against malicious URLs; licensed via User SLs (Subscription Licenses)

Office 365 Cloud App Security

An online service that provides threat detection, application control, and usage discovery to organizations using Office 365; licensed via User SLs (Subscription Licenses).

Office 365 Customer Lockbox

A set of features licensed through Office 365 Advanced Compliance that enable customers to individually approve or deny requests for access to their Office 365 data by Microsoft administrators.

Office 365 Delve Analytics

An online service designed to help users increase their productivity by better understanding how they spend their work time within Office 365. Renamed; see MyAnalytics for in-depth entry.

Office 365 Enterprise

Suites of Office 365 online services and on-premises server use rights important to large businesses, providing cost benefits compared to purchasing separately; licensed via User SLs (Subscription Licenses).

Office 365 Enterprise Suite Add-ons

Illustration summarizes the various Add-on options for the Office 365 Enterprise suites, including their prerequisites and contents.

Office 365 Enterprise suites packaging

Illustration summarizes the contents of Office 365 Enterprise E1, E3, and E5 suites.

Office 365 Groups

An online service that combines group membership with collaboration spaces for discussions and data sharing among Office 365 users; predominantly licensed through Office 365 Enterprise suites.

Office 365 ProPlus

A suite of client applications for PCs, Macs, phones, and tablets licensed Per-User via User SLs (Subscription Licenses).

Office 365 Service Description

Frequently updated technical documents outlining features in Office 365 Enterprise and their constituent online services.

Office 365 Threat Intelligence

A central console used to investigate the scope, nature, and origin of attacks and suspicious activity; licensed via User SLs (Subscription Licenses).

Office 365 Video

An online service that provides secure Microsoft-hosted portals for viewing, sharing, discussing, and discovering an organization's video content; licensed through Office 365 Enterprise suites.

Office Desktop Suite Timeline

Outlines major licensing and packaging changes to Office 365 ProPlus, Office Professional Plus, Office Standard, Office for Mac Standard, Office Online Server, and Office Web Apps Server.

Office for Mac Standard

Client application suite for Macs that enables document editing, communication, presentation, and related functions; licensed on the Desktop Applications License Model.

Office Graph

An online service that observes Office 365 user activity and infers relationships among users and their content; used in the background by some Office 365 features and licensed via purchase of online services that use it.

Office mobile

Applications for mobile devices that provide e-mail and access to Excel, OneNote, PowerPoint, and Word documents on Android, iOS, and Windows 10 devices; some forms of use are free, some require User SLs (Subscription Licenses).

Office Multi Language Pack

Allows a single instance of an Office desktop application or suite to offer features such as menus and dialogs, grammar and spell checking, and sorting for multiple different languages; use rights included with Office 2016 suites.

Office Online

An online service that enables browser-based viewing and limited editing of Excel, OneNote, PowerPoint, and Word documents; internal users licensed with User SLs or Office and SA.

Office Online Server

Server software that enables browser-based viewing and limited editing of Excel, OneNote, PowerPoint, and Word documents; some functions licensed with User SLs or Office and SA. Successor to Office Web Apps Server.

Office Professional Plus

Client application suite for Windows PCs that combines Access, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, Publisher, and Word; licensed on the Desktop Applications License Model.

Office Professional Plus and Standard Edition Packaging

Illustration compares application components in Office Professional Plus and Office Standard across versions 2010 through 2019.

Office SA Benefits

Summary of SA (Software Assurance) benefits associated with Office suites, Visio, and Project; organized by high and low value benefits

Office Standard

Client application suite for Windows PCs that combines Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, Publisher, and Word; licensed on the Desktop Applications License Model.

Office Suite Use Rights on Servers Flowchart

Flow chart illustrates the ways an organization can acquire the right for clients to access an Offices suite installed and running within server-based desktops.

Office Web Apps Server

Server software that enables browser-based viewing and limited editing of Excel, OneNote, PowerPoint, and Word documents; in some scenarios, use is free, in others, Office suite (Per-Device) licenses or User SLs are required. Replaced by Office Online Server.

On-Premises

A term generally used to describe Microsoft software installed and executed on a client device or server devoted to a customer’s use.

On-site

Generally understood to mean the physical buildings an organization owns or leases to conduct its day-to-day business. See synonym premises for in-depth entry.

OneDrive for Business

An Office 365-branded online service that delivers file storage, sharing, and synchronization; licensed via User SLs (Subscription Licenses).

OneNote

Application for free-form information gathering (including note-taking) and multi-user collaboration available on client devices and platforms including Windows client OS, Mac, Android and iOS mobile devices, and Web browsers.

Online service

A subscription-based product offering with at least some critical component hosted in Microsoft’s data centers.

Online Services Suite Timeline

Outlines major licensing and packaging changes to online services suites sold as User SLs (Subscription Licenses), including Office 365 Enterprise suites, Enterprise Mobility + Security suites, and Microsoft 365 Enterprise suites.

Online Services Terms

One of two main repositories of online services-related licensing information, with the other being the Product Terms

Online Services Use Rights

Predecessor to Online Services Terms, a repository for certain types of information specific to online service licenses acquired through volume licensing programs. See Online Services Terms (OST) for in-depth entry.

Operating System Environment

An operating system instance running on either a physical device, VM (virtual machine), or hardware partition; see synonym OSE for a detailed entry.

Operations Management Suite

Bundles several Azure hosted services to provide a less expensive alternative to separate subscriptions for managing hosted and on-premises compute resources; also includes some rights to manage systems with System Center.

OS

Software that manages computer hardware and allows other software (applications) to run on that hardware; running instances are called OSEs.

