Rensselaer's Microsoft Campus Agreement provides participants software licenses to Microsoft productivity tools and desktop operating system upgrades. The cost savings are significant compared to other licensing channels, and coverage is for all department-owned computers, including workstations in classrooms and laboratories. An application form is available for your use.
Program participants are entitled to the following:
- Microsoft Office – Office 2016 for Windows and Microsoft Office 2016 for Mac. (new versions are included as they become available)
- Microsoft Windows desktop operating system upgrades – Windows 8.1 and Windows 10
- Microsoft Forefront Security Suite – also known as System Center Endpoint Protection
- Microsoft Enterprise Client Access License (CAL) suite – CALs are the licenses needed for access to Microsoft server-based applications. The suite includes the following CALs:
- Windows Server
- AD RMS
- Exchange Standard and Enterprise (including Exchange Online Protection and DLP)
- Exchange Online Archiving
- SharePoint Standard and Enterprise
- Lync Standard and Enterprise
- System Center Configuration Manager CML
- System Center Client Management Suite
- System Center Endpoint Protection
How many of the department’s computers are covered under the Microsoft Campus Agreement program?
All of them except for computers for the benefit of outside contractors.
What does it cost to participate in the Microsoft Campus Agreement?
Participation cost is based on a full-time equivalent employee calculation. The calculation considers the number of staff (full and part-time), faculty (full and part-time, including adjunct appointments), and graduate students working within the department. The program cost is $62 times the full-time equivalency.
May we be selective about whom in the department we want to participate in the Microsoft Campus Agreement program?
No. Microsoft allows enrollment on a department-by-department basis, but everyone within the unit is included. You may not selectively exclude people within the department. The one exception is for employees who do not routinely use a computer as part of their job responsibilities; they are not included in calculating the department’s FTE count.
How do we determine/calculate the number of employees to license in our department?
To calculate the “Full Time Equivalent” employee count, please use the Microsoft Campus Agreement application form.
How is media for licensed software obtained?
Media is provided electronically to campus system administrators and IT support staff. Faculty and staff can ask their support staff for assistance. Students can purchase Student Media from Rensselaer’s Computer Repair Center (RCR).
Does our MCA replace the need to purchase desktop operating systems for our PCs?
No, our Microsoft Campus Agreement does not offer Windows desktop operating system licenses; Volume Licensing provides only Windows upgrade licenses. Before you are eligible to acquire an upgrade license for the Windows desktop PC operating system through Microsoft Volume Licensing programs, you must first have a qualified full desktop operating system, usually purchased with your PC.
The license for Windows (desktop) is an “upgrade license." What does that mean?
An upgrade license is used on a system that is licensed for a qualifying version of the product. The license under the Microsoft Campus Agreement “upgrades” the license the computer already has. The upgrade license cannot be used without a license for a qualifying version previously in place.
Ok, so what are the “qualifying Windows versions”?
Currently, any edition of Windows Vista, 7, 8, 8.1, or Windows 10 are qualifying versions. Desktop computers typically come with a version of Windows pre-installed by the vendor (with what is called an OEM license); a computer purchased within the past five years or so would likely have come with one of the qualifying versions.
What if my desktop computer didn’t come with a qualifying Windows version?
If the computer came without Windows pre-installed or the version is too old to qualify (Windows XP, for example), you will need to purchase a full retail version of Windows for the computer before using the upgrade license under the Microsoft Campus Agreement. (Windows Vista Home Edition is the least expensive of the qualifying versions.)
The MCA offers two Windows 10 Desktop Operating Versions: Education and Enterprise. What is the difference?
The two have identical features. The difference is the minimum desktop operating system required to upgrade. Education requires at least Home Edition, Enterprise requires Professional Edition. We are recommending the Education version for campus users.
Can I use Windows Pro or Enterprise like a "server" to host applications?
No. The Windows desktop operating system cannot be used as a "server." Device connection is allowed only for certain purposes (such as File Services, Print Services, Internet Information Services, Internet Connection Sharing, and Telephony Services). If you want to host applications and access them from multiple devices or for multiple users simultaneously, you need to license Server/CAL products.
I am using a PC with Windows Enterprise that has four virtual machines (VMs) running on it. Can other users remotely access these VMs while I'm using my PC?
No. The use of the software is limited to one user at any given time. This includes the use of Roaming Rights; while the primary user is accessing roaming rights, no other user is permitted to use the actual licensed device.