A couple months ago, Microsoft revised their Virtual Enterprise Centralized Desktop (VECD) licensing scheme, which is used for Windows on thin client deployments. I first mentioned VECD in this earlier blog post, but one of the changes has since made VECD more affordable. For starters, there is no longer an additional cost for Software Assurance users. Non-SA users also have a slightly lower cost per device. See this Computerworld article for the full story.
(I did actually see the article in March, I just didn't get a chance to write about it until now.)
After a closer look, the new VECD, known as Windows VDA (Virtual Desktop Access) is not as good as I thought it originally was. In fact, it's much worse, or just as bad. The fee for SA users is waived only when the client device accessing the VDI infrastructure is covered by SA, which means a full Windows-installed computer that's also under SA. Other client devices, which would include any specialized thin client device, must have a $100/year/device Windows VDA license to legally access a VDI infrastructure with Windows VMs in it. Ouch.