OSE

Operating system environment is an operating system instance running on either a physical device, virtual machine, or hardware partition.

OST

One of two main repositories of online services-related licensing information, with the other being the Product Terms. See Online Services Terms (OST) for in-depth entry.

Outlook

Is a Windows desktop application commonly used with Exchange Server and Exchange Online.See Outlook client.

Outlook client

Client applications for accessing Exchange Online and Exchange Server and other systems for e-mail, contacts, calendars, tasks, and voicemail; most commonly licensed as part of various Office 365 and Microsoft 365 suites.

Outlook on the Web

Is a browser based-client included with Exchange Server and Exchange Online.Formerly Outlook Web App; see Outlook client.

Outlook Web App

Is a browser based-client included with Exchange Server and Exchange Online. Renamed Outlook on the Web; see Outlook client.

OWA

Is a browser based-client included with Exchange Server and Exchange Online (full name: Outlook Web App); renamed Outlook on the Web; see Outlook client.

Passive Fail-over

Refers to a secondary system that remains inactive (“passive”) until it takes over when a primary system fails or is taken out of service; for some server products the passive fail-over system does not need to be licensed.

Per Core License Model

A license model used for SQL Server and a few other server-based applications; use of the product covered by purchasing a license for each physical core in a server or licenses based on the processing resources allocated to a Virtual OSE.

Per Core License Model Flowchart

Flowchart explains how to calculate the number of core licenses required for SQL Server 2016 Enterprise and Standard editions under the Per Core License Model

Per Processor License Model

A license model used for older versions of SQL Server and a few other server-based applications; use of the product covered by purchasing a license for each physical processor in a server or licenses based on the processing resources allocated to a Virtual OSE.

Perpetual

Describes a license that allows a customer to use the associated software in perpetuity.

Phone System

A hosted public exchange (PBX) service that augments Skype for Business Online and Teams with traditional PBX capabilities, such as call forwarding and delegation; licensed predominantly via User SLs.

Physical OSE

An OSE (operating system environment) running on either a physical device or hardware partition; see OSE for more details.

Physical Premises

Generally understood to mean the physical buildings an organization owns or leases to conduct its day-to-day business. See synonym premises for in-depth entry.

Plan

Generally used to distinguish various SKUs within the Office 365 family of online services, with the predominant differences being technical features, price, and use rights for related on-premises products.

Planner

An online service for organizing and tracking small projects; licensed through Office 365 Enterprise suites.

Planning services

This SA (Software Assurance) benefit provides a selection of prescriptive onsite consulting engagement types delivered by qualified Microsoft partners or Microsoft Consulting Services.

Platform Independent

Describes a license that allows a customer to use the associated software on more than one OS platform; commonly used to license Office for Mac Standard.

Pooling

Describes scenarios where clients communicate with a server-based product or online service through an intermediary rather than directly. See synonym Multiplexing for in-depth entry.

Portable device

A laptop or tablet on which products licensed under the Desktop Applications License Model can, under certain circumstances, be locally installed without requiring its own device-based license.

Power BI

Label for back-end report repositories, report design tools, and client interfaces and applications used to create and share reports, dashboards, and other forms of business intelligence; licensed through User SL (Subscription Licenses) and capacity-based licenses.

Power BI Desktop

A free-to-download Windows desktop report design tool that is the primary method for creating reports shared in the Power BI backend services: Power BI Pro, Power BI Premium, and Power BI Report Server.

Power BI Embedded

Power BI Embedded, retired on June 30, 2018, was a hosted service designed for sharing read-only reports with external users via Web sites and applications.

Power BI Premium

An online service for publishing, distributing, and rendering reports; licensed primarily on a capacity basis.

Power BI Pro

An online service for publishing, distributing, and rendering reports; licensed primarily on a per-user basis.

Power BI Report Server

A component of SQL Server that enables customers to host and share Power BI content on-premises and reduces the need to license individual users; licensed via Power BI Premium subscriptions or SQL Server Enterprise core licenses.

PowerApps

A graphical development and runtime environment designed to allow non-programmers to create applications that can present data for viewing and editing on any type of client device and be easily deployed to users; licensed separately or as part of Office 365 Enterprise suites and Dynamics 365 Online offerings.

PowerPoint

Application for creating slide-based presentations available on client devices and platforms including Windows client OS, Mac, Android and iOS mobile devices, and Web browsers; typically licensed as part of an Office suite.

Premises

Generally understood to mean the physical buildings an organization owns or leases to conduct its day-to-day business.

Premium Assurance

Support offering for EA (Enterprise Agreement) customers to provide critical and important security updates and bulletins for 2008 and later versions of SQL Server and Windows Server once they left Extended Support. Launched in 2017 and replaced by Extended Security Updates in 2018.

Premium Cal

A type of CAL (Client Access License) that covers access to certain advanced or niche server features. See synonym Additive CAL for in-depth entry.

Premium Services CAL

A type of CAL (Client Access License) that covers access to certain advanced or niche server features. See synonym Additive CAL for in-depth entry.

Primary user

A user who uses a licensed device more than 50% of the time in any 90-day period; has licensing implications for Office client applications and Windows client OSs.

Problem resolution support

This SA (Software Assurance) benefit provides limited break-fix phone incidents for products in Mainstream support.

Processor

Circuitry fabricated on a single physical chip that processes the instructions, mostly encoded in software, that drive a computing device.

Processor/CAL License Model

A license model exclusive to Windows Server 2012 and 2012 R2 that requires at least one server-side license per physical server and CALs (Client Access Licenses) for users or client devices.

Product

Generally used to describe any on-premises or online service offering sold to customers.

