Product licensing briefs

Licensing briefs provide in-depth knowledge of licensing topics. They are particularly useful for learning about complex licensing situations involving new technologies or combinations of products.

General Servers Desktop Virtualization


October 2017
Provides an in-depth look at the “Self-Hosted Applications” use right and its requirements for Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) that want to provide their own software as a hosted service.

September 2017
Explains the downgrade rights for the most commonly acquired systems License Terms granted by Volume Licensing programs and how they compare with original equipment manufacturer (OEM) and full-package product (FPP) license rights.

July 2017
Microsoft 365 is a per-user licensing option that includes Office 365, Windows 10 Enterprise, and Enterprise Mobility + Security. Microsoft 365 is available in two options, E3 and E5.

June 2017
Explains the rights that are granted to all Volume Licensing customers to copy software onto multiple devices from one standard image.

April 2017
The purpose of this brief is to provide definitions of key terms related to server licensing and introduce the basics of the per core licensing model.

December 2015
A comprehensive list of Microsoft software licenses and dependent licenses (the "software stack") required under the terms of Volume Licensing programs.

April 2014
Windows Embedded 8 is a trusted platform that enables enterprises to delight customers and extend the power and intuitive experience of Windows 8 to specialized devices. This brief explains the options for licensing Windows Embedded 8 editions and key enterprise features.

April 2014
Some Volume Licensing agreements and enrollments provide organization-wide licensing with tiered pricing that can be based on the number of "Qualified Devices." This brief provides a revised definition of a "Qualified Device."

To find out the SKUs for Step-ups, please contact your partner.

Related resources

Frequently asked questions
Find answers to the most common Microsoft product licensing inquiries from customers like you.

Product licensing search
Locate use rights, points by program, and special notes for individual products and supporting documents related to Commercial Licensing.

Product Terms explained
Review this scenario-based guide to help you understand how Microsoft licensing models apply to common IT solutions.

Product activation and keys
Get activation instructions including which products require a key.