How to install new version of License CALs?

Kaitlyn Spaeth 21 Reputation points
2022-08-15T14:17:12.227+00:00

Hello,

I'm trying to create a new Windows 2019 Server for a client. I purchased Per User Licence CALs through their distributor, and was told the licenses would be available in their O365 enviornment. I can see the licenses, but it says there is not a key required for them. Both the distributor and Microsoft support told me that these licenses are primarily for audit reasons, and that I don't actually need a key.

This is fine in theory but how to I actually apply the licenses to the RDFarm I'm trying to build? What kind of licences are these? Open licneses? Where can I find the required numbers such as subscription or agreement numbers? Neither the distributor or the people I spoke with at Microsoft Support were able to confirm for me and so I'm not sure how to actually get the licneses on the machine. I can't find any instructions online that list this either.

I get that Microsoft is probably trying to make this easier, but there really should be available instructions for this if this is the licensing process we are moving towards. Even the Microsoft representative I spoke with on the phone said this is a question they get "all the time" and he "doesn't have an exact answer".

Thanks in advance!

Windows Server 2019
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  1. Michael Taylor 47,806 Reputation points
    2022-08-15T15:13:00.417+00:00

    MS has mostly moved away from product keys in their software. I'm not sure the entire ins and outs of your situation but in general software is now tied to the MS account of the user. For example, if you buy a license for Windows 10 and install it then it'll ask for a product key. You enter the product key to confirm the edition you have. At that point the product is tied to your MS account, not the product key. The next time you install Windows you could enter a product key but there is no reason to. Instead you just skip that process and when you connect your MS account it figures out that you have a license for Windows and it is now licensed.

    So, if I understand what they told you correctly, you don't need product keys. At most they need the product key when they first install the software unless you already associated it with their account. After that they just log in and it knows about the license because it is associated with the account. AFAIK you don't need to do anything special in an RD situation as each user logs into the system and then tries to use Office their account is validated to ensure they have an associated license.

    But this is all just my understanding based upon my own experience. I've not had to do anything with RD and multiple users though.

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  2. Dave Patrick 426.1K Reputation points MVP
    2022-08-15T15:16:28.673+00:00

    Both the distributor and Microsoft support told me that these licenses are primarily for audit reasons, and that I don't actually need a key.

    This sounds like plain old windows Cals which do not get installed anywhere. Sounds like you may need to purchase some RDS Cals if you plan to deploy Remote Desktop Services.
    https://learn.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-server/remote/remote-desktop-services/rds-client-access-license

    --please don't forget to upvote and Accept as answer if the reply is helpful--