Product Activation

A validation process built into a small number of the most popular Microsoft products that must be successfully completed for the software to function correctly. See synonym Activation for in-depth entry.

Product Key

A unique 25-character alphanumeric code required to complete activation of traditional on-premises products using KMS Activation, MAK Activation, and AD Activation

Product List

Prior to July 2015, one of two main documents (the other being the PUR) that contained rules governing product licenses acquired through volume licensing programs; replaced by Product Terms but still relevant for past SA license grants and other reasons.

Product Terms

The main repository for rules governing product licenses acquired through volume licensing programs and by far the most frequently consulted licensing-related text.

Product Use Rights

Prior to July 2015, one of two main documents (the other being the Product List) that contained rules governing product licenses acquired through volume licensing programs; replaced by Product Terms. See PUR for in-depth entry.

Production

Describes software and online services used to run an organization’s internal day-to-day operations, including disaster recovery and backup, but not for solutions development and test, problem diagnosis and resolution, demonstration, or evaluation.

Project

Umbrella term used to refer to client applications, server applications, and hosted services for project management.

Project Online

An online service and a Windows desktop application for managing project schedules and resource data, reporting time and status, and analyzing an organization's projects; licensed via User SLs (Subscription Licenses).

Project Pro for Office 365

Project and portfolio management client application for Windows PCs licensed via User SLs (Subscription Licenses); renamed Project Online Desktop Client in Aug. 2016; see Project Online for in-depth entry.

Project Professional

Higher end edition of Windows client application for managing complex projects; integrates with Project Server and Project Online and is licensed Per-Device under the Desktop Applications License Model.

Project Server

A Windows Server-based server application for managing project schedules and resource data, reporting time and status, and analyzing an organization's projects; licensed under the Server/CAL License Model.

Project Server SA Benefits

Summary of SA (Software Assurance) benefits associated with Project Server, organized by high and low value benefits

Project Standard

Lower end edition of Windows client application for project managers; lacks the project sharing and collaboration features of Project Professional; licensed Per-Device under the Desktop Applications License Model.

Project Standard and Professional

Client applications for Windows PCs that provides project management and project portfolio management; licensed on the Desktop Applications License Model.

PUR

Prior to July 2015, one of two main documents (the other being the Product List) that contained rules governing product licenses acquired through volume licensing programs; replaced by Product Terms but still valuable for researching rules for non-current product versions

Qualifying Operating System

OS types, versions, and editions eligible for upgrade via Windows Pro Upgrade and Windows Enterprise Per Device licenses purchased through volume licensing programs.

Qualifying Third Party Device

Somewhat nebulously defined by the Product Terms as a client “device that is not controlled, directly or indirectly, by Customer or its Affiliates”; phrase is a factor in Roaming Rights.

RD Connection Broker

A feature of Windows Server’s RDS (Remote Desktop Services) that maps a user’s remote connection request to the appropriate session desktop or virtual desktop hosted on a server. See synonym Remote Desktop Connection Broker for in-depth entry.

RD Gateway

A feature of Windows Server’s RDS (Remote Desktop Services) that allows authorized individuals to use Internet-connected devices to connect to the organization’s server-based desktops or desktop PCs. See synonym Remote Desktop Gateway for in-depth entry.

RD Session Host

A feature for hosting session desktops, formerly known as Terminal Services, that is built into Windows Server’s RDS (Remote Desktop Services) component. See synonym Remote Desktop Session Host for in-depth entry.

RD Virtualization Host

A feature of Windows Server’s RDS (Remote Desktop Services) used to assign virtual desktops to users, load the associated VMs (virtual machines) onto server hosts, and help users connect. See synonym Remote Desktop Virtualization Host for in-depth entry.

RDS

This Windows Server role (previously called Terminal Services) allows users to interact over a network with session desktops and virtual desktops (sometimes called VDI), the two types of server-based desktop architectures; licensed with its own unique CAL (Client Access License).

RDS User CAL Extended Rights

This SA (Software Assurance) benefit lets customers use RDS User CALs to license access to session desktops hosted on service providers’ multitenant servers.

RDSH

A feature for hosting session desktops, formerly known as Terminal Services, that is built into Windows Server’s RDS (Remote Desktop Services) component. See synonym Remote Desktop Session Host for in-depth entry.

RDVH

A feature of Windows Server’s RDS (Remote Desktop Services) used to assign virtual desktops to users, load the associated VMs (virtual machines) onto server hosts, and help users connect. See synonym Remote Desktop Virtualization Host for in-depth entry.

Reassign

The ability to move a product license between devices or users after the license has already been assigned.

Reimaging

Term typically used to describe a customer’s right to overwrite a PC’s OEM-installed Windows client OS with a customized Windows Pro image built using installation media obtained through a volume licensing program.

Remote Access

Refers to the right for users, under certain circumstances, to use some other client device to connect to their Windows client OS-licensed PC through the Internet. See synonym Remote use for in-depth entry.

Remote Desktop

Most often used to describe software that allows a client device to access a Windows-based desktop (OS, shell, desktop applications, user settings and preferences, etc.) hosted on a different device.

Remote Desktop Connection Broker

A feature of Windows Server’s RDS (Remote Desktop Services) that maps a user’s remote connection request to the appropriate session desktop or virtual desktop hosted on a server; licensed via RDS CALs and External Connectors

Remote Desktop Gateway

A feature of Windows Server’s RDS (Remote Desktop Services) that allows authorized individuals to use Internet-connected devices to connect to the organization’s server-based desktops or desktop PCs; licensed via RDS CALs and External Connectors.

