Access to Prior Product Versions – November 2013 Update
Customers who have licensed software through a Microsoft Volume Licensing program are eligible to use prior versions of the software edition that they have licensed. This is known as a downgrade right. More information is provided in the Downgrade Rights Volume Licensing brief, as well as in the Product Use Rights and the Product List.
If you have legally obtained physical media (CD/DVD) of older licensed Microsoft products that your organization is currently licensed to use through downgrade rights, you can use these prior software versions at your discretion.
In general, the Volume Licensing Service Center (VLSC) provides download access only to the current (N) and the last (N-1) version of products.
Note: In addition to VLSC download software access, Volume Licensing customers can order physical media (CD/DVD) copies of their licensed software through the VLSC.
With the release of new product versions, previously available products are removed from the VLSC as they become N-2 versions. Support for physical media purchases of these N-2 products through Microsoft also ends at that time.
As of December 2012, a limited set of N-2 and N-3 prior product versions remain available for download through the VLSC:
Current Version (N)
Prior Version (N-1)
Added Prior Version
(N-2 and N-3)
Microsoft Exchange Server 2013
Exchange Server 2010
Exchange Server 2007
Exchange Server 2003
Microsoft Office 2013
Microsoft SQL Server 2012
SQL Server 2008 R2
SQL Server 2008
SQL Server 2005
Windows Server 2012 R2
Windows Server 2012
Windows Server 2008 R2
Note: In the event that Product Keys for the N-2 versions listed above are not available from the VLSC, please contact a Microsoft Product Activation Center.
On April 8, 2014, Microsoft will no longer provide security updates, non-security hotfixes, or technical support for Windows XP. After this date, Windows XP media will not be available for download or ordering through the VLSC.
If your organization continues to require access to specific prior version products, we recommend that you first contact your Microsoft reseller to determine whether they still have media inventory. If you received past shipments of physical Volume Licensing media (comprehensive or subscription kits) or purchased physical CD/DVD media, you can continue to use these discs to install prior versions of products that are no longer available from the VLSC.
Product Availability Information
Microsoft releases new products and product updates for Volume Licensing customers each month. To find out what new products are available, read the following documents:
How to Get Updates for Microsoft Products
For Volume Licensing customers, the Microsoft Volume Licensing Service Center (VLSC) is your key resource to manage your software licenses and access licensed software from Microsoft. For those customers who are unable to take advantage of downloading from the VLSC because of Internet access limitations, regulatory policies, or other factors, Microsoft continues to support physical media shipments (CD/DVDs) as required.
Product updates are available as follows:
By Download. To download products from the Volume Licensing Service Center (VLSC) site, sign in to the VLSC, and then click Downloads.
Note: To access the VLSC, you must be a registered user on the site and have access to agreement data. If you need assistance accessing the site, visit the Help section to contact the Microsoft Support Center.
As Software Product Disk Kits. Disk kits (CDs or DVDs) can be purchased from your Microsoft reseller.
For more information:
Verifying Your Base License When Ordering Windows Upgrade Installation Services