Contents tagged with Licensing

  • Microsoft Volume Licensing Service Center (VLSC) updates in November, 2010

    Posted by sumeethevans on September 2 2010, 8:33 PM. Posted in Licensing.

    The Microsoft Volume Licensing Service Center (VLSC) will release new improvements in November, 2010. We have reached out to many partners and customers around the world through Live Meetings, interviews, hands-on usability studies, forums, and events to gather input and feedback on how to improve the VLSC.  We take this feedback seriously and are continually incorporating suggestions into the VLSC.

    Improvements coming in November include:

    • Offline access to licensing and relationship summaries.
    • Enhancements to the Add Open License functionality. Introduced in April 2010, the Add Open functionality allows resellers to act on behalf of their Open License end customers to manage their licenses and provide downloads and keys. Changes will include:
      • Resellers will be granted automatic access to the Authorization/License in the VLSC if their business e-mail address is included on the Open order form as the reseller.
        • You may remember my earlier post about being sure to provide the correct contact information for your customer AND your correct information as the reseller when placing Volume License orders.  If you are not providing your email address as the reseller in the “Reseller address” field when placing your Open License orders with your Microsoft Authorized Distributor, be sure to start doing so right now.
      • Customers can request that reseller access be denied through a 1-click link on an e-mail notification.

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  • Microsoft slugs aged care centres

    Posted by spy on December 30 2008, 6:02 AM. Posted in Licensing.

    MICROSOFT will rip an estimated $70 million out of the aged care sector's IT budget over the next 18 months as it forces users to pay full commercial rates for previously discounted software.Aged care providers are shocked by Microsoft's decision to revoke their not-for-profit statusAged care providers are shocked by Microsoft's decision to revoke their not-for-profit status, which gave them access to its products at a heavily discounted rate. As a result, Microsoft's Office, Sharepoint and SQL server products are firmly entrenched in the sector's IT infrastructure.The Aged Care Industry IT Council says full commercial rates would hike annual licensing fees paid by users by about 400 per cent - and swallow half of the sector's annual technology budget."Like many other industry sectors, aged care has probably a 90 per cent-plus reliance on Microsoft infrastructure, so it's not difficult for the company to say the rules have changed, the fees will now be $X," IT Council spokesman Mark Barnett said."The difficulty for aged care providers is that they've bet the farm on a Microsoft strategy that they believed was consistent and reliable in price."The providers are saying they've spent millions on Microsoft products, and if they now need to pay additional fees their "whole strategy is pretty wobbly", he said.Mr Barnett said the IT Council had been talking to Microsoft over the past six weeks to reach a resolution.The software giant granted "a stay of execution" late last week ahead of an IT Council meeting. Mr Barnett said Microsoft had agreed to take no further action on the changes before Christmas.At least three technology projects were put on hold last Friday pending the outcome of discussions.A Microsoft spokesman said a recent review had uncovered "a number of ineligible entities, including a range of commercial organisations, that were using Academic Volume Licensing programs" under the belief they qualified."As such, we are beginning the process of transitioning these customers to an appropriate licensing program," the spokesman said."Also, we are developing a charity-specific volume licensing program in an effort to support the important work undertaken by not-for-profit organisations."However, we are not yet in a position to announce final details around this program."

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  • Microsoft Advances Volume Purchasing With Select Plus Offering

    Posted by sumeethevans on July 1 2008, 8:34 PM. Posted in Licensing.

    The new Microsoft Select Plus Volume Licensing program offers larger companies with multiple business units flexibility in purchasing, streamlined license management, and reduced time and potential costs of renegotiating licensing agreements.

    The flexible licensing program enables customers to automatically realize price advantages for volume purchasing across the entire company at corporate and affiliate locations. It can also track both the contract and ordering processes under a single customer ID, making it easier to manage software licenses throughout an organization. Informed by customer research, the new program helps Microsoft Corp. improve the way it brings products and services to market and supports its ongoing relationships with customers.