Remote Desktop Services

A Windows Server role (previously called Terminal Services) that allows users to interact over a network with session desktops and virtual desktops (sometimes called VDI), the two types of server-based desktop architectures. See synonym RDS for in-depth entry.

Remote Desktop Session Host

A feature for hosting session desktops, formerly known as Terminal Services, that is built into Windows Server’s RDS (Remote Desktop Services) role; licensed via RDS CALs and External Connectors

Remote Desktop Virtualization Host

A feature of Windows Server’s RDS (Remote Desktop Services) used to assign virtual desktops to users, load the associated VMs (virtual machines) onto server hosts, and help users connect; licensed via RDS CALs and External Connectors.

Remote Use

Refers to the right for users, under certain circumstances, to use some other client device to connect to their Windows-licensed PC from across the Internet.

RemoteApp

A feature of RDS (Remote Desktop Services) that allows Windows client applications running on a Windows Server machine to interact with a user’s local desktop in a manner that is almost indistinguishable from locally installed applications.

Rights Management Services

A Windows Server role that encrypts e-mails, files, and other content to prevent access by unauthorized users, including content moved to an unsecured file sharing service or shared by e-mail; See: RMS for a detailed entry.

RMS

A Windows Server role that encrypts e-mails, files, and other content to prevent access by unauthorized users, including content moved to an unsecured file sharing service or shared by e-mail; licensed by Windows Server Additive CALs (Client Access Licenses).

Roaming Rights

This SA (Software Assurance) benefit, associated with Office Professional Plus and other client products licensed Per-Device, sometimes permits users at unlicensed client devices to access server-based desktops running the product.

Running Instance

Software loaded into memory and executing. See synonym instance for in-depth entry.

SA

Software Assurance (SA) augments on-premises product licenses with rights to new versions of the licensed software, use rights that provide the most cost effective way to enable specific usage scenarios (such as virtualization), and miscellaneous benefits of modest value.

SA Benefits

Some form of special use right, rule exception, or other item of value bundled as part of SA (Software Assurance).

SAC

The semi-annual channel (SAC) is a product servicing model promising to deliver two new versions per year, each supported for approximately 18 months; use of these versions require active SA (Software Assurance) coverage on a preexisting perpetual license, or an ongoing subscription license.

SCAL

A name often given to a CAL that covers access to the main features of a matching server-based product, but not to certain advanced or niche features. See synonym Standard CAL for in-depth entry.

Secure Productive Enterprise

Secure Productive Enterprise (SPE) combined User SLs (Subscription Licenses) for Windows Enterprise, Office 365 Enterprise suites, and Enterprise Mobility + Security suites. Renamed; see Microsoft 365 Enterprise.

Security and Compliance Center

A Web-based console licensed by Office 365 Enterprise suites for managing security and compliance-related functions, such as data loss prevention, eDiscovery, and retention; licensed as part of Office 365 Enterprise suites.

Self Hosted Applications

This SA (Software Assurance) benefit permits certain on-premises server products to be used as components within a commercial hosted service.

Semi-Annual Channel

A product servicing model promising to deliver two new versions per year, each supported for approximately 18 months; use of these versions require active SA (Software Assurance) coverage on a preexisting perpetual license, or an ongoing subscription license. SeeSAC for in-depth entry.

Server

A physical hardware device capable of running server OSs (operating systems) and applications such as Windows Server and SQL Server.

Server farm

A single data center or two data centers each physically located either in time zones not more than four hours apart or within the EU or EFTA.

Server ML

Server Management Licenses (ML) provide the right for server OS-based workloads running on a physical server to be managed by one or more System Center components; starting Oct. 2016, Server MLs are Per-Core.

Server-Based Desktop

Architectures that allow a wide variety of client devices to display Windows client applications and OS user interface without having to install and run Windows-based applications or OSEs (Operating System environments) locally.

Server/CAL License Model

The most common license model for server-based applications; generally requires at least one server-side license per physical server and CALs (Client Access Licenses) for users or client devices.

Service Provider

Organization that offers its customers access to services built (at least in part) on Microsoft software; often requires special licensing via a SPLA (Services Provider License Agreement]].

Service tier

Used to distinguish various Azure branded offerings with differences including technical features, performance, capacity, and price. See synonym Tier for in-depth entry.

Servicing Model

Used to describe a schedule for how frequently new versions of on-premises product software will be released and how long they will be supported.

Session desktop

A type of server-based desktop architecture where multiple concurrent users share the same Windows Server instance running on a server.

SfB

Shorthand for Skype for Business, on-premises and online services products providing presence, instant messaging (IM), voice and video, and application sharing capabilities. See Skype for Business Server and Skype for Business Online for in-depth entries.

Shared Computer Activation

An alternative to Office 365 Activation used to handle activation of Office 365-branded applications on devices shared by multiple users.

SharePoint Foundation

A discontinued server application based on SharePoint Server that delivered file sharing and team collaboration for small organizations and was licensed free with Windows Server.

SharePoint Online

An Office 365-branded online service that delivers file sharing, team collaboration, corporate portal hosting, enterprise search, content management, Web-based reporting, and other functions; Built on a similar code base as SharePoint Server and licensed via User SLs (Subscription Licenses).

SharePoint Server

A Windows Server-based server application that delivers file sharing, team collaboration, corporate portal hosting, enterprise search, content management, Web-based reporting, and other collaboration features; licensed under the Server/CAL License Model.

SharePoint Server SA Benefits

Summary of SA (Software Assurance) benefits associated with SharePoint Server, organized by high and low value benefits

SKU

A SKU (stock keeping unit) uniquely identifies a specific type of license for a Microsoft product.

