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About Licensing

Windows 7

Now is the right time to upgrade your business to the Windows 7 operating system. Use the interactive “Buyer’s Guide” to find licensing-related information about use rights, upgrades, compatibility, and more. See “What’s New” with Windows 7 and its licensing. Learn “How to Buy” the right version of Windows 7 for your organization. Plus get details about "Qualifying Operating Systems" for Volume Licensing.

Reasons to upgrade your business

Windows 7 delivers a better performing, easier-to-use, and more secure system by:

  1. Making the things you do every day easier with improved desktop navigation.

  2. Launching programs and finding the documents you use most often—quickly and easily.

  3. Connecting to company networks easily and more securely with Domain Join.

  4. Automatically sending your documents to the right printer, whether you're at work or at home, with LocationAware Printing.

  5. Scheduling a periodic backup to save an entire system to a network location or a local drive.

  6. Recovering your data easily with automatic backup to your home or business network.

  7. Helping to protect data on your PC and portable storage devices against loss or theft with BitLocker drive encryption.

Improvements to licensing for Windows 7

Expanded use rights and minimal changes make it easy for organizations to deploy Windows 7:

  • DVD Playback Codec and Media Center included in both Windows 7 Enterprise and Windows 7 Professional.

  • Four local Virtual Machines can be run on any Windows device covered by Software Assurance.

  • Windows XP Mode provides the right to one preconfigured Windows XP Professional Virtual Machine for small business application compatibility.

  • Volume Licensing customers may downgrade to any prior version of Windows Professional.

  • Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) Microsoft Software License Terms include the right to downgrade to Window XP Professional, Tablet PC, or Professional x64.

  • Benefit from centralized management of Windows desktops through Windows Software Assurance and improved roaming access to Windows virtual machines (VMs) using Windows Virtual Desktop Access (Windows VDA).

  • Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP) available in new Enterprise Agreement "Professional Desktop with MDOP" and "Enterprise Desktop with MDOP" suites.

For small to midsize organizations

Keep your business running with Windows 7 Professional

Designed for small and midsize organizations, Windows 7 Professional provides a PC experience you can count on, helps you get more done, and helps safeguard your work. It is also the base Windows edition for Microsoft Volume Licensing solutions to help you get more value for your business.

For midsize to enterprise organizations

Realize the value of Windows 7 Enterprise

Windows 7 Enterprise helps people be productive anywhere, enhances security and control, and streamlines PC management. Windows 7 Enterprise is available exclusively as a benefit of Microsoft Software Assurance through Volume Licensing programs such as Select Plus, Enterprise Agreement, and Enterprise Subscription Agreement.

Windows 7 Professional

If it's time to replace PCs for your business, simply get Windows 7 Professional when you order new computers from an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) or other Microsoft authorized reseller. Buying new computers with Windows 7 Professional pre-installed is the most cost-effective way to upgrade.

If you already have a Microsoft Volume Licensing agreement, upgrades are available through Microsoft Volume Licensing programs for small to midsize organizations such as Open License, Open Value, Open Value Subscription or Select Plus.

Add Microsoft Software Assurance to your Volume Licensing agreement and move up to Windows 7 Enterprise. Software Assurance is a cost-effective program that provides new product versions and exclusive technologies—including Windows 7 Enterprise edition and the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP)*. Software Assurance also helps you use IT to maximize your productivity with deployment planning, training, and support benefits.

Windows 7 Enterprise

Windows 7 Enterprise is available exclusively as a benefit of Microsoft Software Assurance through Volume Licensing programs such as Select Plus, Enterprise Agreement, and Enterprise Subscription Agreement.

Your IT professionals can download Windows 7 Enterprise from the Microsoft Volume Licensing Service Center (VLSC) and deploy it on your organization’s computers.

Windows Volume Licensing

Properly licensed Microsoft operating systems (such as Windows 7, Windows Vista or Windows XP) have either a full operating system (OS) license or the combination of an upgrade operating system license and a pre-existing, full operating system license. If you do not have a pre-existing full license for a genuine OS on your PC, see Get Genuine Legalization Solutions.

Only certain editions of the Windows operating system qualify for upgrades under Volume Licensing agreements. The table below lists the qualifying editions of Windows eligible for the Volume Licensing upgrade under each Volume Licensing program.

If your OS license qualifies, you can purchase an additional license, the Windows 7 Professional Upgrade license, under your Volume Licensing agreement. It is important to understand that Windows licenses that are available through Volume Licensing are upgrade-only licenses and can only be acquired on top of a base OS license. These licenses are not a replacement for a pre-existing full OS license.

The following conditions must be met for a licensed PC to be eligible for a Volume Licensing upgrade license:

  • A licensed, qualifying Windows operating system must already be installed on the device that will be assigned the Volume Licensing upgrade license. The following table lists base OS licenses—including preinstalled original equipment manufacturer (OEM) versions—that are eligible for upgrade.

  • You must remove the existing qualifying OS from the device in order to deploy the Volume Licensing upgrade license, unless the PC is covered by Microsoft Software Assurance.

  • Customers who want to install or run more than one licensed OS at one time (including the qualifying OS), may either:

    • Acquire Software Assurance for their Volume Licensing upgrade license.

    • Purchase full Windows 7 licenses separately.

  • Windows 7 Starter edition is available only on PCs subject to maximum hardware specifications

  • Windows 7 Home Basic edition is available only in certain markets, i.e., emerging markets

  • OEMs’ license to distribute Windows 7 Starter products will end on the General Availability date of Windows 8 (GA date)

Get Genuine Legalization Solutions

A full qualified Windows operating system must already be installed on the device that will be assigned a Volume Licensing upgrade license. The best and most cost-effective way to acquire full Windows licenses is with preinstalled software on a new PC. However, if you discover counterfeit or pirated software or a nonqualified operating system on your computers—which could cause you to be out of license compliance—help is available. The Microsoft portfolio of legalization solutions can resolve your license compliance issues, so that you can enjoy the genuine licensed experience you expect.

To learn more, visit the Legalization Solutions Web site

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