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Qualified Device: Any device that can run Windows Pro locally in a physical or virtual operating system environment or one that’s used to access a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure. Customers must count and license all of their Qualified Devices when they have a Volume Licensing agreement with an enterprise-wide commitment. Learn about enterprise-wide commitments in the Enterprise Enrollment, and the Open Value Organization-Wide agreement.

Qualified Multi-Tenant Hosting (QMTH) partner: A partner authorized by Microsoft to offer solutions based on the desktop products for customers with eligible licenses. It is Microsoft’s stated intention to replace this program with the CSP-Hoster program.

Qualified User: Anyone who uses a Qualified Device.

Qualifying Operating System (QOS): An underlying Windows client operating system that may be “upgraded” to a higher edition of Windows, serving as a prerequisite license when buying Windows Enterprise or Pro licenses through Volume Licensing agreements or CSP. Learn more about Qualifying Operating Systems for Windows here.

QMTH partner: Qualified Multi-Tenant Hosting partner.

QOS: Qualifying Operating System.

Quotas (Azure): Many Azure services have quotas, which are maximums for the resources that may be created within a Subscription. Learn more about Quotas here.


RBAC: Role Based Access Control.

RDS: Remote Desktop Services.

Reservation: See Azure Reservation.

Reserved Capacity: A type of Azure Reservation which gives cost savings on the compute part of an Azure SQL solution. Learn more about licensing with Reserved Capacity here.

Reserved Instance: A type of Azure Reservation which gives cost savings on the compute part of a virtual machine. Learn more about licensing with Reserved Instances here.

Resource Group: See Azure Resource Group.

Relaxed reassignment rules: Introduced by Microsoft in October 2022 to, in effect, allow licenses to follow virtual machines around a server farm as required. Learn about relaxed reassignment rules with Windows Server.

Release to web (RTW): A way of making software available for release via the internet rather than physical media.

Remote Desktop Services (RDS): A service of Windows Server that enables users to remotely access applications and desktop environments. Learn about the licensing of Remote Desktop Services here.

Resource Scheduling Optimization: Part of the Dynamics 365 Field Service solution which automatically schedules jobs to the people, equipment, and facilities best equipped to complete them. Learn more about licensing Resource Scheduling Optimization here.

RI: Reserved Instance.

RMS: See Active Directory Rights Management Services.

Role Based Access Control (RBAC): Technology that helps you to manage who has access to which Resources in an Azure Subscription and what they can do with those Resources. Learn about RBAC in Azure Subscriptions here.

RTW: Release to web.


SA: Software Assurance.

Sales Copilot: Previously known as Viva Sales, Sales Copilot is standard Copilot functionality that is part of a Dynamics 365 Sales Enterprise or Sales Premium license. Learn about the licensing of Sales Copilot here.

Sales Hub: An app which is part of the Dynamics 365 Sales solution and enables users to access Sales Insights capabilities. Learn about the licensing of Sales Hub here.

Sales Insights: See Dynamics 365 Sales Insights.

Savings Plans: See Azure Savings Plans.

SCE: Server and Cloud Enrollment.

SCA: Shared Computer Activation.

SCCM: System Center Configuration Manager.

SCM: Supply Chain Management.

SCU: Security Compute Unit.

SE: Subscription Edition. The latest version of products such as Project Server and SharePoint Server.

SecOps: Security Operations. Integrates IT security and operations to improve an organization’s security posture. See Microsoft Sentinel.

Secure Productive Enterprise: The previous name of Microsoft 365 Enterprise.

Security Capacity Unit (SCU): A term sometimes mistakenly used instead of Security Compute Unit (SCU).

Security Compute Unit (SCU): The term for Azure compute power to run Copilot for Security workloads. Learn about licensing Copilot for Security here.

Select Plus: A licensing agreement aimed at the larger customer who has more than 250 users or devices. Learn about the basics of the Select Plus agreement, and how to buy on-premises products.

SEM: Security Event Management. See SIEM

Semi-Annual Channel: Previous update channel for Windows 10, now replaced by the General Availability Channel for Windows 11. Also a previous update channel for Windows Server which was retired in 2022. Learn about Servicing Channels for Windows Server.

Server and Cloud Enrollment (SCE): one of three enrollments signed under an Enterprise Agreement, where customers make a commitment to the server products, or to Azure. Learn about how to license the server products and Azure through an SCE.

Server farm: A collection of servers. Learn about licensing Windows Server, SQL Server, SharePoint Server and Exchange Server in server farms.

Server Subscriptions: See Software Subscriptions.

Services Provider License Agreement (SPLA): A purchasing program that allows Service Providers called SPLA partners, to become licensees for a range of Microsoft products for use by their end customers. Learn more about license deployment options here.

Services Provider Use Rights (SPUR): Terms that governs the use rights for Service Providers and their end customers for Microsoft products acquired through the Services Provider License Agreement (SPLA) program. Until October 2021 the SPUR was released periodically as a document but is now published at this website.