SkyDrive

Online service delivering file storage, sharing, and synchronization. Name changed; see successor product OneDrive for Business for in-depth entry.

Skype for Business

Microsoft’s family of on-premises server, online services, and clients that provide presence, instant messaging (IM), voice and video, application sharing, and telephony capabilities.

Skype for Business client

Client applications for desktop and mobile devices that provide access to Skype for Business Online and Skype for Business Server communications features; in most cases licensed as part of various suites.

Skype for Business Online

An online service that provides presence, instant messaging (IM), voice and video, and desktop and application sharing; licensed via User SLs (Subscription Licenses).

Skype for Business Online Cloud PBX

A hosted public exchange (PBX) service that augments Skype for Business Online with traditional PBX capabilities, such as call forwarding and delegation; licensed via User SLs. Renamed; see Phone System for in-depth entry.

Skype for Business Online PSTN Calling

A service that augments Phone System by providing domestic and international calling minutes; licensed via its own separate User SL. Renamed; see Calling Plan for in-depth entry.

Skype for Business Online PSTN Conferencing

A feature associated with Skype for Business Online that enables meeting attendees to call in to Skype for Business meetings when they are unable to attend online; users scheduling or hosting such meetings require a User SL. Renamed; see Audio Conferencing for in-depth entry.

Skype for Business PSTN Consumption

Used to pay for telephony-related services not covered by Phone System or Audio Conferencing User SLs. Renamed; see Communication Credits for in-depth entry.

Skype for Business Server

A Windows Server-based server application that provides presence, instant messaging (IM), voice and video, and application sharing; licensed under the Server/CAL License Model.

Skype for Business Server CAL Types and Features

Illustration outlines the technical features licensed by the Skype for Business Server Standard, Enterprise, and Plus CALs (Client Access Licenses).

Skype for Business Server SA Benefits

Summary of SA (Software Assurance) benefits associated with Skype for Business Server, organized by high and low value benefits

Skype Meeting Broadcast

A service that augments Skype for Business Online or Skype for Business Server by providing support for large meetings with up to 10,000 internal and external attendees; licensed via Office 365 Enterprise suites.

Social Listening

A discontinued online service that allowed organizations to monitor social networks and blogs for brand performance and engage with individuals who post comments. See successor product Social Engagement for in-depth entry.

Software

Microsoft code that customers install on hardware used by the organization, or within VMs (virtual machines) at a service provider such as Microsoft’s own Azure.

Software Assurance

A subscription add-on for on-premises licenses that provides rights to new versions of the licensed software, use rights that provide the most cost effective way to enable specific usage scenarios (such as virtualization), and miscellaneous benefits of modest value. See SA for in-depth entry.

SPE

Secure Productive Enterprise (SPE) combined User SLs (Subscription Licenses) for Windows Enterprise, Office 365 Enterprise suites, and Enterprise Mobility + Security suites. Renamed; see Microsoft 365 Enterprise.

Spread Payments

This SA (Software Assurance) benefit allows customers to spread the cost of a new perpetual license across multiple (typically annual) payments.

SQL Server

A server-based product that provides database management, integration services, reporting (including Power BI Report Server), analysis services, and machine learning components; licensed under various licensing models depending on version and edition.

SQL Server Edition Packaging

Illustration compares SQL Server editions features across versions 2017, 2016, 2014, and 2012.

SQL Server SA Benefits

Summary of SA (Software Assurance) benefits associated with SQL Server, organized by high and low value benefits

SQL Server Technology

A limited use copy of SQL Server distributed with certain System Center and Visual Studio product offerings that eliminates the need for customers to license SQL Server separately.

SQL Server Timeline

Outlines major changes to SQL Server’s license model and rules, edition lineup, and pricing

StaffHub

An online service for work shift scheduling, licensed as part of Office 365 Enterprise suites; being phased out and superseded by Teams.

Standard CAL

A name often given to a CAL that covers access to the main features of a matching server product, but not to certain advanced or niche features.

Step-Up

Type of supplementary license used to convert a lower-level edition or plan license to a higher level.

Stock keeping unit

A stock keeping unit uniquely identifies a specific type of license for a Microsoft product. See synonym SKU for in-depth entry.

Stored Instance

An image of software created by running a program’s associated setup procedure or duplicating an existing installed copy. See synonym install for in-depth entry.

Stream

A relatively new video-hosting and -sharing online service set to eventually replace Office 365 Video; mainly licensed through Office 365 Enterprise suites.

Subscription

Describes a program or license that grants rights for a specific term (timeframe).

Suite

A collection of related licenses for products sold together at a discount.

Sway

A presentation application; licensed as part of Office 365 Enterprise suites.

System Center

A family of on-premises management and security products use for computer configuration, monitoring, virtualization, backup, software deployment and installation, and other administrative tasks; licensed under the Management Servers License Model.

System Center Client Management Suite

A bundle of Client MLs (Management Licenses) for System Center Data Protection Manager, System Center Operations Manager, System Center Orchestrator, and System Center Service Manager; being phased out in favor of separate client licenses for each product.

System Center Configuration Manager

A Windows Server-based management application that automates software deployment and patching, hardware and software inventorying, and compliance with configuration policies; licensed under the Management Servers License Model via System Center Server MLs and Client MLs.

System Center Data Protection Manager

A Windows Server-based management application that captures frequent backups of application and system data to disk, tape, or Internet storage; licensed under the Management Servers License Model via System Center Server MLs and Client MLs.