    Select Plus provides customers with additional options for purchasing and represents a fundamental shift in how customers and partners can manage the acquisition of software licenses. Through a unique set of customer benefits and features, Select Plus can simplify purchasing with a single agreement under the Master Business Agreement while eliminating variances based on purchase timing.

    “Select Plus is a tailored response to customer feedback for greater flexibility and enhanced manageability in purchasing,” said Joe Matz, corporate vice president for Worldwide Licensing and Pricing at Microsoft. “We depend greatly on our customers’ input to gain a deep understanding of the features and benefits they’re looking for. We want to enable an optimal purchasing experience, not to mention simplify the ongoing management of their software licenses so they get the most value out of their investment.”

    Select Plus is a natural add-on to customers’ existing Enterprise Agreements and an alternative to the traditional Select License to consolidate transactional purchasing across multiple agreements. Customers can easily purchase and manage additional licensed products and services on a per-project basis as well as instantly qualify for the next discounted price level through increased purchase volume. Because Select Plus agreements never expire for transactional purchases, customers can experience more flexibility while eliminating the need to renegotiate and renew their contracts. In addition, customers choosing to add Microsoft Software Assurance (http://www.microsoft.com/licensing/sa/default.mspx) can do so at any time and receive the full 36 months of Software Assurance benefits such as deployment planning services, support and training.

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  • Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack 2008 Released

    Posted by sumeethevans on April 3 2008, 12:37 AM. Posted in Licensing, Windows Vista.

    Today marks the release of the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP) 2008 - a set of tools for IT Pros managing IT environments for companies who have purchased MDOP plus Windows Software Assurance agreements with Microsoft. There are two key product updates in this release I'd like to highlight that I think IT Pros will find very useful  - Diagnostics and Recovery Toolset 6.0 (DaRT) and Desktop Error Monitoring 3.0 SP1 (DEM).

    For those of you not familiar with DaRT, it provides a set of tools for IT Pros to debug and troubleshoot unbootable PCs.  DaRT 6.0 brings in some new tools worth taking note of. Tools such as Locksmith can reset a local administrator password, while Hotfix Uninstall can remove a bad hotfix.  This is especially useful if the hotfix was the cause of the PC crash.  Perhaps one of the simplest uses for DaRT is to recover files from the PC, even if they have been removed from the recycle bin.  One of the new features in DaRT 6.0 is the Standalone System Sweeper, an antimalware product that runs while the Windows operating system is unbootable.  This tool, which can receive updated virus/spyware definitions via USB thumb drive or online, will scan the PC's hard drive and is even effective at removing malware which use rootkits to avoid detection.  DaRT 6.0 was previously available in beta, and Brandon had a chance to check it out late last year on the Windows Experience Blog.

    DEM is a tool which allows the IT department to monitor all of the little application and operating system crashes that occur in an IT environment.  You can think of it as a "Watson for companies."  Whenever end users have a pop up error that normally says "Click to send to Microsoft," the Administrator can now use DEM to automatically redirect all of those errors to the DEM server.  By tracking all of these errors, companies can create a more stable PC environment for their end users.  They can also use it to track internally developed applications and use the feedback to improve their own development process. 

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  • Volume Activation Management Tool (VAMT) 1.1 (x86)

    Posted by sumeethevans on March 28 2008, 8:45 AM. Posted in Licensing.

