How to Buy Microsoft Products
June 26, 2006
The first step in learning about Microsoft Volume Licensing
is to understand what volume licensing is and how it compares with other
methods of acquiring licenses for Microsoft software.
What Is a Software License?
A software license grants you the right to run or access a
software program. Licensing software is different from purchasing a car or
house in that you have the right to run the software but there are ongoing
requirements that determine how the software can be used. These
requirements include such things as transferring software to other users
and downgrading to earlier versions of the software.
Microsoft software licenses generally come with one of two
kinds of agreements that specify how you may use the software. The first
kind, and the one most users are familiar with, is Microsoft Software
License Terms, formerly known as the end user license agreement or EULA.
If you have ever acquired a license for software from a retailer or
purchased a new computer with software already installed, then you have
probably seen Microsoft Software License Terms. The license terms
generally either come in the box on paper or cardstock or pop up onscreen
when you install new software. You typically must accept the terms and
conditions before installing the software.
The Product Use Rights (PUR) is similar to the Microsoft
Software License Terms except that it pertains to software licensed
through a Microsoft Volume Licensing program. The PUR, together with the
Microsoft Volume Licensing program agreement under which a license is
acquired, governs the use of Microsoft Volume Licensing software.
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Your Microsoft Licensing Options
Microsoft licenses software three primary ways: Full
Packaged Product (retail), Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM), and
Volume Licensing. Making a decision is easy if you know what your current
software needs are.
Purchasing a new computer equipped
with OEM Microsoft software and equipment
Customer: Anyone purchasing a new
Description: Licensed software preinstalled on a
How to purchase: Licensed software is
preinstalled on a new computer. This is the easiest and most
economical way to acquire the Microsoft Windows operating system for
a new computer.
that the Windows software on your computer is genuine
Purchasing Microsoft products from a
certified Microsoft retailer
Customer: Home users or small businesses requiring
software for fewer than five computers
Individual packages of licensed software purchased at
How to purchase: Licensed software can be purchased
through any software retailer.
a retailer through the Microsoft Product Information
Signing a Volume Licensing
Customer: Businesses that require licenses for five or
more desktop PCs
Description: Groups of licenses for five
or more desktop PCs
How to purchase: Volume Licensing
agreements are available through Microsoft partners and resellers.
the right Volume Licensing program for