System Center Endpoint Protection

Protects Windows Server, Windows client OS, macOS, and Linux computers against viruses, worms, Trojans, adware, and spyware; licensed under the Management Servers License Model via System Center Server MLs and client User SLs (Subscription Licenses) or Device SLs

System Center Global Service Monitor

A now defunct SA (Software Assurance) benefit associated with System Center management licenses; was an online tool for monitoring of Web application availability and performance.

System Center Operations Manager

A Windows Server-based management application that monitors hardware, OS, and apps, and automatically takes corrective action or helps identify the root cause of a problem; licensed under the Management Servers License Model via System Center Server MLs and Client MLs.

System Center Orchestrator

A Windows Server-based management application that automates IT processes, such as provisioning of virtual servers, to save staff, prevent errors, and achieve faster remediation of problems; licensed under the Management Servers License Model via System Center Server MLs and Client MLs.

System Center SA Benefits

Summary of SA (Software Assurance) benefits associated with System Center products, organized by high and low value benefits

System Center Service Manager

A Windows Server-based management application that automates trouble ticketing and problem tracking; licensed under the Management Servers License Model via System Center Server MLs and Client MLs.

System Center Timeline

Outlines major changes to System Center’s license model and rules, edition lineup, and pricing

System Center Virtual Machine Manager

Tool for managing large numbers of VMs (virtual machines) and their physical hosts running hardware virtualization technologies; licensed under the Management Servers License Model via System Center Server MLs and Configuration Manager Client MLs.

Team Foundation Server

A Windows Server-based server application that provides source code control, project and build management, test execution, and centralized storage for collaborative software development; licensed under a somewhat modified Server/CAL License Model. See Visual Studio Team Foundation Server for in-depth entry.

Team Foundation Server Express

A free edition of Visual Studio Team Foundation Server, a Windows Server-based application lifecycle management tool for developers and testers, but with use limited to five or fewer users. See Visual Studio Team Foundation Server Express for in-depth entry.

Teams

An online service that provides group-based collaboration spaces by bringing together features from multiple Office 365 services into an integrated user experience; licensed as part of Office 365 Enterprise suites.

Terminal Server/Services

A feature for hosting session desktops that is built into Windows Server’s RDS (Remote Desktop Services) component; renamed with introduction of Windows Server 2008 R2. See Remote Desktop Session Host for in-depth entry.

TFS

A Windows Server-based server application that provides source code control, project and build management, test execution, and centralized storage for collaborative software development; licensed under a somewhat modified Server/CAL License Model. See Visual Studio Team Foundation Server for in-depth entry.

Tier

Used to distinguish various Azure branded services with differences including technical features, performance, capacity, and price.

Training Vouchers

This SA (Software Assurance) benefit provides a selection of 1-5 day courses for IT pros and developers conducted at MS Learning partner locations.

UE-V

Technology that allows users to maintain the same applications settings when using different devices, such as PCs or tablets; licensed with MDOP (Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack). See User Experience Virtualization for full entry.

Upgrade rights

This SA (Software Assurance) benefit provides the right to deploy new product versions that become available during the term of SA coverage. See synonym new version rights for in-depth entry.

User

A person running Microsoft software on a client device, accessing software on a server, or making use of an online service.

User CAL

Provides the right for an individual to use any device to access all running instances of a particular server-based product deployed by the customer’s organization.

User Experience Virtualization

Technology that allows users to maintain the same applications settings when using different devices, such as PCs or tablets; licensed with MDOP (Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack).

User SL

Provides the (non-perpetual) right for a user to access a particular online service, server-based product, or Windows client OS, typically from any device.

User Subscription License

Provides the (non-perpetual) right for a user to access a particular online service, server-based product, or Windows client OS, typically from any device. See synonym User SL for in-depth entry.

USL

Provides the (non-perpetual) right for a user to access a particular online service, server-based product, or Windows client OS, typically from any device. See synonym User SL for in-depth entry.

VDA

A Per-Device or Per-User subscription that licenses access to Windows Client OSs running within server-hosted virtual desktops and in many cases also allows local use of Windows Enterprise on client devices.

VDA Device SL

A Per-Device subscription license allowing a client device to be used by any user to access Windows Client OSs running within server-hosted virtual desktops, and to install and run Windows Enterprise locally on most Windows-capable devices.

VDA User SL

A Per-User subscription that allows an individual user to access Windows Client OSs running within server-hosted virtual desktops, and to install and run Windows Enterprise locally on most Windows-capable client devices.

VDI

Virtual Desktop Infrastructure is most often used to refer to virtual desktops running the Windows client OS in VMs (virtual machines); sometimes used more broadly to describe any server-based desktop architecture or infrastructure.

Version

Designates a significant release of an on-premises product; use of a newer version almost always requires an additional fee of some sort.

Version Downgrade

A form of substitution, whereby a customer owning a license for a specific version and edition of a product deploys an older version of the same (or equivalent) edition instead.

Version upgrade rights

This SA (Software Assurance) benefit provides the right to deploy new product versions that become available during the term of SA coverage. See synonym New Version Rights for in-depth entry.

Virtual core

A unit of processing power allocated to a VM (virtual machine); sometimes relevant under the Per Core License Model.

Virtual desktop

A type of server-based desktop architecture where each user has a dedicated OS instance running in a VM (virtual machine) hosted on a server.

Virtual Desktop Access

A Per-Device or Per-User subscription that licenses access to Windows Client OSs running within server-hosted virtual desktops and in many cases also allows local use of Windows Enterprise on client devices. See VDA for in-depth entry.

Virtual Desktop Infrastructure

Most often used to refer to virtual desktops running the Windows client OS in VMs (virtual machines); sometimes used more broadly to describe any server-based desktop architecture or infrastructure. See synonym VDI for in-depth entry.

