In my last blog post Ready for Windows 10? IronKey Windows To Go is Windows 10 Ready, I mentioned that I would cover Windows To Go licensing. In this blog post, I’ll review three key points that I often cover for our customers when asked about Microsoft Licensing.
The key takeaway is that if you have a Volume License, you probably are already able to deploy Windows To Go today. Now lets’ review those three key points:
1. Windows To Go is a “benefit” of Software Assurance
When you purchase a Microsoft Volume License, which most companies do for the cost savings over time, you either receive Software Assurance by default with all Enterprise Agreements (EA) or may purchase it as an addition. What I’ve learned after many conversations is that most SMBs and Enterprises already have a Volume License and more often than not have Software Assurance associated with it.
If you fall in to this category, then you’re all set. You can use the Windows To Go Creator included with your Enterprise Windows 10 or Windows 8 OS, or take advantage of IronKey’s mass provisioning tool or scripting capabilities for provisioning many devices.
2. Not sure if you have a Volume License? It is easy to check.
You may be part of a company where you do not purchase your Microsoft licenses so here is what you can do. The first stop is to just check the operating system on your current PC by going to Control Panel, System and Security, and looking at the System details. If you have Windows 8/8.1 Enterprise, Windows 7 Enterprise, or Windows Vista Enterprise your company probably has an EA and therefore Software Assurance so you can go ahead and create IronKey Windows To Go devices today.
If you have other OS types like Pro, Professional, Ultimate or Business you may have a Volume License that allows it but you’ll want to ask. Your first stop is to ask your IT folks if they know, and if not, you can always track back to your reseller and ask for your companies Microsoft Licensing Agreement which will include what you need to know.
3. Did anything change in Windows 10?
In terms of Windows To Go as a benefit of Software Assurance (and EAs)— no change. The change that is coming with Windows 10 and Enterprise agreements is that Microsoft is making a new selection of features available only to purchasers of EAs and so I expect that we’ll see more people purchasing it over time. Some of the new Enterprise features will be fairly desirable—such as Long Term Servicing Branch will allow some PCs to remain on a stable OS for long periods of time (think kiosk) as is covered in Windows 10 for Enterprise blog post by Jim Alkove. Additionally there are a lot of new benefits to Software Assurance (as covered well by ZDNet here) such as the inclusion of Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP) and the of App-V functionality. As you’d expect, more features equal a higher price (making up for all the free Windows 10 upgrades Microsoft is providing to consumers) so we’ll see how it all shakes out.
IronKey’s Windows To Licensing Guide
I made a WTG licensing reference guide that our team has found useful in addressing the many questions that arise out in the field. Check out the licensing guide and feel free to email me with any questions you might have or alternatively you can reach out to your local Microsoft reseller for details specific to your situation.
In summary – you’re Windows To Go ready!
You’ve probably have the license you need so there is no reason to not try it out today. We’ve got a large number of customers providing Windows 10 to a portion of their workforce today using IronKey’s Microsoft Certified Windows To Go devices.