Microsoft faces new licensing row

Biggest users of Terminal Server will be worst affected by licensing change

Some of Microsoft's biggest customers face extra costs because of licensing changes introduced with Windows Server 2003.

Organisations using Microsoft Terminal Server software to access central applications will be affected by the changes.

Windows 2000 users were able to connect to Terminal Server for free. But with the newly launched Windows Server 2003, customers will have to buy a Terminal Server Client Access Licence for every user device whether it is a PC or a thin client.

Westminster buying arm the Office of Government Commerce is concerned that the changes will mean a "significant cost increase".

"Some departments run centralised applications and there appears to be an increase in this trend. For these departments, there is potentially a significant cost increase," said a spokesman.

"While we understand that holders of Enterprise Agreement licences will be provided with Terminal Server Client Access Licences at no extra charge, we are concerned at the potential cost to the government. As such, we are reviewing the overall impact of the introduction."

The move will create more bad feeling among users, according to David Rippon, chairman of the BCS IT directors group Elite.

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