Virtual Machine

Software component that emulates the CPU, memory, and other hardware of a computer; see VM for a detailed entry

Virtual OSE

An OSE (operating system environment) running on a VM (virtual machine)]; see OSE for more details.

Visio

A line of software and online services for creating and sharing business and technical diagrams, such as network diagrams and office layouts.

Visio Online

Tool for viewing and creating business and technical diagrams, such as flowcharts, organization charts, and office layouts; delivered as both a browser-based and Windows-based application and licensed via User SLs.

Visio Pro for Office 365

Tool for viewing and creating business and technical diagrams, such as flowcharts, organization charts, and office layouts; delivered as both a browser-based and Windows-based application and licensed via User SLs. Renamed; see Visio Online (Plan 2) for in-depth entry.

Visio Professional

Higher end edition of Windows client application for viewing, creating, and modifying business and technical diagrams; licensed Per-Device under the Desktop Applications License Model.

Visio Standard

Lower end edition of Windows client application for viewing, creating, and modifying business and technical diagrams; licensed Per-Device under the Desktop Applications License Model.

Visio Timeline

Outlines major licensing and packaging changes to Visio-branded applications.

Visual Studio

The brand name used for both fee-based and free application development tools and related on-premises and online services offerings used to design, develop, and test commercial and in-house applications.

Visual Studio and MSDN SA Benefits

Summary of SA (Software Assurance) benefits associated with Visual Studio and MSDN-related licenses, organized by high and low value benefits

Visual Studio and MSDN Timeline

Outlines major licensing, packaging, and pricing changes made to Visual Studio- and MSDN- branded offerings.

Visual Studio Code

A cross-platform code editor with extensible support for development operations such as building and debugging applications; use is free with no restrictions against commercial use.

Visual Studio Community

The functional equivalent of the Visual Studio Professional integrated development environment (IDE) offered for free but with usage restrictions that make it unsuitable for most midsize and large organizations’ purposes.

Visual Studio Enterprise

A Windows-based integrated development environment (IDE) used to design, develop, debug, and test commercial and in-house applications, usually running in conjunction with Microsoft software or online services; licensed as part of the Visual Studio Enterprise Subscription.

Visual Studio Enterprise Subscription

Licenses (mostly) non-production use of Microsoft products; targets developers requiring the most advanced debugging, diagnostics, testing, modeling, and lab management capabilities, and applications developers leveraging server-based software besides SQL Server.

Visual Studio Enterprise with MSDN

Licenses (mostly) non-production use of Microsoft products; targets developers requiring the most advanced debugging, diagnostics, testing, modeling, and lab management capabilities, and applications developers leveraging server-based software besides SQL Server. Renamed Apr. 2017; see Visual Studio Enterprise Subscription for in-depth entry.

Visual Studio Express

A family of three free development tools, each providing a subset of Visual Studio Professional functionality; being phased out with Microsoft recommending use of Visual Studio Community instead.

Visual Studio Online

An online service that provides source code control, build management, and other Visual Studio Team Foundation Server (TFS) functionality. See successor product Visual Studio Team Services for in-depth entry.

Visual Studio Premium with MSDN

A discontinued MSDN offering targeting high-end development; replaced by Visual Studio Enterprise Subscription.

Visual Studio Professional

An integrated development environment (IDE) used to design, develop, debug, and test commercial and in-house applications, usually running in conjunction with Microsoft software or online services; licensed under the Developer Tools License Model.

Visual Studio Professional Subscription

Licenses non-production use of a broad array of Microsoft products; targets developers who do not require the advanced debugging, diagnostics, testing, architecture and modeling, and lab management capabilities unique to the Visual Studio Enterprise IDE.

Visual Studio Professional with MSDN

Licenses non-production use of Microsoft products; targets developers who do not require the advanced debugging, diagnostics, testing, architecture and modeling, and lab management capabilities unique to the Visual Studio Enterprise IDE. Renamed Apr. 2017; see Visual Studio Professional Subscription for in-depth entry.

Visual Studio Team Foundation Server

Windows Server-based server software that provides source code control, project and build management, test execution, and centralized storage for collaborative application development; licensed under a somewhat modified Server/CAL License Model.

Visual Studio Team Foundation Server Express

A free edition of Visual Studio Team Foundation Server, a Windows Server-based application lifecycle management tool for developers and testers, but with use limited to five or fewer users.

Visual Studio Team Services

An online service that provides source code control, build management, and other Visual Studio Team Foundation Server (TFS) functionality; limited use is free, otherwise requires Per User subscriptions and monthly consumption-based fees.

Visual Studio Test Professional Subscription

Licenses testing tools along with non-production use of a broad array of Microsoft software and online services; targets personnel involved with software test planning, authoring, execution, and tracking.

Visual Studio Test Professional with MSDN

Licenses testing tools along with non-production use of a broad array of Microsoft software and online services; targets personnel involved with software test planning, authoring, execution, and tracking. Renamed Apr. 2017; see Visual Studio Test Professional Subscription for in-depth entry.

Visual Studio Ultimate with MSDN

A discontinued MSDN offering targeting high-end development requiring the most advanced debugging and load and performance testing tools; replaced by Visual Studio Enterprise Subscription.

Visual Studio with MSDN Edition Packaging

Illustration compares development and test tools, OSs, application software, online services, and other benefits included with editions of Visual Studio with MSDN.

VM

An OS (operating system) instance and applications that exhibits the behavior of a separate computer but does not require its own dedicated hardware to run.

Volume Activation Management Tool

Allows administrators to monitor products activated with AD Activation, KMS (Key Management Service), or MAK (Multiple Activation Key).

