Product Information

User CALs & Device CALs Explained

A CAL (Client Access License) is a type of software license distributed by Microsoft to legally allow clients to connect to its server software. Typically, most Microsoft server software come bundled with 5 CALS, which only allows 5 clients to access the server. If you wish to license more users you will need to buy the CAL Add-On packs.

A Device CAL - this permits one device (used by any number of users) to access the server. Device CALs can be used in companies where multiple employees use the same computer to access their server. This is most economic for an organization with multiple users for one device, such as shift workers.

A User CAL - this permits one user using any device to gain access to the server. This is most economic for an organization with many roaming employees that need access to the network from unknown devices and/or employees who access the network via multiple devices – such as administrators.

Processor - Some Microsoft server products can be licensed Per Processor which eliminates the need for buying extra CALs. Under the Per Processor model, you acquire a Processor License for each processor in the server on which the software is running. The benefit of this license is that it allows access for an unlimited number of users to connect to the server.

License Types

OEM – OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) software can only be sold to system builders who then bundle the software onto newly built computers; it is not for general resale. When you buy a new PC from a high street vendor, it is highly likely the copy of Windows Vista installed is an OEM version. OEM usually comes in a simple sleeve with no packaging, unlike the retail editions which are boxed and come with various documentation and manuals. At Checkout we do not sell OEM software.

Volume - For larger organisations needing more than five licenses, many publishers have Volume License Programs. The pricing for this type of license is set by the publisher which means that it tends to be more expensive than the price of the software available on our website.

Academic, Educational & Student Software

Many publishers offer a range of software which is priced cheaper than their commercial counterparts as a concession for the following types of users:

  • Educational Institutions
  • Teachers, Faculty and Staff
  • Students
  • Public Libraries or Museums

The examples above are the most common criteria met for the purchase of these licenses but to check if you are eligible please check with the manufacturer first.

Please Note: If you are to use the software within a commercial business environment you cannot purchase these licenses.


You can visit Microsoft’s website by following the link below to check eligibility criteria. The software itself is identical to the commercial version – although you cannot upgrade to future releases from the majority of Academic software.


Adobe have an educational license option and full terms and conditions can be found on the link below.

Product Specification

  • Version – As software is updated on a regular basis, this will tell you the exact numeric version of the software you are viewing.
  • Distribution Media – This in the format of the software provided i.e. DVD-ROM, CD-ROM or simply a Product/License Key (if no CD/DVD media is included)
  • Package Type – At Checkout we only sell boxed software suitable for retailers.
  • Operating System – If your Operating System (i.e Windows XP Home or Mac OS X 10.5.1) is not listed here it is likely the software will not work on you computer.
  • License Pricing – Most software will be Standard pricing although some products are for Educational/Academic use only which is reflected by a lower price.
  • License Type – The most common are licensed as either a Complete Package or as an Upgrade Package. Upgrades are priced cheaper as you must own a previous qualifying edition of the software you are buying to install it.
  • License Quantity – The majority of software is sold as a single user license, 1 PC (i.e. you need one copy for each person using the software or installation).
  • Min CPU – Check this to ensure you computers Processor meets this minimum specification for it to function correctly.
  • Min HDD - Check this to ensure your computers Hard Drive has enough free space for the software to be properly installed.
  • Min RAM - Ensure you computers Memory meets this minimum specification for it to function correctly. Most manufacturers also have a recommended specification for optimum performance.
  • Min Screen Requirements – If you monitor’s resolution falls below this minimum the software will not be displayed correctly or cease to work.
  • Peripheral Devices – This will list all of the hardware devices necessary to use the software i.e mouse, keyboard, etc.
  • Other Software Requirements – Certain software applications may need to be installed for certain parts of the software to work properly, such as Adobe Flash or Apple QuickTime for example.

Stock Levels

Our website is updated throughout the day to reflect as accurate as possible the stock levels currently available. If you have an urgent requirement we always advise contacting our sales team to confirm that the item is available for a same day shipping.