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Microsoft UK Education - Software Licensing - Institution Licensing Comparison

Subscription Programmes

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Subscription Programmes

With the Subscription Programmes you pay a lower annual fee and receive an annual licence to run software, with the right to upgrade to new releases. At the end of each subscription period, you can either renew, pay to convert your licences to perpetual ones, or stop using the software. The recommended subscription scheme for education from 1st March 2011 is Enrolment for Education Solutions (EES), although the previous Campus Agreement and School Agreement are still available.

Perpetual Programmes

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Perpetual Programmes

With the Perpetual Programmes you pay a one-off fee and receive a licence to use a specific version of the software forever. The recommended scheme for education is the Academic Select Licence, which offers the largest savings in return for an agreed volume of licence purchases. Although there are a minimum number of licences, even small schools can qualify for the Academic Select Licence by purchasing through their local authority agreement.

Subscription or Perpetual?

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Which licensing option is right for you?

Scheme Why you might choose it Why you might not
  • There is no up-front cost, just a lower annual fee.
  • You are automatically entitled to upgrades and new versions.
  • Under the Enrolment for Education Solutions, the costs are based on FTE staff under EES, making it easy to budget and administer.
  • You can select a one- or three-year contract, fixing the price in advance.
  • Can be extended to cover computers exclusively dedicated to one student, and students’ own computers
  • You must pay your subscription fee each year.
  • If you decide to end your subscription, you must either stop using the software or pay a fee for the perpetual licence. This is explained in more detail in the relevant section.
  • For a single fee, you have the right to use the software for ever.
  • Decision-making on software purchases can be more easily devolved to departments.
  • You can license as few or as many of your computers as you wish.
  • You are not entitled to upgrades and new versions unless you have also purchased the annual Software Assurance subscription.
  • It costs more initially to buy a perpetual licence.
  • Future costs are less predictable.
  • You must manage and record multiple licence purchases to ensure compliance.

Additional Perpetual Programmes

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Two further education perpetual programmes exist, but we recommend that you use these only if they meet your specific needs.

Open Licence

Open Licence

This is a way for establishments not belonging to an organisation with an active Select agreement to buy a small number of licences. E.g. an independent nursery seeking to buy new software.

Academic Full Packaged Product

Academic Full Packaged Product

This is the most expensive option available to education, and is equivalent to buying a normal retail version of the software. It comes fully boxed, with media. An example of where you may use this is if you wish to buy a single item of software with all of the media.