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Software Assurance: More Benefits and Maximum Value

License Advisor for Volume Licensing


Microsoft Volume Licensing Programs Comparison

Published: March 24, 2003 | Updated: June 26, 2006

The following table compares the Microsoft Open License, Open Value, Select License, and Enterprise Agreement Volume Licensing programs.

Programs comparison
  Open License Open Value Select License Enterprise Agreement

Organization profile

One-time transaction process with the flexibility of acquiring licenses from a broad reseller channel; available for corporate, academic, charity, and government customers

Simpler license management, upgrade control, and budget flexibility in addition to the advantages of Microsoft Software Assurance

Ability to forecast purchases to receive volume discounts; applies to corporate and academic medium, large, and multinational organizations

Simplified license management by standardizing software across all desktop PCs in the organization

Number of desktop PCs

5 or more

5 or more

250 or more

250 or more

Organization benefits

Open Business offers volume pricing with minimum license requirements. Open Volume offers a greater discount for a larger up-front order.

Open Value offers simpler license tracking on a single agreement, greater control over the software upgrade cycle, and better software cost management. Open Value also offers the advantages of Software Assurance, which includes new version upgrades, technical training, user training, partner services, and technical support.

Select License recognizes customer upgrade cycle that allows for the potential of a greater point forecast.

Enterprise Agreements offer substantial cost savings over standard L pricing, as well as simplified license and budget tracking through a single agreement.

Products included

All commercially available Microsoft products on the product list

All commercially available Microsoft License and Software Assurance (L&SA) products on the product list

All commercially available Microsoft License and Software Assurance (L&SA) products on the product list

Microsoft Enterprise Platform products:

Microsoft Office Professional

Microsoft Windows Professional upgrade

Core CAL

Additional products available on a case-by-case basis

Licensing offerings

License, L&SA, and Software Assurance for renewals or eligible original equipment manufacturer (OEM) and full packaged product (FPP) purchases

L&SA and Software Assurance renewals

License, L&SA, and Software Assurance for renewals or eligible OEM and FPP purchases

L&SA (stand-alone Software Assurance available only for renewal of existing stand-alone Software Assurance agreements)

Software maintenance options

Software Assurance available at time of license acquisition (L&SA). Software Assurance coverage is for two years or until the end of the term of Open License authorization number, whichever comes first.

Each L&SA counts as one order toward initial minimum of five L&SA. Subsequent orders can be as small as one L&SA. Renewal of Software Assurance coverage acquired through any Microsoft Volume Licensing program also qualifies for participation in Open Value.

Ability to acquire Software Assurance throughout the three-year agreement term and renewals, but only at the time of license acquisition (L&SA) or renewal of Software Assurance. Coverage runs to the end of the agreement term.

Software Assurance is included as part of the Enterprise license. Software Assurance coverage runs to the end of the agreement term.

Price levels

Open Business: Requires only five licenses to enter program.

Open Volume: Each product offering (License, Software Assurance, and L&SA) is assigned specific point values to determine price levels. Points are calculated based on three product pools, with a minimum entry acquisition level of 500 points1 in each chosen pool.

Minimum of five L&SA

Each product offering (L, Software Assurance, and L&SA) is assigned specific point values to determine price levels. Points are calculated based on three product pools, with a minimum three-year forecast of points to be acquired for each price level:

Level A: 1,500–11,999 points

Level B: 12,000–29,999 points

Level C: 30,000–74,999 points

Level D: 75,000+ points

Price levels based on the number of qualified computers in the enterprise:

Level A: 250–2,399 computers

Level B: 2,400–5,999 computers

Level C: 6,000–14,999 computers

Level D: 15,000+ computers

Agreement term

Ability to purchase under the same authorization number for two years

Three years with three-year renewal

Three years, with the option to renew for one or three additional years

Three years, with the option to renew for one or three additional years

Payment options

Up-front payment only

Payments spread annually or up front

Annualized payments for L&SA and Software Assurance only

Annualized payments

Sales channel

A broad reseller channel

A broad reseller channel

Microsoft Authorized Large Account Resellers (LARs) only

Direct relationship with Microsoft, supported by Enterprise Software Advisors (ESAs)

Product fulfillment

Media must be acquired separately.

Microsoft provides media for the initial product order. Additional media can be ordered for a charge.

Each enrollment receives one introductory Product Fulfillment Kit that contains an initial set of media for the pools and language groups selected. Updates are provided throughout the agreement term.

Each enrollment receives one introductory Product Fulfillment Kit that contains an initial set of media for the pools and language groups selected. Updates are provided throughout the agreement term.

1 150 points for Level B and 500 points for Level C required in Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA).

These licensing programs provide internal use rights and cannot be used to provide outsourcing or hosted services. For information about the Services Provider Licensing Agreement (SPLA), which allows service providers to license Microsoft software on a nonperpetual basis to provide services to their customers, visit the SPLA Web page.



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