The cold war continues between Microsoft and Apple. This time, it’s Microsoft’s turn to make what seems to be a strategic move against Apple’s flagship tablet – the iPad. In hopes to possibly stop (or slow down) the continued adoption of the iPad in businesses, companies and organizations, Microsoft has just added an extra licensing fee for tablets that will be utilizing virtualization programs upon accessing applications on Windows corporate servers. We all know that Windows’ flagship RT tablets will be arriving soon sometime this year. Thus, raising tablet virtualization licenses makes perfect sense.
Since most enterprise customers will need to use virtualization apps on non-Windows slates, they will have to pay for a CDL or Companion Device License on top of the Software Assurance (SA) volume licensing agreement for Windows 8. Moreover, since some large corporations today are covered by SA agreements, this means that they will have to spend a few extra bucks to use the virtualization software. While this is not good news to many, especially to those who are using the iPad or any Android tablet in their business, the incoming Windows tablets will be receiving the much-needed licensing rights for free.
Now that might sound unfair, but for Microsoft, it’s a move to hinder, or benefit from, the iPad market. Of course, this means that companies who have invested thousands of dollars in exchange for multi-year licenses for Windows software will have to spend more, unless, of course, it’s a Windows RT tablet – a better name that Microsoft prefers to use for its Windows 8 ARM-based tablets. On the other hand, those who are not under any SA commitments are not hugely affected by the plan. The new CDL for Microsoft’s Virtual Desktop Access or VDA costs $100 per year for a single device. A single CDL license for a non-Windows slate is usable up to four iPad tablets. The same rule applies to Android tablets.