Clarification of Office 365 Pro Plus support in VDI environments


In the last two weeks I received 3 separate inquires from partners regarding Office 365 and VDI.  All the questions were slightly different, but the answer was the same.  Two of the partners were under the impression you could not use Office 365 Pro Plus in a VDI environment.   They stated other partners had told them they could not do it.   To be clear this is different than supporting Office 365 Pro Plus and session based desktops via Remote desktop Services (RDS/ Terminal Services).  For clarification on that subject please read :

Office 365 Pro Plus and RDS/TS installation with VL PUR  post on the TS2 Blog by Bryan Von Axelson.

Office 365 Pro Plus “Click-to-run” is supported in VDI

.  There are a few caveats.  First lets look at the supporting documentation:


From the Licensing Brief: Licensing Microsoft Office 365 Professional Plus for Office 365


Remote Access for Office 365 ProPlus

Virtualization with Dedicated Virtual Desktop Infrastructure
Office 365 ProPlus click-to-run deployment technology integrates with user-dedicated virtualization technologies.
Click-to-run supports the full client installation on physical PCs. It also supports the dedicated virtual desktop
infrastructure (VDI) deployment on user-dedicated Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 operating systems or
newer virtual machines without the Remote Desktop Services (RDS) role enabled.


You will note that the Virtual Machine must dedicated to the user.


Also you can find detailed corroborating information in the Product Use Rights document (PUR).


From the PUR page 78 (July 2013 edition)


Installation And Use Rights

· Each user to whom you assign a User SL may activate the software for local or remote use on up to five concurrent OSEs.

· The Licensed User may also use the software activated by another user under a different User SL.

· Each user may also use one of the five activations on a network server with the Remote Desktop Services (RDS) role enabled.*

· You may allow other users to remotely access the software solely to provide support services.



So here you have two authoritative documents that state Office 365 Pro Plus (with Click-to-Run) is supported in in “dedicated” VDI environments.


There should be no further confusion.





Comments (15)
  1. Eric Koons says:

    I agree that this post addresses dedicated VDI environments but it makes no mention of a random pooled environment.  Does Microsoft support Office 365 in this environment?  Is there any license transfer capabilities from the Office 365  click to run to Office 2013 volume licensing if Microsoft will not support Office365 in a random pooled environment?


  2. David Williams says:

    I have the same question as Eric. What about pooled environments? Or dies the desktop have to have persistent storage and be assigned to one user?

  3. IanVentura says:

    Facing the same concern with as Eric and David. Is there anyway we can have O365 on a floating/random pool environment?

  4. Anonymous says:

    Bueller Microsoft????

  5. Anonymous says:

    Embrace floating/random VDI or become non-relevant.

  6. mike says:

    “There should be no further confusion.”
    Is he joking?

  7. Steve says:

    Same question, what about dynamic desktops.

  8. Tim says:

    This article is as clear as mud. The PUR reference you make only states that it is possible to an Office 365 pro plus license (1 of the 5 installs) to access a vdi session via RDS. I think it also states this is only possible where the VDI layer is dedicated
    to a single user. What about the scenario where you have multiple users who may want to access the Office pro plus bits from a single VDI server via RDS? Is this supported or possible? Is there a workaround using the MSI bits?

  9. james says:

    Has there Been any clarification on the support of pooled/floating/random/streamed environment?

  10. Joe says:

    I agree this must be addressed by Microsoft! Pooled desktop’s offer much more flexibility and this kind of issue will dictate both the move to office 365 and the adoption of VDI. If it is one or the other companies will choose VDI.

  11. Kevin Wilson says:

    Technically, pooled virtual desktops will work if you install the VL bits into the base image just as you install the VL bits into WIndows Server for session-based RDS. There are Microsoft blogs and Licensing Briefs that describe these solutions / workarounds, but what is missing are the additions to the PUR documents themselves to make these solutions legal.

  12. Hugo Sánchez says:

    Hi there.
    This the info available in microsoft site.

    "You can deploy Office 365 ProPlus to a virtual desktop, but the virtual desktop must be assigned to a single user. To configure RDS to provide a shared computer running Office, you must have a volume license and you must use Office Professional Plus 2013 from
    the Volume Licensing Service Center (VLSC)."


    <Office 365 ProPlus click-to-run deployment technology integrates with user-dedicated virtualization technologies.

    Click-to-run supports the full client installation on physical PCs as well as dedicated virtual desktop infrastructure

    (VDI) deployment on user-dedicated Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 or newer virtual machines without

    Remote Desktop Service (RDS) role enabled*.
    *Additional licenses are required to enable virtualization deployments on a network server. Please consult a Volume Licensing

    Partner to determine your license needs.
    Virtualization with Remote Desktop Service (RDS)
    Office 365 ProPlus use rights include additional options for providing flexible access to Office for licensed users under

    a Volume Licensing agreement, which are not supported by Office 365 ProPlus click-to-run deployment. Under those

    use rights the Licensed User may install one of five permitted copies of the software on a network server with RDS

    role enabled* using Windows installer package (MSI). MSI deployments require Volume Licensing media for Office

    Professional Plus 2013. Volume Licensing customers can access Office Professional Plus 2013 media and Volume

    Licensing Keys for installing the software for these scenarios through the Volume Licensing Service Center (VLSC) at To learn more about VLSC access to Office Professional Plus 2013 media

    and keys under your Volume Licensing agreement, please consult your Volume Licensing Partner.

    Examples of virtualization scenarios using RDS role enabled include Remote Desktop Session Host and Pooled VDI

    (using RDS).
    Upon termination of your Office 365 ProPlus subscription, you must uninstall Office Professional Plus 2013 software

    from the network server. >>

  13. Kevin Wilson says:

    Please note that a new feature (really an installation option) "Shared Computer Activation" has been announced and should soon be available. It does not solve the pooled VDI problem, but eliminates the need to use the VL bits when installing on a server
    with the RDS role enabled. With this, O365 C2R does not activate for primary user at installation time, but instead temporarily activates as each user logs in. Upon logout, that computer is de-activated for the user.

  14. Toine Eetgerink says:


    This Shared Computer Activation, Is that only part of the ProPlus Office 365.

    What about the the business and business premium or the Enterprise E3

    I would like to know if that is also possible


  15. mike says:

    So in a whole year we still don't have this figured out with VDI pooled desktops? We are looking to move to the cloud on a business premium account for our organization. Does Microsoft have a way that we can license office for our users as they may rotate
    through the pool.

    Its so frustrating for those that want to follow the licensing rules and purchase things correctly but Microsoft cannot answer questions correctly about how that needs to be done, or in this case cannot support the changing environment of technology.

    Does anyone have anything further for these "other" office 365 plans and how this needs to be accomplished so that we can use Virtual Desktops that are pooled and still use office desktop programs.

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