What Is Volume Licensing?
Microsoft's Volume Licensing program provides small and large organisations with a way to acquire software and software licenses in volume quantities.
Open License Program
There are several different Volume Licensing programs; donations obtained through TechSoup Asia are in the Open License program. Differences Between Retail and Volume Licensing Products.
Microsoft Volume Licensing is meant primarily for business use, so there is a slightly different catalog of products available through Volume Licensing than through the Microsoft website or retail outlets; for example, many server products but very few educational products are available through Volume Licensing. Sometimes the Volume Licensing products are slightly different from their retail counterparts; for example the Windows upgrade products allow upgrade only from business versions of Windows and not the home versions.
Volume Licensing Service Centre (VLSC)
The Volume Licensing Service Centre is the website through which organisations obtain the keys they need to activate products, download or order installation software, and manage benefits such as Software Assurance.
Volume Licensing Terminology
The instructions and definitions provided by Microsoft are generally aimed at Volume Licensing customers who purchase software through programs and resellers. This section is intended to explain how the terminology applies to donations obtained through TechSoup Asia.
The terms and conditions of the Open License agreement, and the product use rights documented in that agreement, govern an organisation's use of products licensed from Microsoft. The organisation (through its administrator) must agree to abide by the terms and conditions before they can access their product keys and benefits.
Each separate donation an organisation obtains through TechSoup Asia has a separate licensing ID that organizes and identifies the products in that donation and the benefits available for those products. All licensing IDs belong to the signed agreement.
The administrator of a licensing ID can perform all actions associated with that licensing ID and can assign specific user roles to others.
A product family is the set of products that share a license identifier. All languages, versions, revisions, and service packs in a product family have the same license identifier; for example, the Volume Licensing Office Professional product family includes all available languages, revisions, and service pack versions of Office Professional Plus 2010 and Office Professional 2007. Note that the term "product family" is used slightly differently in the VLSC Licensed Downloads page.
Most Microsoft software products received through TechSoup Asia require product keys for activation. These keys are available only through the VLSC.
Not all products require product keys. Some server products and Microsoft Math have setup codes. Usually setup codes are printed on the installation disc or sleeve and are displayed on the screen after you download the software. Other products have the codes embedded in the media, and you do not have to enter them during installation. License-only products such as server CALs do not need installation and do not have product keys. Some product keys apply to all products in a product family, but that is not always the case. When there are multiple keys in a family, they will appear with different product names on the page where you retrieve keys. For example, Office Professional 2003 (including all available languages, revisions, and service packs) has a different key than Office Professional Plus 2007.
Your organisation is licensed to install a product on several computers if your TechSoup Asia donation includes several copies of that product or another product in its product family. For example, if your donation includes 10 copies of Office 2007 Standard, you can use the Office Professional Plus 2007 key to install that product on 10 separate computers, or you can install a different product in that family on any or all of these computers.
The products obtained through TechSoup Asia are Charity Open License products. Their volume license keys and server setup codes cannot be used to install retail or educational versions of the software.
At the Volume Licensing website, you can download and install any available version or language for your product as long as the total number of installations does not exceed the number of licenses you obtained through TechSoup Asia. For example, if your request included 20 copies of the English version of Windows Vista Update with Service Pack 1, you could install two copies of this product, two copies of the product with Service Pack 2, two copies each of Windows 7 Professional Upgrade in English, Spanish, French, Russian, and Chinese, and six copies of Windows XP Professional with Service Pack 3 — for a total of 20 installations.
Software Assurance is a benefit available only through Volume Licensing. Microsoft includes two years of Software Assurance with all the Volume Licensing products it donates through TechSoup Asia. Software Assurance is explained in more detail in Microsoft Software Assurance