Software Assurance by benefit
Planning, training, and home use are popular benefits, but Software Assurance doesn’t stop there. You get a broad range of benefits that help you make the most of your Windows, Office, and server products. Unique technologies, services, and rights help you deploy, manage, and use Microsoft products efficiently. And specialized benefits—such as the option to spread out payments over time—can help you forecast your annual technology budget up to three years in advance.
Discover the value of Software Assurance for your business. The Software Assurance benefits interactive chart (PDF, 768 KB) provides an overview of Software Assurance benefits as well as basic eligibility information.
Get answers to frequently asked questions about Software Assurance.
Sofware Assurance basics
Software Assurance is a comprehensive Volume Licensing program that includes a unique set of technologies, services, and rights to help you deploy, manage, and use your Microsoft products more efficiently. Using Software Assurance benefits can help you take full advantage of your investments in IT.
The Interactive Benefit Chart (PDF, 768 KB) includes an overview of each benefit, and describes which benefits apply to each type of Volume Licensing agreement.
Your Software Assurance benefits are activated in the Volume Licensing Service Center (VLSC). Before you can activate your Software Assurance benefits in the VLSC, your organization needs to provide you with Software Assurance Manager permissions. Once you have signed in, you’ll find a complete list of your available Software Assurance benefits. The process to start using each individual benefit may differ slightly, but the process is similar for most. Review the VLSC Software Assurance Guide (PDF, 785 KB) for steps to activate, download, and use your benefits.
Microsoft Products and Services Agreement (MPSA)
If your organization has a Microsoft Products and Services Agreement (MPSA), go to the Microsoft Business Center to access and start using your benefits. Your Software Assurance benefits are ready to view and use as soon as you have signed in to the Business Center. The Business Center includes instructions to get started with each benefit and links to more detailed information about each benefit.
Software Assurance is available to organizations that support as few as five devices. Software Assurance is only available through Volume Licensing and is purchased when you buy or renew a Volume Licensing agreement. It is included with some agreements and is an optional purchase with others. Your available benefits are determined by the types and quantity of products that you purchase. The size of your organization may determine which of the broad range of benefits are most immediately useful to you.
Software Assurance Through the Microsoft Products and Services Agreement
The Microsoft Products and Services Agreement is a single purchasing agreement that provides flexible options for your software, Online Services, and Software Assurance purchases across your organization.
Yes, Software Assurance is an option available through the MPSA.
Software Assurance offers tools and resources to help your company deploy, manage, and maximize your MPSA purchases, including deployment planning, training, and support. For details about the broad range of Software Assurance benefits available through MPSA refer to the Microsoft Product Terms.
With the MPSA, your Software Assurance benefits are easily managed through the Microsoft Business Center, where you’ll find clear, consolidated views of how benefits are earned and straightforward ways to allocate them
Windows 10 Enterprise per User Add-on
The Windows 10 Enterprise per User Add-on is an optional subscription license that provides Windows 10 Enterprise per user rights for a primary user whose primary device is licensed with Windows covered by Software Assurance, or Windows per User VDA rights for a primary user whose primary device is licensed with Windows VDA. For more details, visit the Windows Volume Licensing page.
With the Windows 10 Enterprise Add-on, the licensed user can:
- Install Windows Enterprise locally on any of the licensed user’s devices that are licensed for Windows 7/8/8.1/10 Pro, and any Windows tablet with a diagonal screen size less than or equal to 10.1 inches.
- Access Windows Enterprise across any of the licensed user’s devices with Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) and/or Windows To Go.*
- Utilize the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP) across all the user's devices.
* Subject to licensing and technical limitations
24x7 Problem Resolution Support
The first step is to make sure you have been identified as someone who can initiate support requests for your organization. Your organization’s Software Assurance Manager identifies you by using the Volume Licensing Service Center and gives you a Software Assurance Access ID (SAID) that you will need when requesting support.
Then, depending on the level of support you need, you can do one of the following:
- Initiate a Problem Resolution Support Incident at Microsoft Assisted Support.
- Initiate a problem resolution request through the Microsoft Support website. Although access to this electronic support site is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, electronic or web-based support responses will occur during business hours. As such, web-based support incidents should not be initiated for business-critical situations that require more immediate assistance.
In both instances, you'll need to supply the following:
- Your Software Assurance Access ID (SAID)
- The Product edition and version that shows the issue
- Contact information for the person who is authorized to use Software Assurance support benefits
You can convert Software Assurance 24x7 Problem Resolution Support incidents to Premier Problem Resolution Support by reserving the incidents for Premier through the VLSC and contacting your Technical Account Manager. The conversion ratio will depend on local Premier list prices and can vary by country/region.
For more information about transferring Software Assurance support incidents to Premier Support, contact your Microsoft Services representative or visit the Microsoft Services Premier Support website.
For additional support options outside of the United States and Canada, see Microsoft International Help and Support. You can also use the "Chat Online" feature that is available in the right navigation column of this page between the Central European Time (CET) business hours of 08:00 and 17:00.
Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack
The Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP) is a dynamic desktop solution available to customers who have Windows licenses with Software Assurance coverage. MDOP helps you manage Windows features; virtualize the operating system, applications, and the user experience; and restore user productivity after a system issue.
New Product Versions
You may upgrade to the latest version of any underlying licensed product for which you have Software Assurance coverage.
For Software Assurance customers, eligibility to receive new versions of products is the earlier of either:
- the month Microsoft makes licenses for that product available for ordering (on the Price List), or
- the month the product is available for download from the Volume Licensing Service Center (VLSC).
Software Assurance customers have rights to the next version of a product as long as their Software Assurance coverage continues through the month of the availability of the product.
We recommend that you stay in touch with your Microsoft reseller or Microsoft Account Manager for news about new products and their availability.
Yes. Active Software Assurance coverage always expires at the end of a month no matter what day within the month your organization originally signed the agreement. For new product version rights, this means that you can still download eligible new products posted to the VLSC during that final month.
TechNet for Software Assurance
Starting in May 2014, all new and renewing Volume Licensing agreements with Software Assurance no longer included TechNet Subscription service benefits. Customers can access their benefits until the expiration of their current term of Software Assurance coverage or May 31, 2017, whichever is earlier.
After your TechNet subscription ends, you will continue to have access to TechNet resources including evaluation resources through the TechNet Evaluation Center, trial rights through the VLSC as part of certain Volume Licensing agreements, expert-led learning through the Microsoft Virtual Academy, and community-moderated technical support through the TechNet Forums.
You can learn more about TechNet services by visiting the TechNet website.
Office Online Server
Office Online Server provides browser-based versions of Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and OneNote from on-premises environments. Office Online Server is version-less and provides most of Office Online service features through regular software updates. Office Online Server succeeds Office Web Apps Server 2013.
Create/edit/save rights in Office Online Server are included with Software Assurance for Office Standard, Office Professional Plus, or Office for Mac Standard. They are also included with an Office 365 ProPlus subscription.
Office Standard 2016, Office Professional Plus 2016, or Office 2016 for Mac Standard licenses without Software Assurance purchased prior to August 1, 2016, will included rights to use create/edit/save functionality in the new Office Online Server without restriction through August 1, 2019. Licenses purchased after August 1, 2016, will be subject to the new licensing terms requiring Software Assurance for an Office suite or an Office 365 ProPlus subscription.
View-only rights in Office Online Server are available without any license requirements.
No. Customers may continue using Office Web Apps Server 2013 with their Office licenses. The new Software Assurance licensing requirements for create/edit/save rights are specific to the new Office Online Server product.