MSDN subscriptions are licensed on a per-user basis. One person can use the software to design, develop, test, or demonstrate his or her programs on any number of devices. An MSDN subscription also allows the licensed user to evaluate the software and to simulate customer environments in order to diagnose issues related to his or her programs.
In addition, starting on June 1, 2013, any current MSDN subscriber who has activated their subscription is licensed to run the MSDN software (except for Windows and Windows Server) on Windows Azure Virtual Machines, providing greater flexibility for developing and testing their applications. The licensing cost for Windows Server is included in the Windows Virtual Machine rate. MSDN subscribers will also be able to run the MSDN software on virtual machines through qualified MSDN cloud partners; more information will be made available on this program soon.
MSDN subscriptions are only offered per individual, there are no “team” subscriptions or sharing of subscription benefits. You should select the right MSDN Subscription for each person on your software development team based on the software that person needs to use and the support benefits required. Remember that team members who install the software (such as IT Professionals who install software for a test lab) will also need an MSDN subscription.
Many MSDN subscribers use a computer for mixed use—both design, development, testing, and demonstration of your programs (the use allowed under the MSDN subscription license) and some other use. Using the software in any other way, such as for doing email, playing games, or editing a document is another use and is not covered by the MSDN subscription license. When this happens, the underlying operating system must also be licensed normally by purchasing a regular copy of Windows such as the one that came with a new OEM PC.
When software development projects are nearing completion, an MSDN subscription license also allows your end users to access the software to perform acceptance tests on your programs. With Visual Studio 2012, your end users can also provide feedback on your programs using the Feedback Client for TFS.
Need the full details? Download the Visual Studio 2013 and MSDN licensing white paper.