Volume licensing program

Programs designed to make bulk purchases more practical and convenient for organizations that want to license Microsoft products for production purposes, as well as for development and testing of internal applications.

VS

The brand name used for both fee-based and free software development tools and related on-premises and online services offerings used to design, develop, and test commercial and in-house applications. See Visual Studio for in-depth entry.

Web Workload

Refers to certain scenarios involving public-facing Windows Server-based websites licensed via volume licensing programs where client access is “free,” meaning neither Windows Server CALs (client access licenses) nor External Connectors are required.

Windows

Microsoft’s family of OS (operating system) offerings, specifically Windows Server for server hardware, and Windows client OSs for PCs, tablets, and other client devices.

Windows 10 Subscription Activation

An activation method specific to Windows Enterprise when licensed Per-User; use is optional except in two specific scenarios.

Windows client OS

General name for Windows operating system editions used by organizations on client PCs or within virtual desktops.

Windows client OS edition packaging

Illustration compares Windows client OS editions features across versions 10, 8/8.1, and 7.

Windows Client OS Timeline

Outlines major modifications to the Windows client OS’s license model and rules, edition and SKU lineup, and other changes.

Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection

An online service that adds a post-breach layer of protection to Windows 10 clients, helping to detect and remedy threats that made it past other defenses; licensed via User SLs (Subscription Licenses).

Windows Enterprise

The highest (most feature-laden) edition of the Windows client OS; distributed exclusively through volume licensing programs with both Per-Device and Per-User licensing options available.

Windows Enterprise Per Device

Per-Device licenses that provide the right to install and run Windows Enterprise edition on the licensed PC (or Mac); licenses with SA (Software Assurance) coverage also provide access to the OS running within server-hosted virtual desktops.

Windows Enterprise Rights Flowchart

Flowchart illustrates the ways an organization can acquire the right to install and run Windows Enterprise edition locally on an end-user’s PC or Mac.

Windows Enterprise SA Benefits

Summary of SA (Software Assurance) benefits associated with Windows Enterprise and VDA licenses, organized by high and low value benefits

Windows Enterprise User SL

A Per-User subscription that allows an individual user to install and run Windows Enterprise edition on most Windows-capable client devices as well as access a Windows Client OS running within server-hosted virtual desktops.

Windows Enterprise vs. VDA Per-Device Comparison

Table compares use rights and rules for a Windows Enterprise Per Device license with active SA (Software Assurance) coverage and a VDA Device SL (Subscription License) purchased via an EA (Enterprise Agreement), Select Plus contract, or MPSA (Microsoft Product and Services Agreement)

Windows Enterprise vs. VDA User SL Comparison

Table compares use rights and rules for a Windows Enterprise User SL (Subscription License) and a VDA User SL purchased via an EA (Enterprise Agreement), Select Plus contract, or MPSA (Microsoft Product and Services Agreement)

Windows Pro

The lowest-level Windows client OS edition of relevance to organization customers; licensed Per-Device.

Windows Pro for Workstations

An edition of Windows 10 designed for compute-intensive workloads that sits between Windows Pro and Windows Enterprise in the edition line-up; distributed exclusively through retail and OEM channels.

Windows Pro OEM license

A Per-Device perpetual license for Windows Pro that comes with new PCs; the main business-focused Windows client OS edition available through the OEM channel.

Windows Pro Upgrade

A Per-Device license providing the right to install and run on the PC (or Mac) the latest version of Windows Pro as of the time of license purchase.

Windows Server

A server OS (operating system) currently licensed under a Core/CAL License Model (and previously under the Processor/CAL License Model that is a prerequisite for most all Microsoft server-based applications.

Windows Server CAL Types and Features

Illustration outlines the technical features licensed by each of the three Windows Server-related CALs (Client Access Licenses) associated with versions 2019, 2016, 2012 R2, and 2012.

Windows Server Edition Packaging

Illustration compares Windows Server Standard and Datacenter edition features across versions 2019, 2016, 2012 R2, and 2012.

Windows Server Rights Management Services

A Windows Server role that encrypts e-mails, files, and other types of content to prevent access by unauthorized users, including content moved to an unsecured file sharing service or shared by e-mail; See: RMS for a detailed entry.

Windows Server SA Benefits

Summary of SA (Software Assurance) benefits associated with Windows Server, organized by high and low value benefits

Windows Server Timeline

Outlines major changes to Windows Server’s license model and rules, edition lineup, and pricing

Windows Thin PC

A small-footprint OS that enables existing Windows PCs to be repurposed as thin client devices; licensed via Windows Enterprise and VDA (Virtual Desktop Access) licenses.

Windows to Go

A Windows client OS feature that enables running Windows Enterprise from portable media such as USB storage drives; licensed via Windows Enterprise and VDA (Virtual Desktop Access) licenses.

Windows VDI Rights Flowchart

Flowchart illustrates the ways an organization can acquire the right to host Windows client OS-based virtual desktops on on-premises servers and make them accessible to users.

Word

Word processor application available on client devices and platforms including Windows client OS, Mac, Android and iOS mobile devices, and Web browsers; typically licensed as part of an Office suite.

Work at Home

Discounted Office and Office for Mac Standard licenses for certain customers of those suites.

Workplace Analytics

An online service designed to help organizations improve overall productivity by analyzing how employees spend their time; licensed via User SLs (Subscription Licenses).

Yammer

An online service offering collaboration spaces with groups, conversations, and data sharing that are similar to public social networking services, such as Facebook and Twitter; licensed as part of Office 365 Enterprise suites.