The terms “Bring Your Own Device” and “BYOD” are two we hear with increasing popularity. “BYOD” is a business policy intended to enable users to utilize their personal devices such as mobile phones, tablets, and personally owned computers to access company data and tools.

 

BYOD generates very different levels of interest and reactions from different people, depending upon their role and objectives. For the user, it may represent an opportunity to consolidate the number of devices they use and allow the user to be productive with greater flexibility. For the CIO, it may represent a nightmare of uncontrolled and potentially unknown devices.

 

The implications of BYOD reach far beyond the user and a company’s IT department.

Whenever a company expands a user’s ability to access corporate data they must guard against inappropriate or illegal access to sensitive information. This may include violation of privacy laws, exposing business and trade secrets, compliance requirements, and virtually everything the company protects on their own servers and devices. Of course additional devices also increase the risk of viruses, malware, and other system intrusions. The purpose of this article is not to discuss the merits of BYOD, but we would be remiss if we didn’t at least acknowledge the need to do so.

 

Company policies regarding “Bring Your Own Device” vary widely but it is a rapidly growing trend as portable devices increase in power and capabilities. A primary objective of Microsoft® Windows® 8 and Windows® RT is to bridge the gap between traditional computers and mobile devices. As previously noted, this introduces a number of policy and technical decisions, but it also requires users and devices to be licensed appropriately.

 

BYOD and Client Access Licenses (CALs)

 

In most cases, a license is required for remote or non-company owned devices such as tablets and home PCs if they access company licensed instances of Windows®, Office, and other Microsoft® products. In some cases such as with Office, an additional license is not required because Office includes remote access rights. In most cases however, particularly those with Device CALs, the user is required to obtain a license for the non-company owned device. Let’s consider two possible scenarios:

 

Scenario A – User Directly Accesses Servers

An application or browser on a portable device communicates directly with MS server applications such as e-mail or accessing a corporate SharePoint using a browser.

 

bring_your_own_device
 

In this scenario the user isn’t utilizing the Windows® client OS or traditional Office suite.

 

Licensing Implications:

Exchange®, Lync®, SharePoint®, SQL Server®, and Windows® Server:

Per-user CAL: No additional license needed

Per-device CAL: Additional CAL is required for remote device

 

Scenario B – User Remotely Connects to Work PC

If a user remotely connects to their licensed work PC the remote device is essentially being used as a dumb terminal.

 

bring_your_own_device_2
 

In this scenario the user is accessing his work PC but using a different keyboard, mouse, and screen.

 

Licensing Implications:

Exchange®, Lync®, SharePoint®, SQL Server®, and Windows® Server:

Per-user CAL: No additional license needed

Per-device CAL: Additional CAL is required for laptop

 

No extra license is required for Office or Windows® as both products include remote access rights.

 

Windows® Companion Subscription License (CSL)

 

Beginning with Windows® 8 and Windows® RT, Microsoft® is offering a Windows® Companion Subscription License (CSL). The CSL is a license which grants a primary user rights to access company resources on up to four non-company owned devices.  The Windows® CSL may be obtained either as a component of Software Assurance or by means of a Virtual Desktop Access (VDA) Agreement. The VDA is a component of Software Assurance and may be used to access virtual desktops at no additional charge. Customers wishing to use VDA on devices which are not eligible for Software Assurance (thin clients, etc.) must license VDA for those devices under an Intune Agreement or as a standalone VDA Agreement. Windows® VDA is available under the Enterprise Agreement (EA), Select, Open Value, and Campus programs.

 

The table below identifies some situations in which the user does and does not require additional licensing for non-company owned devices (it is recommended to purchases User based Cal’s at the beginning of an EA term and save the additional purchase of Device Cal’s).

 

 Additional License Required
 

Device CAL

User CAL

CSL (Up to

four devices)

Exchange®

Yes

No

No

Lync®

Yes

No

No

SharePoint®

Yes

No

No

SQL Server®

Yes

No

No

Windows® 8

No

No

N/A

Windows® RT

No

No

N/A

Windows® Server

Yes

No

No

Windows® Vista and previous versions

No

No

N/A

 

There are countless scenarios which may require additional licensing for additional devices or users. Always consult the most recent Product Use Rights document for the last information.

http://www.Microsoft.com/licensing/about-licensing/product-licensing.aspx

 

Also New With Windows® 8

 

In addition to the Companion Subscription License, Windows® 8 customers also have access to Windows® to Go, Windows® Thin PC, and revised Roaming Use Rights.

 

Windows® to Go

Devices covered under the terms of the CSL, SA, and VDA are also licensed to use Windows® To Go. With Windows® To Go, IT departments may now create bootable USB flash drives or other external drives containing an imaged version of the corporate Windows® 8 environment for use on non-company owned devices.  Windows® To Go works on both USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 connections but Microsoft® has defined specific testing requirements that the USB drive manufacturer must meet in order to be a supported device.

 

With Windows® To Go, IT administrators can provide users with a corporate Windows® image that includes line of business apps, settings, and corporate data. Licensed users can have a consistent Windows® 8 experience on any PC (Windows® 7 or Windows® 8 certified). When users boot a PC with Windows® To Go, they get a consistent and personalized Windows® 8 experience that is as secure as a fully managed PC. When they shut down, they can remove the USB device and no data is left on the host PC. This functionality may be particularly useful when working with contractors or temporary workers as well as employees using their own devices.

 

Windows® to Go is a component of Software Assurance and is not supported on Windows® RT.

 

For further information on Windows® To Go, including a list of supported USB drives, go to http://technet.Microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh831833.aspx

 

Windows® Thin PC

Windows® Thin PC enables customers to repurpose existing PCs as thin clients by providing a locked down version of Windows® 7 with a smaller footprint. Windows® Thin PC is included with Software Assurance at no additional cost. It may also be obtained by purchasing a Virtual Desktop Access (VDA) subscription or by purchasing a Windows® Intune subscription.

 

Roaming Use Rights

Roaming Use Rights allow the primary user of any licensed device to access a virtual instance of Windows® running in a datacenter or Windows® To Go. Roaming Use Rights are included with Software Assurance.

 

Additional Considerations

Devices running Google®’s Android® and Apple®’s iOS® have enjoyed increased traction in corporate environments during recent years. Microsoft® is obviously very aware of these advances where MS has traditionally dominated. There is nothing subtle about Microsoft®’s intentions as Windows® 8 is optimized for mobile, the release of the SurfaceTM Tablet, heavy investments in mobile phones and increased flexibility in licensing terms to accommodate multiple devices. Accommodations to Bring Your Own Device such as the Companion Subscription License and additional tools and functionality shown in this article are likely only the beginning. Microsoft® may not be able to maintain the margins they have in the past but they will certainly do whatever they can to retain market share.

 

As is so often the case, competition can be very good for the consumer.

Nov 2016