Microsoft won't change its licensing options to permit services providers to offer Windows 10 desktops-as-a-service (DaaS) on shared infrastructure.
Redmond's rules divide the DaaS word into two categories. In the first, a service provider runs “dedicated” infrastructure that delivers DaaS for only one client customer and is therefore allowed to offer Windows-as-a-service. In the second a service provider shares DaaS infrastructure among several clients customers, so is not allowed to offer Windows-as-a-service. Instead it is only permitted to provide Windows Server with a desktop GUI. Services like Amazon Web Services Workspaces therefore offer Windows Server desktops but are marketed as Windows desktops.
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There's plenty of evidence that Microsoft's a different animal these days, so we decided to ask Microsoft if new rules apply to Windows 10.
Here's what “a Microsoft spokesperson” was able to tell us:
“We have no plans at this time to revise our policy on enabling Windows desktops-as-a-service on shared infrastructure for Windows 10, and have no further comment at this time.”
So much for our planned follow-up question about why Microsoft likes things this way.
Redmond did loosen up its virtual desktop licensing last year, by moving to per-user licences, which made it rather cheaper to adopt desktop virtualisation. But Microsoft has, as the comment above shows, shut the door on service providers keen on a broad DaaS product. Theories as to the reason for that ban are welcome. ®