Neowin takes a look at the different types of Microsoft licensing types, you can learn about it over here.
Recently, I’ve been involved in a Microsoft audit. It’s been an interesting experience, one I had never been privy to until now. The auditor used to work for Microsoft, but moved to the company’s he with now, his sole role to audit Microsoft customers to ensure compliance with the companies licensing agreements. I’ve had great dealings with him and learnt so much in such a short space of time, which I will get into later, but to quote my new friend:
Once you start getting into OEMs, SA, VL and license agreements, Microsoft licensing becomes a very dark art.
He isn’t wrong. I’ve been ignorant in the past, thinking that when you buy a product like Windows, Windows Server, Exchange, SQL, etc. you own it and can use it. Not quite. You may own the products and in some cases, like with Windows Server OS’, get given a number of complimentary CALs when you purchase the software in the stores. It’s these CALs that dictate how many people can then use these products in your environment. But let’s keep things simple for now.