Microsoft Qualified Devices and Qualified Users

Qualified Devices

Some commercial license agreements, such as the Microsoft Enterprise Agreement (EA) Enrollment, offer organization-wide licenses with custom pricing based on the number of qualified devices. This is the Microsoft definition of a qualified device:

“Qualified Device” means any device used by or on behalf of the organization that is:

  • A personal desktop computer, portable computer, workstation, or similar device that can run Windows Pro locally (in a physical or virtual operating system environment), or
  • A device used to access a virtual desktop infrastructure (“VDI”).

Qualified Devices do not include devices that:

  • Are designated as a server and not be used as a personal computer,
  • Be an industrial device, or
  • An unmanaged device.

In its sole discretion, the organization may designate any device excluded above (e.g., Industrial Device) used by or on behalf of the organization as a Qualified Device for all or for a subset of Enterprise Products or Online Services selected by the organization.


As stated in the definition, certain devices can be specifically excluded, such as Industrial devices or unmanaged devices. You may include Excluded Devices as Qualified Devices for all or for a subset of the Enterprise Products or Online Services, you select. Including these devices can be beneficial as you can license these additional devices to get potential discounts and other benefits instead of licensing them through a separate agreement.

Industry device

"Industrial Device" (also known as line-of-business device) means any device that:

  • In the deployed configuration cannot be used as a general purpose personal computing device (e.g., personal computer), a multipurpose server, or a commercially viable alternative to any of these systems; and
  • Only employs an industry or task specific software program (e.g., a computer aided design program used by an architect or a point of sale program) (“Industry Program”).

The device may include features and functions derived from Microsoft or third-party software. If the device performs desktop functions (e.g. email, word processing, spreadsheets, database, network or internet browsing), then the desktop functions:

  • May only be used in support of Industry Program functionality; and
  • Must be technically integrated with the Industry Program or technically enforced policies or architecture must be used to work only when used with the Industry Program functionality.

Unmanaged Devices - Control which devices are not "managed"

If the license agreement refers to the product terms, product listing, or product use rights (PUR) for defining managed qualified devices, the following terms apply. Customer "manages" any device on which it directly or indirectly controls one or more operating system environments. For example, the customer manages each device:

  • That it allows to join its domain, or
  • That it authenticates as a requirement to use applications while on its premises, or
  • What it installs agents on (e.g., anti-virus, anti-malware, or other agents mandated by Customer's policies), or
  • To which it directly or indirectly applies and enforces group policies, or
  • On which it solicits or receives data about, and configures, or instructs hardware or software that is directly or indirectly related to an operating system environment, or
  • It allows to access a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) outside of Windows SA, Microsoft Intune (Device), or Windows Virtual Desktop Access Roaming Rights

A device that only accesses a VDI under roaming rights or uses Windows To Go on an eligible third-party device outside the customer's location, and is not managed for other purposes as described herein, is not considered "managed” for the purposes of this definition.

Qualified Users

Customers may choose to license Qualified Users instead of Qualified Devices, or a combination of both, as long as any Qualified Device that is not licensed is used only by users covered by a user license. Some license agreements, such as the Microsoft Enterprise Agreement (EA), offer organization-wide licenses at discounted prices based on the number of qualified users. The following is the Microsoft definition of a qualified user:

“Qualified User” means a person (e.g. employee, consultant, or contingent staff) who:

  • is a user of a Qualified Device, or
  • Accesses server software that requires an Enterprise Product Client Access License or an Enterprise Online Service.

It does not include any person accessing server software or an Online Service solely under a License set forth in the Qualified User waivers in the Product Terms.

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