Windows licensing took an evolutionary turn in early September when Microsoft announced two new licensing options under its Vista Enterprise Centralized Desktop (VECD) program. The program allows IT administrators to move the OS to other PCs (or Macs) using virtual machine (VM) technology.
The broader use of VMs through licensing-compliant frameworks is a step in the right direction, according to Gartner. However, because VECD is only available with Microsoft's Software Assurance licensing, the bottom line for business will be relatively expensive.
One option under the new licensing plan allows a VM to be transferred between machines covered under the VECD program for $23 per year. You can also "occasionally" run the VM on a home PC.
A second option enables the VM to be used on machines not owned by the VECD program licensee. This option may be good for companies that work with temporary or contract employees. Having this capability will cost $110 per user annually, but it allows the VM to be moved after 90 days of installation.