I’ve recently been looking in greater depth into the licensing of Windows SharePoint Services (WSS). Given that it is a free download from Microsoft the typical first response is that you can run it wherever you can install it. Unfortunately, that is not true.
So here’s what I have discovered directly from Microsoft:
Windows SharePoint Services on Windows Home Server
“I can confirm for you that installing WSS to Windows Home Server currently is not supported or permitted by the licensing terms that govern the use of the software.”
Windows SharePoint Services on Windows Vista or Windows 7
Windows SharePoint Services is a component of Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2003 R2. Customers’ use of Windows SharePoint Services is governed by the license terms for their licensed copies of Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2003 R2.
Windows SharePoint Services on Windows Foundation Server
Stay tuned – yet to determine.
You may or may not know that it is technically possible to run Windows SharePoint Services on all these platforms but as I was told:
“I can advise that the Microsoft Software License Terms for these operating systems plainly state:
SCOPE OF LICENSE. The software is licensed, not sold. This agreement only gives you some rights to use the software… In doing so, you must comply with any technical limitations in the software that only allow you to use it in certain ways... You may not work around any technical limitations in the software” [Emphasis is my own]
So even though it may be technically possible to install Windows SharePoint on these operating systems it is not licensed or supported. I think many people are starting to see the benefits of Windows SharePoint and are keen to use the product. Personally, I’d love to see it licensed on the above operating systems, especially for small to medium business, in order to keep costs down. I do however understand that it is a licensed product from Microsoft and must be used correctly.
When I have more information about Windows SharePoint Services on Windows Foundation Server I’ll post it here.