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Office 365 Pro Plus and RDS/TS installation

By March 10, 2014June 1st, 2022Blog, Office 365, Office 365

With the popularity of Office 365 on the rise, we are getting more and more questions asking about using the installation of Office Pro Plus from Office 365 in a Remote Desktop Services or Terminal Services environment.  This can be done but there are a few “wrinkles” to be aware of when you are doing so.

First, let’s address the question of whether or not the Office Pro Plus that comes with Office 365 can be used in a RDS/TS environment.

Based on the most recent Product Use Rights

  • Each user to whom you assign a User SL may activate the software for local or remote use on up to five concurrent OSEs.
  • The Licensed User may also use the software activated by another user under a different User SL.
  • Each user may also use one of the five activations on a network server with the Remote Desktop Services (RDS) role enabled.
  • You may allow other users to remotely access the software solely to provide support services.

So therefore, based on the Use Rights, any organization that has an Office 365 subscription that provides Office Pro Plus licenses can use those licenses within an RDS/TS environment.

Second, lets address how you need to setup your RDS/TS environment in order to take advantage of the capabilities.

In order to install an Office package on a Windows Server 2008 R2 or newer server with Remote Desktop Services role enabled, the Office installation must have a Volume license agreement.  All Office 365 Professional Plus installations are retail activations so they will not install on a server with RDS enabled.  Therefore, at least a single Volume License copy of Office Professional Plus must be purchased if you intend to install within and RDS/TS environment.

As an example, let’s say we have an organization has an Office 365 E3 subscription for 100 users.  They want to use one of the five activations for Office per user within a Windows RDS environment.  This organization will need to purchase a single copy of Office Professional Plus Volume license and install this on their Windows RDS server.  The 100 users will then be allowed to use this installation as one of their five activations.

Jacob Eker, PEI

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