Volume License Agreements

Since its inception, Microsoft has been involved in volume licensing, with the enterprise sector being its main market. With the release of Windows XP in 2001, Microsoft introduced Microsoft product activation, a Digital Rights Management (DRM) system to limit software piracy among consumers by verifying the user`s right to obtain the product license. However, at the time, volume licensed versions of Windows XP were excluded from this measure. (See § Unauthorized Use.) Starting with Windows Vista, Microsoft has implemented two volume licensing methods for IT experts responsible for installing Windows in organizations both covered by Microsoft product activation: the first is the Multiple Activation Keys (MAK), identical to Windows XP volume license keys, but requiring product activation. The second is the Key Management Server (KMS) and the corresponding keys. KMS-enabled hosts must be connected to a software license server every 180 days. [4] [5] Licenses using these schemes can be purchased through the Microsoft Software Assurance program. At another level of detail (critical), customers need to understand exactly how to use their licensed products. Most products stored on the server require a CLIENT Access License (CAL) for each user or device that accesses the server. A CAL is not software, but a license that gives a user or device the right to access the server. These rights can be distinguished by whether the user or device belongs to the company or whether the user or device accesses the server locally or remotely. Microsoft® has simplified the process in some cases by offering CAL suites such as the Enterprise CAL Suite, which contains usage rights for several productivity and core infrastructure products.

There is an unofficial KMS server emulator that activates Windows or Office even if the software has not been authorized or paid for, whether or not there are 25 computers on the network, and whether or not an earlier version of Windows has been installed. [14] There is also a program that sends KMS requirements to a legitimate KMS server to trick the server into having 25 or more computers on the network. Microsoft considers both exploits to be a violation of the terms and conditions of sale. [15] Volume licensing programs and agreements will evolve if we improve your shopping experience, starting with Microsoft`s Customer Agreement.

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