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Quickstart: Basics of Activating MSDN or VL Products

Quickstart: Basics of Activating MSDN or VL Products

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Microsoft includes product activation technology in some products sold through the Volume Licensing channel. A product key is required to activate these products.

Recent Changes to Volume Activation

With Volume Licensing for products such as Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 and Windows Vista, you must use a new type of product activation called Volume Activation (VA). To activate these operating systems with VA, you can use either a Multiple Activation Key (MAK) or Key Management Service (KMS), requiring a KMS key.

Volume Activation is a product activation technology that was first introduced with Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008. It is designed to allow volume license customers to automate the activation process in a way that is transparent to end users. Volume Activation applies to systems that are covered under a Volume Licensing program and is used strictly as a tool for activation and is in no way tied to license invoicing or billing.

Volume Activation provides two different models for completing volume activations. The first model is Key Management Service (KMS) and the second is Multiple Activation Key (MAK). KMS allows organizations to activate systems within their own network, while MAK activates systems on a one-time basis, using Microsoft’s hosted activation services. Customers can use either or both key types to activate systems in their environment.

Planning for Volume Activation needs to be a part of your Windows Client and Windows Server 2008 deployment process.

Volume License Keys (VLK), including MAK and KMS, are issued to you under a specific license agreement and enable your organization to use the software and products that you have licensed.

VLKs can be used only with Volume Licensing products; they cannot be used with retail software or software that is preinstalled on a new computer (original equipment manufacturer, or OEM, products).

Learn about Volume Activation and how to activate systems using KMS and/or MAK.

How to Get Volume License Keys

Look up the product for which you need a key. Information on how to get your key will be displayed. Not all Volume Licensing products require a key. If a product is not listed, no key is required.

Volume Activation is a product activation technology that was first introduced with Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008. It is designed to allow volume license customers to automate the activation process in a way that is transparent to end users. Volume Activation applies to systems that are covered under a Volume Licensing program and is used strictly as a tool for activation and is in no way tied to license invoicing or billing.Volume Activation provides two different models for completing volume activations. The first model is Key Management Service (KMS) and the second is Multiple Activation Key (MAK). KMS allows organizations to activate systems within their own network, while MAK activates systems on a one-time basis, using Microsoft’s hosted activation services. Customers can use either or both key types to activate systems in their environment.Planning for Volume Activation needs to be a part of your Windows Client and Windows Server 2008 deployment process.Volume License Keys (VLK), including MAK and KMS, are issued to you under a specific license agreement and enable your organization to use the software and products that you have licensed.VLKs can be used only with Volume Licensing products; they cannot be used with retail software or software that is preinstalled on a new computer (original equipment manufacturer, or OEM, products).

Learn about Volume Activation and how to activate systems using KMS and/or MAK.

Read more about how to get your keys .For most products, there are two ways to obtain your VLKs:Go to the Product Keys section of the Volume Licensing Service Center (VLSC) for Open, Open Value, Select, Enterprise Agreements and the Services provider License Agreement (SPLA). Call your Microsoft Activation Center. If you are using the ISV Royalty Licensing Program, or the High Volume Messaging Services Agreement (HVMS), keys are not available through the Volume Licensing Service Center (VLSC); you will need to request them by calling your Activation Center.

Some products licensed under Volume Licensing agreements use keys that cannot be obtained through the VLSC or the Microsoft Activation Center.Keys are assigned to and intended for the sole use of your organization. You may be held responsible for unauthorized use of VLKs issued under your agreement, so be sure to keep your keys secure and do not disclose them to unauthorized parties. If you use the VLSC, you should regularly review and update the user permissions.(http://www.microsoft.com/licensing/existing-customers/product-activation.aspx).

For more information you can check the links below.

You can also check out videos at http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd996588.aspx

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