Windows Server 2008 RDS and Windows Server 2008 TS CAL Compatibility

Windows Server 2008 RDS and Windows Server 2008 TS CAL Compatibility

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In Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2008 TS CALs and Windows Server 2008 RDS CALs will be treated as equal in all respects. So, if a customer has a Windows Server 2008 TS CAL, it will allow the same functionality (connection, experience etc.) as a Windows Server 2008 RDS CAL.


Because they are compatible, you can install Windows Server2008 TS CALs on Windows Server 2008 R2 license server and Windows Server 2008 RDS CALs on Windows Server 2008 license server. Please note that in order to install Windows Server 2008 CALs on your Windows Server 2008 license server, you need to request your Technical Account Manager (TAM) or Escalation Engineer (EE) for KB 968074 and install it on the license server.


You can also issue a Windows Server 2008 TS CAL to a client connecting through Windows Server 2008 R2 Remote Desktop Server and issue a Windows Server 2008 RDS CAL to a client connecting through Windows Server 2008 Terminal Server.

 [April, 2010: Article edited to clarifying naming.]

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  • In truth, immediately i didn't understand the essence. But after re-reading all at once became clear.

  • I have a Windows 2008 server and need to have 10 concurrent remote desk top sessions.  How do I purchase a TS-CAL for such?

    Suppose I got this 10-user TS-CAL, do I install it on the 2008 Server and it will allow 10 concurrent RDT sessions from any 10 PCs?

    Or do I install the TS-CAL on 10 specific PCs so only these 10 PCs can RDT to the server concurrently?

  • Hi Robin,

    You need to install your CALs on the license server. by default, any user/client connecting to TS which has that license server specified in the 'Specified license server' list will get a CAL. If you want to restrict which TS should get a CAL, then you can add that TS in the 'Terminal Server Computers' group of the license server and set the 'License Server security group' Group Policy at location:

    Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\Remote Desktop Services\RD Licensing

    Hope that helps!



  • What is a license server?  Is the Active Directory a license server?

  • May be I am missing something, but if I don't have 'Windows Server 2008 TS CALs', only have 5  Windows Server 2008 CALs and Windows Server 2008 Std, is it possible to use may CALs on my Windows Server 2008 Std to run TS Licensing server for 5 client and to connect 5 users to the TS?

  • No, you need to buy separate TS CALs.

  • I had two issues closely related, first was I performed an in-place upgrade to 2008 R2 on our RemoteApp server - this then prevented connections via Windows 7 Web Access quoting that "Another user of your computer is currently using this connection." which was insane, rebuilding to Server 2008 R2 solved the issue.

    The second issue which I'm still having which occurred immediately after explicitly connecting a 2008 non-R2 TS license server to our 2008 R2 RemoteApp server (I say explicit as it didnt auto-detect the license server within our domain, I had to force it to use the server by name) is now we can log in to RD Web Access from Windows 7 (system tray reports a successful connection to our RD Gateway) and get the listed of published apps but upon starting an application we get "Your computer can't connection to the remote computer because an error occurred on the remote computer that you want to connect to.  Contact your network administrator for assistance.".

    Could this be related to the license server being 2008 non-R2?  - I applied the KB968074 patch for non-R2 servers coping with R2 CALs, but the CALs I have were non-R2 to begin with.

    Both issues have been with RDC 7.0.

    Web Access works fine pre-Windows 7 and Server 2008 R2 (i.e. pre-RDC 7.0).

    Any thoughts?

    Thanks in advance.


  • In New Zealand, the Microsoft Schools Agreement is now only offering the RDS CALs. I have a Windows Server 2008 License Server and I want to buy CALs that can be issued to Windows Server 2008 Terminal Servers. Can these new RDS CALs be issued to Terminal Servers running the original release of Windows Server 2008?

  • Yes -they can. RDS CALs will work just the way the original TS CALs did. Refer Alex's latest blog at to understand these two CALs and how they are same/different.


    Aruna Somendra

  • In addition to what Aruna mentioned, for installing RDS CALs on Windows Server 2008 license server, you need to install the hotfix: 968074



  • Important point:  None of the TS-CALs support CONCURRENT connections.  A Device CAL allows a particular client device to connect to a Terminal Server regardless of how many different users may use that device.  A User CAL allows a particular authenticated user to connect to a Terminal Server regardless of how many or what kind of client devices s/he may use.  Neither of these scenarios have anything to do with concurrency.

  • Are Remote Desktop user CALs built-into Windows 7 Professional and Ultimate like they were with the business/professional versions of XP and Vista? Or do I need to purchase RDS CALs separately for Windows Server 2008 R2 if Windows 7 clients are to run Remote Desktop on it? If I want to run 20 concurrent remote desktop sessions from my new Windows 7 machines, will I need to purchase additional user CALs (not Remote Desktop CALs) as well? The licensing issues are mind numbing because I am also confused as to which license type I need. Volume or some other? Actual product numbers for the Remote Desktop CALs would be helpful.

  • Hi, i have 2 questions.

    we(JTL) are trying to purchase qty(20)TERMINAL SERVER CALS for Windows 2008.  the dealer sent use [APPLICATION VIRTUALIZATION 4.5 FOR TERMINAL SERVER] is this correct? and also do we need to purchase a server license for win2k8 then purchase the terminal service licenen.

    really would appreciate an early response and also a telephone # if you are allow to take calls

    thank you very much.

  • I am using a hosted web server 2008 from Right now I can have 2 concurrent rdc's, max. If I want to buy a per user Cal, or pack of 5 Cals, will they be in addition to the default 2 I have?

  • If I have a company with 1000 users, all of which do have the ability to remotely access an application, but let's says only 500 do.

    Do I need 1000 RDS CAL or only 500?

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