One question we get a lot: What is Microsoft Open Licensing? Is it right for me?
Here is a brief overview, if you would like more comprehensive information we've included some useful links at the end of this article.
Who can use Microsoft Open Licensing?
For starters, Microsoft Open Licensing is ideal for organizations with between 2-250 computers. It provides a simple way to manage your Microsoft Product Licenses.
For new licenses, there is a minimum purchase requirement of 5 licenses*. Additional licenses can be purchased and added separately in any quantity.
What is the difference between Microsoft Retail software and Open Licensing?
When you purchase a Retail software license, you are also buying the Media Kit, User Guide and access to support. Each retail software license is completely independent of any other, and must be installed locally on every machine.
By acquiring licenses through Volume licensing you can easily manage the number of licenses you have, and change your licensing agreement as your organization grows. Most of this can be accomplished through the Microsoft Volume Licensing Center (VLSC) .
What are the advantages of acquiring Microsoft Licenses through Open Licensing?
Perpetual: These are perpetual licenses so they won’t expire, with the exception of Office 365 licensing which is subscription based.
Server Transfers: Let’s say that one day you choose to upgrade your server hardware: If you were running an OEM version of the software, you would have no choice but to purchase a new one. Open Licensing allows you to transfer that license to another computer or server.
Downgrade Rights**: Microsoft Open Licensing allows you to downgrade your software to previous versions. For example: Your company needs to run Office Pro 2013 on one of your machines - You will be able to downgrade from the current version to the 2013 version. This can help resolve compatibility issues with older software you may be using.
Software Assurance: For an extra fee you can choose to include ‘Software Assurance’ which provides you with FREE upgrades on future releases. Additionally, it comes with online e-learning, training vouchers, and employee purchase programs.
Remote Desktop Access: If you are running Remote Desktop Services, then open licensing will allow you to access the programs installed on your server from your remote desktop without having to install them on every machine individually. This also means that if your IT guy needs to make any changes or fix something on your employee’s machine, he can do so remotely. This is especially convenient if you have someone on call who charges by the hour.
If I purchase Microsoft Open Licensing Software, what will I receive?
When you purchase Microsoft Open Licensing, you will provide your organizations Name, Physical Address, Contact, Email & Phone #, which are then sent to Microsoft. Microsoft then issues a ‘Licensing Agreement’ which grants you the rights to use their software. You can easily add more licenses to this agreement as you need them. You may then use the VLSC to download products and keys for your chosen programs.
*Filler licenses: Organizations who wish to purchase less than five Open Licenses may optionally choose to purchase ‘Filler licenses’ in order to meet the 5 license minimum purchase requirement.
**If you require a specific previous edition it is always best to confirm the downgrade eligibility before you buy.
Think you’re ready to buy?
Give us a call at 1-888-313-1124, and we will be happy to help you choose the right program for your organization and/or place your order. You can also ask your questions in the comments below, or via our online chat support.