July 8, 2010

App-V FAQ: How is App-V licensed?

Microsoft App-V is available in two flavours: for desktops (this includes laptops and virtual desktops – essentially anything that will run Windows XP, Windows Vista or Windows 7) and for Remote Desktop Services (RDS).

Microsoft App-V for Desktops

If you are looking at App-V for your desktop machines, then you will need to license the Microsoft Desktop Optimisation Pack (MDOP), as App-V for Desktops only comes as a part of MDOP. The downloadable ISO for App-V for Desktops includes the App-V Client for Desktops, the App-V Sequencer and the App-V Management Server and the App-V Streaming Server.

MDOP includes the following components:

MDOP is available to customers that have first purchased Software Assurance. MDOP is then an additional cost per seat. From the MDOP page on the Microsoft Volume Licensing site:

Available exclusively to Software Assurance customers as an add-on subscription, the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP) employs six innovative technologies to improve desktop management, including application virtualization, asset management, and desktop diagnostic tools.

More information on Software Assurance is available at the Microsoft Software Assurance Frequently Asked Questions.

Microsoft App-V for Remote Desktop Services

A recent change to the RDS licensing now makes App-V for RDS available with the RDS Client Access License (CAL). The App-V for RDS license is now no longer available separately as purchasing an RDS CAL automatically gives you access to App-V for RDS. More more information and a list of frequently asked questions on RDS licensing visit this page: Remote Desktop Services Licensing.

The downloadable ISO for App-V for RDS includes the App-V Client for RDS, the App-V Sequencer and the App-V Management Server and the App-V Streaming Server.

TechNet and MSDN Subscribers

If you have a TechNet or MSDN subscription, App-V for Desktop and App-V for RDS is available as a part of your subscription. This allows you to test App-V on various platforms in your environment. Note that TechNet or MSDN subscriptions are for testing or evaluation purposes only and are not intended for running Microsoft products in production.

App-V Management Server and Streaming Server

No additional licensing requirements are required for the Management Server or the Streaming Server; however you will still need to meet separate licensing requirements for the platform on which the Management Server and the Streaming Server run on.

The Management Server will require Windows Server and SQL Server licenses. The Streaming Server requires only a Windows Server license as it does not connect to a data store.

Are any of the components available separately?

A question that has been asked previously in the TechNet forums is “is the App-V Sequencer available to license separately”. The answer to this is No. The client, sequencer or server components are only available as a part of the App-V for Desktops or App-V for RDS license.


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  • The future Cloud based solution "Microsoft Intune" perhaps will offer the availability to access MDOP ressources as well:

  • Andrew


    Can you tell me for definate what the current licence options for App-V running locally on the windows desktop (NOT on TS) please? I have been told that:

    1.It can only be licenced with an MDOP subscription / desktop / year
    2.It can now (as of Sept 2010) be licenced directly / desktop (one off payment) OR as a subscription / desktop / year
    3.That MDOP can only be purchased if you have Software Assurance (SA) on your desktop
    4.That MDOP can be puchased without SA for your desktop.
    There is absolutely nothing I can find on the Microsoft website. I find it hard to believe that an existing customer with windows desktops and no SA would be expected to re-puchase there desktops with SA, and then buy MDOP just to get a app-v CAL!!! (though it is not beyond the relms of possibility….)

    Any definitive help on this would be REALLY appriciated!!



    • Hi Andrew, as far as I'm aware and based on the licensing links included in this article, SA is first required for those machine that you want to license with MDOP.