Resellers get new Vista opportunities

Resellers have been offered greater licensing options for Windows Vista Enterprise, particularly those targeting large companies requiring centralized desktop management.

Microsoft Australia's director of Windows, Jeff Putt, said the options would only be available to users with Software Assurance contracts which allowed businesses to run the OS on desktops without being resident on the machine itself.

"For customers with task workers connected to the network, this form of desktop management can deliver a richer user experience with greater economies of scale around devices like hard drives," he said. "It's a flexible option for deploying Vista on centralised desktops."

The licensing options available at this time are likely to appeal only to very large IT shops and Putt freely admitted that the deployment options are largely for early adopters, which is where resellers should be looking.

"Financial services is an obvious place where you have static task workers connected to a network," he said. "Basically, any industry with a large population of terminal users."

The two options on offer are the right to use Windows Vista Enterprise on diskless PCs; and Windows Vista Enterprise Centralised Desktops (VECD), a subscription license to use Windows in virtual machines centralised on server hardware.

Putt defi ned a diskless PC as a computer without a hard drive that can run Windows but does not store Windows or data locally. He said the diskless option lets users move Windows data and applications to centralised storage hardware but maintain local computing characteristics of a PC.

VECD was similar to Terminal Services, Putt said, and it would be pushed as an option to allow local and offline use of applications, such as Office, while providing centralisation for line-of-business applications.

The rights to use Windows Vista Enterprise on diskless PCs are available immediately, as part of the Product Use Rights quarterly updates to Software Assurance. VECD is available upon request and will become a part of the Product Use Rights.