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About Licensing

How Volume Licensing Works

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Simply stated, volume licensing of software makes it easier and more affordable to run software on multiple computers within an organization.

By acquiring software licenses through Microsoft Volume Licensing programs, you only pay for the software license. Boxed software, on the other hand, includes media (the CD-ROM or DVD), a user's guide and other packaging items. Eliminating these physical costs and purchasing in volume often reduces cost and provides more customized purchasing options and improved software management.

Depending on the Volume Licensing program you choose, you may receive media, and you have the option to acquire media (or supplemental media), documentation, and product support separately as needed.

In the case of some Volume Licensing programs, you may also purchase Software Assurance. This comprehensive maintenance offering can help you get the most out of your software investment. It combines the latest software with phone support, partner services, training, and IT tools. You can choose Software Assurance at the time of purchase and begin using your benefits immediately for the term of your license agreement.

Keys to Understanding Microsoft Volume Licensing

To choose the optimal approach for your organization, you must first understand the major characteristics of Volume Licensing policies and programs. Areas for consideration:

  • The size and type of your organization

  • The products you want to license

  • The way in which you want to use those products

Microsoft tailors some of its programs to meet the needs of specific industries, depending on the primary function of the organization. For example, public sector organizations such as schools and universities.

For smaller organizations, the Open programs provide a simple, cost effective way to acquire the latest Microsoft technology.

To learn more:

Watch the Open programs comparison video (WMV 3:30 minutes)

Download the Microsoft Volume Licensing Reference Guide (PDF 2.07 MB)

Get the latest updates from the Volume Licensing team blog

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