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Shared Computer Activation for Office 365 Business and Office 365 Business Premium

Even small businesses use RDS features, and hence also a Server license plus CALs, but right now the options to install Office 365 on a RDS server are limited. You are now required to use the equivalent of Office Professional Plus license through an Office 365 Pro Plus or Office 365 E3 and higher plan. Most small businesses, including mine, would much rather use the equivalent of the Office Standard product which is represented by the Office 365 Business and Business Premium plans.

Since Office 365 is user based licensing rather than the device based licensing found in traditional volume programs, wouldn't it make sense for the Business and Business Premium offerings to also allow installation on a RDS server for shared activation to represent the Office Standard product?

I can understand Microsoft preferring customers to use the higher valued Pro Plus product, but that's not quite what I take away from the issue. Rather than "justifying" the higher valued (and priced) product, I'm more inclined to find more ways to reduce my Office product usage across the board.

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Aaron Von Gauss shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →


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  • Ross commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    @Anonymous, I fell for this too. That is for Microsoft 365 Business not Office 365 Business.

  • Jide commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Please we need this. I just discovered i can't use it. Now i don't know if to upgrade or not. perhaps I'm stay on-premise

  • Jeremy commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    We use Office Business Premium but the users don't have admin access to install software. I have to install under the administrator profile but when the user logs into windows and tries to open O365, they get this error message. Really? If the user has a license assigned to them then why wouldn't they be able to sign in with their credentials?

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I absolutely agree to this idea, it is incredibly frustrating not being able to make use of the shared activation feature. Definitely does appear to be a money making scheme.

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I don't understand the need for a top-tier subscription just so people can use their license on a shared computer. They're licensed to use Office. Microsoft gets their money every month. Why does the device even matter to them?

  • Daniel commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Please allow Office 365 Business Premium shared activation, so we can use it for small customers on RDS and Citrix.

  • Scott commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Business Premium includes all the features and programs we want, but it will not run on an RDS Server. Why do we pay extra for remote Desktop user cals so that you can then pay even more to install office Pro Plus, (that still doesn't include the OCM). While I am at it, let us install Business Premium with out access. Microsoft Licensing makes no sense to me.

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    This seems like a money making excercise to ***** small business like ourselves.

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    It's okay, just install a cracked volume license version of Office... no more silly per user activation. Obviously this is what MS is expecting us to do anyway, right? =)

  • Frederic Hurlet commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Office 365 Business and Office 365 Business Premium allow users to install 5 times, but they cannot use shared install on head office remote desktop server? Nonsense!

  • Tom Browning commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I think it's mad that this isn't supported. Office 365 is licensed per user, and Remote Desktop Services is a standard feature of Windows Server that is popular among very small customers.

    The increase from Business Premium to E3 is £10 a month per user! We will not be paying that just for the right to use remote desktop services!

    I'd rather just tear out our remote desktop services deployment and do without it!

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I completely agree with the comments here. I don't have a use for the additional products that are offered in the E3 package, I only want to use office on RDS so the Business Premium package was perfect for my needs.

    Microsoft really need to look into this as the E3 package is going to cost me £100k more over a 5 year period for something I don't even want. Very frustrating

  • Erick Sodhi commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Absolutely support this. One of our clients is a perfect example of where this makes sense. They have 17 accounting staff across the country using one of the common accounting packages. We've set up an Azure VM with RDS to provide cross-country access to the application. It makes zero sense for this client to acquire E1 licenses as they don't need any of the enterprise features. Why there are two different versions of the installable applications is baffling. The client is paying for: Azure resources, RDS CALs and Office 365 Business Premium subscriptions, not to mention licensing and support for the third party accounting package. From our perspective as a partner, this is one of those subtle gotchas that is so poorly documented that it's not until after the customer has accepted the proposal and implementation has started that the nuance is discovered. It's a completely unnecessary licensing complication, thus living up to Microsoft's reputation of convolution.

  • Armand commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Even if Office 365 Business software had a 3 or 5 user limit to Shared Computer Activation, we could stop selling 99% of our Office perpetual licenses to our small business clients. Even companies with 10 employees sometimes need to be able to run Office software on conference room PCs, or flex stations for shift workers or deskless workers.

    Now that Office 365 system requirements will be changing on October 13, 2020 to require Office desktop software in mainstream support, this roadblock to Office 365 software adoption just grinds my gears more. As of that date, everyone will need Office 2019 to connect to Office 365 services. They won't even be able to use Outlook 2016 with Exchange Online.

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    we were force changed from the Mid-Sized Business plan (no longer available) to Business Premium and to my surprise a couple weeks later my RDS users can't run Office. This is ridiculous, I have server licenses, user CALs, RDS CALs and O365 subscriptions. That should be enough, after all the 0365 subscription allows multiple installs for each user. Spending another $7.50 per user just to get RDS is irritating.

    The reason they use have to use RDS is to overcome O365 limitation when running on a MAC.

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