Shared Computer Activation (SCA): Used when a user is licensed for Microsoft 365 Apps for enterprise, for example, and needs to log in with their usual credentials and use the apps on a shared device. Learn about Shared Computer Activation for the Microsoft 365 Apps, Visio Online, and Project Online.

SharePoint Server: A content management, workflow automation, and collaboration portal, which also allows a single infrastructure for internet, intranet and extranet sites. Learn about the licensing of SharePoint Server SE and SharePoint Server 2019.

SIEM: Security Information and Event Management. A solution that combines Security Information Management (SIM) and Security Event Management (SEM) to detect, analyze, and respond to security threats in real-time. See Microsoft Sentinel.

SIM: Security Information Management. See SIEM.

Skype for Business Online: An online solution for instant messaging, presence information, web conferencing, and enterprise telephony. This was retired in favour of Teams in August 2021. Learn about the licensing of Teams here.

Skype for Business Server: A server solution for instant messaging, presence information, web conferencing, and enterprise telephony. Learn about the licensing for Skype for Business Server 2019 here.

Skype for Business Plus CAL Add-on for Microsoft 365 E3: This User SL is designed for customers who are moving to the cloud and have purchased Microsoft 365 E3 licenses for their users, but still need to maintain an on-premises Skype for Business solution for enterprise telephony. Learn more about this license here.

SOAR: Security Orchestration, Automation, and Response. A set of services and tools that enhance the efficiency and effectiveness in managing cybersecurity threats. See Microsoft Sentinel.

SOC: Security Operations Center. A centralized team monitoring, detecting, and responding to cybersecurity threats.

Software Assurance: An extra fee customers can pay when they purchase licenses in a Volume Licensing agreement. This typically entitles them to a whole host of benefits giving them more flexibility in deploying their software. Learn more about Software Assurance here.

Software Assurance Membership: A term used to describe the situation when an MPSA customer has purchased Software Assurance for all licenses in a particular pool. Learn about Software Assurance benefits in the MPSA here.

Software Subscriptions: A 1- or 3-year subscription license acquired through CSP. Learn about Software Subscriptions for Windows Server, SQL Server and System Center.

SPE: Secure Productive Enterprise.

SPLA: Services Provider License Agreement.

SPLA partner: A partner who provides software services to customers via the SPLA program.

Spot virtual machine: See Azure Spot virtual machine.

SPUR: Services Provider Use Rights.

SQL Server: Microsoft’s enterprise database solution. Learn about licensing SQL Server on-premises and in virtual machines.

Step-up licenses: Used when a customer has purchased a lower edition of an Online Service but then wants to make use of a higher edition. Find out more general information about step-up licenses here, and specific information for Office 365, Microsoft 365, and EMS.

Subscriptions (Azure): Containers to which resources are assigned as they are created. Learn about the structure of an Azure Subscription here.

Subscription Edition (SE): The latest version of products such as Project Server and SharePoint Server.

Supply Chain Management (SCM): See Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management.

System Center: A suite of management tools for both desktop and server solutions. Learn about the licensing of System Center for servers and clients.

System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM): The previous name for Microsoft Endpoint Configuration Manager


Team Foundation Server: The former name of Azure DevOps Server.

Team Members license: A license for users who need light access to the Dynamics 365 tools. Learn about the licensing of Team Members for the CRM apps, the ERP apps, and Business Central.

Teams: A unified app for real-time communication and collaboration that combines chat, meetings, video conferences, file sharing, and integration with third-party applications. It’s available as a standalone license or included with some Office 365/Microsoft 365 plans. Learn about licensing Teams here.

Teams Display: A category of all-in-one dedicated Teams devices, useful for hot-desking environments. Learn about the licensing of Teams Displays here.

Teams Panel: A small screen outside a shared space from which you can check availability and reserve the space. Learn about the licensing of Teams Panels here.

Teams Phone: Microsoft’s cloud PBX service. Learn about Teams Calling here.

Teams Phone Standard: A license for Microsoft’s cloud PBX service where you bring your own calling plan working with a third-party provider. Learn about the licensing of Teams Phone Standard here.

Teams Phone with Calling Plan: A license for Microsoft’s cloud PBX service which includes calling minutes provided by Microsoft. Learn about the licensing of Teams Phone with Calling Plan here.

Teams Premium: An Add-on license to a base Teams license giving advanced meeting and webinar features. Learn about licensing Teams Premium here.

Teams Rooms: See Microsoft Teams Rooms.

Teams Shared Devices: A license for devices shared by multiple users such as phones in a reception area, or a Teams Panel. Learn about using the Teams Shared Devices license here.

Tenant-level services: An Online Service that when it’s purchased for any user in the tenant is activated in part or in full for all users in the tenant. Find out more about licensing tenant-level services here.

Terminal Services: The former name of Remote Desktop Services.

Training Vouchers: A Software Assurance benefit retired by Microsoft in 2021.