    The Microsoft Volume Activation Management Tool (VAMT) is part of Microsoft Volume Activation 2.0 and allows organizations to manage the activation of their Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 computers using Multiple Activation Key (MAK) keys.A MAK performs a one-time activation of computers with Microsoft. Once the computers are activated they require no further communication with Microsoft. The number of computers that can be activated with a specific MAK is based on the type and level of the organization’s volume license agreement with Microsoft. VAMT version 1.1 enables the following functionality:
  • MAK Independent Activation: Each computer individually connects and activates with Microsoft either online or via telephone
  • MAK Proxy Activation: Activation of multiple computers with one online connection to Microsoft
  • Activation Status: Ability to determine the activation status of Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 computers
  • Remaining MAK activations: The current remaining activations associated with a MAK key
  • XML Import/Export: Allows for exporting and importing of data in a well formed XML format to enable activation of systems in disconnected environment scenarios
  • Local reactivation: Enables reactivation of computers based on saved activation data stored in the VAMT XML computer information list
  • Configure for KMS activation: Convert MAK activated volume editions of Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 to KMS activation

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  • Microsoft Debuts New Licensing Program to Enable Resellers to Help Enterprises That Are Victims of Counterfeit Software

    Posted by sumeethevans on October 3 2007, 11:41 PM. Posted in Licensing.

    Protecting customers and partners from the problems associated with counterfeit software has long been a Microsoft priority, and the company continues to invest in developing solutions to help customers resolve licensing deficiencies.

    Most recently, Microsoft has responded to customer feedback by creating programs that add options for legalizing Windows XP Professional. The Get Genuine Kit (GGK), launched in July 2006, and the Get Genuine Windows Agreement (GGWA), launching today, seek to make it easier for businesses to obtain legal licenses of Windows XP software. With GGWA, business customers can now purchase full licenses of Windows XP the same way they acquire other software, through a Volume Licensing program offered through their reseller.

    These programs follow the genesis of Microsoft’s Genuine Software Initiative (GSI), which unites Microsoft’s many anti-piracy efforts under a single corporate umbrella. The initiative targets three strategic areas: Education, Engineering, and Enforcement. Within each area, Microsoft is driving activities and creating programs that inform and protect consumers and resellers from counterfeit software and other forms of software piracy.

    Associated programs such as the Microsoft Genuine Advantage programs—Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) and Office Genuine Advantage (OGA) —seek to add value for customers with genuine products through various add-ons and downloads, and provide redress for customers who have received counterfeit software. These programs also alert users whose software might not be genuine, and some customers may be eligible to receive a replacement copy in exchange for their counterfeit Microsoft Windows or Office software. To learn more about the GGWA and about other efforts Microsoft has put in place to help customers become properly licensed and acquire genuine software, PressPass spoke with Cori Hartje, director of Microsoft’s Genuine Software Initiative.

     

    PressPass: What happens when software is pirated? Why is it a problem, and who is affected?

    Hartje: We know there are people out there who probably wonder why Microsoft spends so much time and effort ensuring consumers and businesses have access to fully licensed, genuine software. For starters, the economic effects of software piracy are staggering, and it’s a financial issue that plagues everyone from Fortune 500 companies to family-owned businesses.

    The Business Software Alliance (BSA) reports that commercial software is a US$175 billion industry, which translates into jobs for roughly 2.3 million people across the globe. Recent BSA research also reveals that the rate of counterfeit or unlicensed software is about 35 percent worldwide and more than 80 percent in certain countries. Technology can be a major contributor to economic development initiatives, and the introduction of counterfeit or pirated software threatens that process.

    As we examine other aspects of the software ecosystem, illegal products adversely affect partners too. It’s often tough for them to compete with the lower prices of counterfeiters who offer non-genuine software products at lower prices. Some of the counterfeit packages are carefully designed to deceive the public because they look so much like the real thing. Customers who believe they’re buying genuine pay good money and get duped. Good, honest businesses and good, honest people can easily be deceived.

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  • Black screen of darkness to haunt Vista pirates

    Posted by sumeethevans on September 12 2007, 3:44 AM. Posted in Licensing, Windows Vista.

    Microsoft Windows' infamous "blue screen of death" has become synonymous with an operating system crash or freeze, but that's nothing compared with what users of pirated copies of Vista worldwide can expect from now -- a black screen of darkness. In an e-mail to a large Windows Vista distributor titled "Pirated Vista -- A darkness descends!" -- a local Microsoft representative made it quite clear what Vista pirates can expect to happen to their unlicensed installations.

