(Computer World) – Ask any IT administrator about Microsoft’s licensing setup and they’ll hurl up a string of four-letter words that would incur an FCC fine if delivered on television. In a world where everyone wants to use everything — especially Microsoft Office — on tablets, phones, and oh yeah, computers, Microsoft’s customary one-license-per-device model means death by a thousand cuts for most enterprises.
That’s why it was a big deal in December when Microsoft rolled out the Enterprise Cloud Suite (ECS), an optional add-on to the Microsoft Enterprise Agreement that gives access to Microsoft Office 365; the Enterprise Mobility Suite for mobile management; and, for the first time ever, a per-user (not per-device) licensing model for Windows.
Even at the launch of ECS, Microsoft was vague on details. But the company has now confirmed that the suite costs between $7 and $12 per user per month and includes a Windows Enterprise Edition license for any x86 desktop/laptop or Windows tablet (as long as the screen is smaller than 10.1 inches). It also includes licenses to access Windows Enterprise via VDI or through the Windows To Go feature that lets users access a corporate pre-approved image of the OS from a USB drive.
Users not already under an Enterprise Agreement can just buy the cloud features directly for a comparable price.