Windows MultiPoint Server 2010 is a Windows product for educational institutions for use in classrooms, labs, and libraries, that allows multiple users to simultaneously share one computer. Users have their own independent and familiar Windows computing experience, using their own monitor, keyboard and mouse directly connected to the host computer.
“The product allows multiple users at multiple thin-client terminals to operate independently in a Windows environment while linked to a single host system. In theory, this would save schools or even small workgroups the expense of purchasing multiple workstations” [eWeek.com]
“First and foremost it helps reduce waste by dramatically reducing the number of processors, disks and RAM and other electronic components required to serve a given number of users. Secondly, it also significantly reduces the amount of power required to support those users” [MS TechNet blog]
Microsoft have not departed from the device based licensing model with a Primary User accessing the device. Windows client licenses cannot be shared, normally you would need to go down the Windows Server 2008 R2 route, and up to now your only option was essentially to license for Windows Server and Windows Remote Desktop/Terminal Services (with Windows Server CAL, and RDS CALs) in the same way as you would in the Enterprise. Analogous to RDS – a Multiuser scenario with Windows MultiPoint Server you will require a Server license and CAL model.
Multiuser Scenarios with Windows MultiPoint Server 2010 Academic
Windows MultiPoint Server 2010 is designed specifically for multiuser scenarios. Introduced in March 2010 and based on the latest Windows technology, MultiPoint Server enables multiple users to simultaneously share one host computer. Each user has his or her own independent and familiar Windows computing experience at stations directly connected to the host computer.
Users can acquire MultiPoint Server in two ways:
- Windows MultiPoint Server 2010 Academic: From Academic Volume Licensing channels
- Windows MultiPoint Server 2010: Preinstalled with a computer from OEMs
A Windows MultiPoint Server 2010 or Windows MultiPoint Server 2010 Academic server license is required for each running instance of the server software. The Academic version can be acquired through Academic Volume Licensing independent of the hardware. Microsoft recommend this for Academic institutions that connect to a domain. This also supports unlimited Stations connecting to the host.
Windows MultiPoint Server is deigned for organizations that have stand alone installations that are not connected to a domain. This is pre-installed on the physical hardware by the OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer). This product will also only support 10 stations connecting to the host (The rationale is to limit this leaking out of the channel). Please be aware the OEM version lacks AD domain join capabilities, unlike the Academic edition, which will usually be added to a Windows Server AD domain. This also does not support remote access, so students or staff would not be able to connect remotely and use the Windows MultiPoint Server as a Terminal Server.
Similar to this strategy, Windows 7 Starter edition is now nearly ubiquitous on all new Atom netbooks , protecting against use in corporate environments by precluding the joining of domains. Additionally, Windows 7 Started Edition is not a qualified base license for Windows 7 on commercial Volume License (VL) programs which will require Windows Get Genuine Advantage.
Please be aware that the actual number of connected stations should be referenced against the host computer hardware capacity (CPU, RAM) station hardware configuration (PCI-E or USB) or workload.
Client Access Licenses
MultiPoint Server 2010 Academic
- For Windows MultiPoint Server 2010 Academic: A Windows MultiPoint Server 2010 CAL and a Windows Server 2008 CAL are required whenever a device or user is connecting to a Windows MultiPoint Server 2010 Academic operating system. If the host computer is also used as a station, both CALs are also required.
The Windows MultiPoint Server 2010 Academic license terms and PUR specify that a Windows Server 2008 CAL and Windows MultiPoint Server 2010 CAL is required whenever a user or device is connecting to a Windows MultiPoint Server 2010 Academic operating system.
MultiPoint Server 2010
- For Windows MultiPoint Server 2010: A Windows MultiPoint Server 2010 Client Access License (CAL) is required whenever a device or user is connecting to a Windows MultiPoint Server 2010 operating system. If the host computer is also used as a station, a Windows MultiPoint Server 2010 CAL is also required.
Note: Windows Server 2008 CAL rights may be obtained with the Core CAL Suite (with active Software Assurance coverage on February 1, 2008, or later), or the Enterprise CAL Suite (with active Software Assurance coverage on February 1, 2008, or later)
The Windows MultiPoint Server 2010 license terms specify that a Windows MultiPoint Server 2010 CAL is required whenever a device is connecting to a Windows MultiPoint Server 2010 operating system.
School and Campus Agreements
For School Agreement Customers, each MultiPoint terminal is considered an “eligible PC,”’ and must be counted.
Campus Agreements and School Agreements
Under the terms of Microsoft Volume Licensing Campus Agreements and School Agreements, licenses that allow a desktop PC device to either run Microsoft products or access Microsoft server resources must be purchased institution wide. (These licenses are known as “Desktop licenses.”) To access the server resources, each desktop PC requires its own CAL. The two agreements differ in their CAL purchase requirements based on how they define “institution wide”:
Campus Agreement Customers: “Institution wide” for campus customers is the number of all full-time employees (FTE) and staff. “Server Licenses” that allow a server to run Microsoft products can be purchased on an as-required basis for specific servers. However, the number of Desktop Licenses (such as Windows Upgrade or Windows Server CAL and MultiPoint CAL) purchased must match the number of FTE and staff in the institution. This policy applies even when FTEs and staff members use two or more Desktop Licenses in a mutually exclusive manner (for example, using only a Windows MultiPoint terminal and not a standard PC with Windows).
School Agreement Customers: “Institution wide” for school customers is the number of all “eligible PCs” owned or leased by the institution. Each MultiPoint terminal is considered an “eligible PC,”’ and must be counted. As a result, the number of all Desktop Licenses (such as Windows Upgrade or Windows Server CAL and MultiPoint CAL) purchased must match the number of ALL eligible PCs owned/leased by the school. This policy applies even when the use of two Desktop Licensed products is mutually exclusive or not (for example, if one product used on a MultiPoint Terminal, cannot also be used on a standard PC under the same license or vice versa; both products need to be purchased institution wide.)
NOTE: An academic institution can use two different products, Windows MultiPoint Server 2010 CAL (WMS CAL) and Windows Client on a mutually exclusive basis. If an academic institution orders both of these products, then both Windows MultiPoint Server 2010 CAL and Windows Client must be purchased on an institution-wide basis. Alternatively, the institution can acquire the Windows MultiPoint Server 2010 CAL under Academic Open, Select License, or Select Plus Agreements for just the number of seats required. This policy applies for both Campus Agreement and School Agreement. (Windows Server CALs for all devices/users are also required but are included with these agreements.)
Microsoft Software Assurance Program
Windows MultiPoint Server 2010 Academic is available through the Microsoft Software Assurance Program.
Important notice regarding product keys: Windows MultiPoint Server shares the same product keys as Windows Server 2008 R2. Please make sure to use the “Windows Web/HPC Srv 2008 MAK A” for MAK activation
- Enabling Multiuser Scenarios—Presentation Virtualization Using Remote Desktop Services:
- Licensing of Microsoft Desktop Application Software for Use with Windows Server Remote Desktop Services
- Operating System License Requirements—Initial Operating System and Transfer of License
I will update this post if the solution becomes more widely enabled for commercial customers. In particular, use for branch office scenarios where MultiPoint Server 2010 could be useful. At the moment, the OEM route seems to be the way to go.