Office 365 Pro Plus in RDS/Citrix

The issue surrounding Office Professional Plus 2013 running under Remote Desktop Services (formerly known as Terminal Services) or in a Citrix environment still appears to have much confusion. Now what is the real story behind it?

One of my previous blog posts talking about how Office Professional Plus 2013 can be installed in a RDS/Citrix environment spoke purely to the technical capabilities of the installer. Bear in mind that this was written when the product was still in beta so was not to be taken definitively.

A great post by Jesper Osgaard at Microsoft explains the Product Use Rights customers get when subscribing to Office Professional Plus 2013 as a standalone license or as part of E3.

There’s been much discussion around this topic in the Office 365 Community, and a recent thread had some great points shared by Chris Clark.

The short version:

– Subscribing to Office Professional Plus 2013 either via standalone Office 365 subscription or as part of the Office 365 E3 suite allows you to use it in a RDS / Citrix environment as one of the 5 allowed licenses.

– The installer from Office 365 cannot be used in a RDS / Citrix environment – you can only use Volume License media

– You need to purchase a single license of Office Professional Plus 2013 via your Volume License agreement in order to obtain the installation media

– This is only available for Enterprise and Midsize licenses not the P2 plan as it uses a small business variant.

UPDATE 1: Another useful link from Microsoft at the US Partner SMB&D TS2 Team Blog on this topic

UPDATE 2: If you obtain Office 365 via a syndication partner (eg. Telstra in Australia) then Reseller Use Rights override the Product Use Rights, and the above does not apply – you cannot use your Office 2013 Professional Plus licenses. You can read more at the Australian Partner Team blog. This is probably the first time I will publicly voice my utter dismay and disappointment with Microsoft on this licensing issue, especially given their recent bad press with regards to their pricing in Australia.

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