    A copy of this e-mail was obtained by Computerworld.

    "Good afternoon, as of this week, Microsoft has activated a function in Vista called 'Reduced Functionality.' This is a specific function in Vista that effectively disables nongenuine copies of Windows. Therefore anyone who has a pirated copy of Vista will experience:

    A black screen after one hour of browsingNo start menu or task barNo desktop

    Please communicate this antipiracy initiative from Microsoft to your resellers -- note this function has only just been activated in Vista worldwide and therefore any issues with nongenuine versions will start to arise from now onward."

    Microsoft's new tough antipiracy move also proves the company still controls its software releases with an iron fist, but it marks the first global use of heavy-handed tactics for pirated copies of Windows. The e-mail message also included what resembled an advertisement of the new antipiracy initiative.

    Titled "Don't let this happen to your customers," the advertisement indicates nongenuine copies of Windows Vista will lose access to key features, have limited access to updates, and thus risk attack from viruses, malware and spyware.

    "If Windows Vista is not activated with a genuine product key, your customers will experience reduced functionality," according to the ad. "The blocking of nongenuine product keys is an ongoing process, not a one-time event. To help protect honest partners and fight piracy, Microsoft will continue to block product keys that are determined to be pirated, stolen or otherwise deemed nongenuine."

    The ad concludes with "Don't risk it!" and "make sure your customers always get genuine Windows Vista preinstalled."

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  • Microsoft: Long way to go on counterfeit software

    Posted by sumeethevans on September 10 2007, 8:44 PM. Posted in Windows (general), Licensing, Microsoft Corp.

    Microsoft on Friday said it may take decades to tackle the problem of counterfeit software in large emerging economies, despite some recent progress, and called on Asian governments to invest more in policing the practice.

    "We are realistic in recognising that we have to work diligently over periods, that are really a decade or two, to make real progress in a number of these environments," Craig Mundie, Microsoft chief research and strategy officer, told Reuters. Mundie, one of the successors to Microsoft founder Bill Gates next year, said progress had been made in countries like China and Vietnam in recent years to tackle counterfeit software, which costs the company billions of dollars each year.

    However, he said more needed to be done to police the problem. "Most of the Asian countries have the laws, some of the regulations — they probably need tuning up — but the biggest weakness is: very few of them have made the necessary investment on the enforcement side," Mundie said.

    Microsoft has made progress in China, where the counterfeit software rate has dropped to 82 percent this year from 94 percent four years ago, he said. The rate is a measure of the level of counterfeit software in the country. China President Hu Jintao last year pledged to crack down on software piracy.

    Mundie was speaking to Reuters on the sidelines of a meeting of the 21 Asia-Pacific leaders, some of whom have pledged flexibility in trade talks, which have dragged for years. "As businesspeople, we certainly find it encouraging that the Doha [Development] Round could get completed and trade can go to the next level," said Mundie, who earlier addressed a forum of business leaders. He said Microsoft expected to continue to grow its workforce, and research and development capability, in countries outside its dominant US market, such as India.

    The software company has been expanding beyond its Windows operating system and Office productivity software businesses, saying web services and consumer devices are key to the company's future. Its software products account for most of the company's profit.

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  • Volume licensees to get fewer CDs, shorter contracts

    Posted by sumeethevans on September 6 2007, 10:05 PM. Posted in Licensing, Microsoft Corp.

    Microsoft is making a number of tweaks to its volume-licensing policies and procedures in the name of cutting complexity and reducing environmental waste.

    The changes affect those licensing Microsoft products under Enterprise Agreements, Select licenses and Open License Agreements and will take affect over the course of the first half of Microsoft’s fiscal 2008 (which kicked off on July 1).

