Definition

Windows Server Client Access License (CAL)

Contributor(s): Tayla Holman

A Windows Server Client Access License (CAL) is a license that gives a user or device the right to access services, such as printing or access to a file share, from a server running the Windows Server operating system (OS). Microsoft offers device CALs and user CALs. A user CAL must be purchased for every user who accesses the server to use services. This is a more common licensing arrangement and grants each user the right to access server services from several different devices. A device CAL must be purchased for each device that accesses the server and is appropriate for machines that are used by several users, such as in a call center.

This was last updated in July 2016

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Which Windows Server CAL makes the most sense for your organization?
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Is there a (annual) renewal required for Microsoft Server 2008/2016 Datacenter Client Access License?
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