RDS and shared computer support for Office 365 ProPlus coming soon!


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Tim Tetrick

I frequently get asked about Office 365 ProPlus running in an RDS (Remote Desktop Services) or TS (Terminal Services) environment. 

Currently, Office 365 ProPlus will not physically install in an RDS/TS environment.  There is an exception in the Product Use Rights that allows customers to install a VL/MSI copy of Office Professional Plus 2013 on the RDS/TS server and then users can utilize one of their 5 activations of Office 365 ProPlus to access it.  In order to take advantage of this, customers must acquire the VL/MSI copy of Office Professional Plus 2013 separately.  However, this PUR exception only applies when Office 365 is purchased via Volume Licensing.  For example, Midsize Plan or E3/E4 Enterprise Plans (or Office 365 ProPlus standalone) purchased via Open licensing.  See http://blogs.technet.com/b/uspartner_ts2team/archive/2013/03/19/office-365-pro-plus-and-rds-ts-installation.aspx for more details.

Well I am excited to announce that native RDS/TS support for Office 365 ProPlus is coming, and is currently targeted to release in the second half of 2014.  It will support Office 365 ProPlus installations on Windows Server 2008 R2 or newer with RDS enabled.  This new Shared Activation Support will also work in cases where users share computers with unique Windows user profiles.

Shared Computer Activation will be enabled during the installation of Office 365 ProPlus using the Office Deployment Tool. Once enabled, Office installs without being activated. When a user signs in to a computer with Office installed via Share Computer Activation, Office will check to see if the user been provisioned for Office 365 ProPlus and temporary activate Office 365 ProPlus until that user logs out. If a second user signs in to the same computer, the activation does not persist from the first user and process is repeated.

For more details, and to see a demonstration of the new Shared Activation Support, see http://blogs.office.com/2014/05/14/the-garage-series-for-office-365-updates-to-office-365-proplus-for-admins-and-first-look-at-upcoming-shared-computer-support/.  (Shared Activation Support starts at about the 10:30 mark of the video).

Also just announced today is the ability via the new Office Deployment Tool to de-select unwanted Office apps when deploying Office 365 ProPlus.  This has been a common request that was previously not possible with Office 365 ProPlus.  For example, if you want to deploy Office 365 ProPlus without installing Access, or InfoPath, or any one of the other Office apps, this is now possible!  See the same blog post above for more information on this new capability as well.

Thanks for reading!

Comments (14)

  1. Anonymous says:

    Pingback from RDS and shared computer support for Office 365 ProPlus coming soon! | MS Tech BLOG

  2. Anonymous says:

    Pingback from @WinObs Tweeted Links for May 14, 2014 | WindowsObserver.com Wiki

  3. Great news. Any idea if this will be allowed in a shared hardware environment licenced using SPLA?

  4. Anonymous says:

    Pingback from Office 365 Pro Plus for Terminal Services | Roy Apalnes’s blogg

  5. Anonymous says:

    Pingback from @WinObs Tweeted Links for May 14, 2014 | WindowsObserver.com Wiki

  6. Nigel Mayo says:

    I’m about to take the plunge into Office 365 and new software deployment, both on desktops and RDS. This is really good to hear.

  7. clarkeb says:

    Hi Tim,

    Interested to know where it is documented that office 365 sold via syndication will not allow the same RDS deployment options (via volume license media) as the OLP office 365 model. Microsoft have been unable at this stage to provide the evidence that is cannot
    be done. Any guidance would be great.

  8. Daniel Melanchthon [MSFT] says:

    Hi Brenton,
    please take a look at the Microsoft Online Services Use Rights. You can download the current Version at

    http://www.microsoftvolumelicensing.com/DocumentSearch.aspx?Mode=3&DocumentTypeId=31
    "Additional Terms that apply to all Office 365 Applications: Each user may also use one of the five activations on a network server with the Remote Desktop Services (RDS) role enabled. See the Product List for deployment options when using RDS. This does not
    apply if you license under the Microsoft Online Subscription Agreement or the Microsoft Agreement for Online Services."

    Best, Daniel

  9. Kyle says:

    Brenton, why would someone want to do this if they still have to purchase the stand-alone product anyways? Referring to your comment, "Currently, Office 365 ProPlus will not physically install in an RDS/TS environment. There is an exception in the Product
    Use Rights that allows customers to install a VL/MSI copy of Office Professional Plus 2013 on the RDS/TS server and then users can utilize one of their 5 activations of Office 365 ProPlus to access it."

  10. Anonymous says:

    Tim Tetrick Back in May, I shared in a blog post that “ native RDS/TS support for Office 365 ProPlus

  11. Anne Cole says:

    Great News.. thanks for share

    Anne Cole
    http://eitts.co.uk/ict-support-bedfordshire/">ICT Support Bedfordshire

  12. clarkeb says:

    Any recent updates if this has been implemented now?

  13. Ed says:

    Any updates on this? Is it supported now in 2015?

  14. Al says:

    Here is an update.. posted 25th Aug 2014!!

    https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj219423(v=office.15)