    Microsoft is reducing the quantity of CDs it ships to its volume licensees by shipping to them only the most widely used software on discs. The rest of its software will go out over electronic download from the Microsoft volume-licensing services Web site. The new policy will create less waste, “which is good for the environment,” according to a statement from a company spokesman.

    Microsoft also has reduced the length of its volume-license contracts between 10 percent and 50 percent, depending on the program, officials said. The company has removed all signature blocks from its volume-license forms. Instead, licensees will get a new signature form that requires only a “single signature event” with the customer.

    Microsoft also is making price information about products easier to find in its contracts by reducing the number of different price points and SKUs in its volume-license programs.

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  • Microsoft third-party licensing and activation server set to RTM

    Posted by sumeethevans on August 31 2007, 8:42 PM. Posted in Licensing.

    In July, Microsoft announced its intentions to deliver a number of licensing technologies to third-party vendors interesting in deploying Microsoft-like activation and licensing in their products

    One of those components, the Software Licensing and Protection Server (SLP), is likely to be released to manufacturing (RTM) on August 31, according to a Microsoft blog entry by a member of the SLP team.

    The SLP server will allow third-party software vendors to host their own servers and create software licenses — machine-based, time-based (for software subscriptions and trials), user-based and/or feature-based — for their products. The server will generate a key, which users will use to activate their software, via a digital license. ISVs will be able to turn on different features and different SKUs for different markets without having to go back and tweak the code for each version. Microsoft plans for the SLP Server will come in two versions: Standard and Enterprise.

    Although SLP won’t provide the kind of anti-piracy checks that Microsoft’s own Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) system does, it does provide third parties with product-activation technology. (And yes, the irony of Microsoft RTMing an activation product a week after its own activation system went down is not lost on me.)

    Microsoft has said to expect its SLP server and accompanying services to launch on October 1.

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  • Microsoft Open Licensing Renewals Made Easy

    Posted by sumeethevans on August 29 2007, 1:22 AM. Posted in Licensing.

    In my, “ Do my licenses expire after three years with Open Value? ” post, I talked about how licenses acquired through Volume Licensing do not expire and how you have the option to renew your Software Assurance coverage for an additional three year of benefits.So, are you talking with your clients about their upcoming agreements that are due for renewal?Do your commercial customers have Open licensing agreements with Microsoft that are due for renewal? Not sure? We can help.

    Microsoft, in partnership with our top distributors, has teamed up to provide you with:<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /?><o:p></o:p>

    • Information about all of YOUR customers that have Open renewals coming up<o:p></o:p>
    • Simple, concise training and documentation on how to approach the conversation with your customer, and execute the renewal

    The goal? We want to ensure that you, our partners, are armed with the information you need to help your customers make educated, cost-effective decisions around their Microsoft licensing needs.

    The process is simple. If you’d like information on your customers, send an email to the following address. Please note, all information is required, and we will respond to your request within 3 business days.  If we have any questions on your request, we’ll reach out to you via phone or email, so please ensure you double-check your contact information when submitting.<o:p></o:p>

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  • Microsoft Simplifies Volume Licensing!

    Posted by sumeethevans on August 8 2007, 5:13 PM. Posted in Licensing.

    Learn About New and Upcoming Changes, Tools

    Save time on customer Volume Licensing consultations and speed your sales cycle. Newly announced Volume Licensing changes encompass Enterprise, Select License, and Open License program-agreement updates. Enterprise Agreement and Select License fulfillment improvements. Price-list updates. New self-service online tools, including Microsoft LicenseWise for Volume Licensing and the Microsoft Volume Licensing Service Center. Find information to effectively communicate the changes to your sales staff and customers.

    Microsoft LicenseWise for Volume Licensing

    Our new license-quote application helps you recommend product and licensing solutions for your customers. Optimize the sales process. And build new revenue opportunities. LicenseWise integrates with Microsoft Product Licensing Advisor (MPLA) for seamless partner-to-customer quote

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