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Virtual Desktop Access (VDA) is a new term first introduced at Microsoft Desktop Virtualization Hour webcast. It is related to Windows Client licensing and Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) technologies.

What is VDA?

Generally speaking, VDA is a right. It permits a user access to a Virtual Machine (VM) running Windows Client. This access can be performed from both company-owned devices (such as regular desktop PCs and thin clients) and non company-owned devices (such as home computers or Internet kiosks).

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How to use VDA?

There are two important things to understand about VDA.

  1. VDA is device-based. This means that you should assign every instance of VDA you licensed to a particular device. You cannot assign VDA to a user.
  2. VDA is a subscription. This means that it is valid is long as you continue to pay for it. You cannot buy a perpetual VDA.

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How to buy VDA?

There are two ways to obtain VDA. The choice is driven by the type of primary device you assign VDA to.

  1. If the device to which you assign VDA is a subject for Software Assurance (SA) then you should assign to it a Windows Client license with active Software Assurance subscription. In this case VDA is provided to you as a Software Assurance (SA) Benefit among others with no additional cost.
    Examples of devices that are subjects for Software Assurance.
    • Company-owned desktop PC;
    • company-owned laptop.
    This type of VDA licensing supersedes VECD for Software Assurance.
  2. If the device to which you assign VDA is not a subject for Software Assurance then you should buy VDA as a separate license. Then you assign this license to that device.
    Examples of devices that are subjects for stand-alone VDA licensing.
    • Thin client,
    • home pc (not owned by company).
    This type of VDA licensing supersedes VECD.

You can buy and use VDA beginning July 2010.

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