Microsoft Senior Sales Excellence Manager - Eric Ligman

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Do I have Downgrade Rights for my software that comes in Action Pack?

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Do I have Downgrade Rights for my software that comes in Action Pack?

  • Comments 18

This is a question that has been floating around a few of the online groups lately, so I thought I would post the answer here for you.  This comes from the Microsoft Action Pack Team:


“While MAPS does not include downgrade rights, a partner can continue to use a previous version of a product through the remainder of their subscription year.


The intention of the Action Pack program is to provide the latest software technology to the partners, thus once a product is revised the previous version will no longer available."


So for all of you that received the Windows XP Professional licenses in your Action Pack, you still have the rights to use them throughout the term of your annual subscription.  Remember that Action Pack is a subscription and you will need to renew that subscription annually.  When your annual subscription ends, you no longer have the rights to run the software that you received in the expired kit.  To continue to receive the software benefits included in Action Pack, you will need to renew your subscription for another year.  When you do renew your subscription, you will be renewing for the current software that is included in the Action Pack (which no longer includes the previous Windows Desktop Operating Systems).  At that point, you will no longer have licensing rights to Windows XP through your Action Pack subscription.


UPDATE: Please see the updated MAPS policy on previous version use rights that was announced in February.

Thank you and have a wonderful day,


Eric Ligman
Microsoft US Senior Manager
Small Business Community Engagement
This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights

  • Microsoft Small Business Community Blog : Do I have Downgrade Rights for my software that comes in Action

  • I do not believe this opinion is consistent with the Action Pack and software EULAs that we have accepted. I would like to know what document(s) the Action Pack team relied upon to come up with this statement.

    I would also like to state that this restriction is in direct conflict with the goals of the Action Pack, namely to provide partners "with the necessary tools to more effectively serve your customers." (Quote is from the welcome letter accompanying the October 2006 Action Pack.)

    Forcing us to uninstall our own licenses of older versions of software before our customers have upgraded will prevent us from effectively serving them.

    This is a terrible policy and it must be reversed.

  • So where does that leave us who installed Windows XP Professional? Effectively when our subscription runs out or even if we renew MAPS, we will be in violation of the EULA? That is not cool. Please tell me I am wrong.

  • Well If I am expected to upgrade my xp to vista upon my expiration and renewal; does that mean I have to also obtain windows server 2003 R2 and remove my windows 2003 sp1 test server?  What about next year (2008) will I be required to remove Vista and use the new media kit to install Vista with sp1 from the new kit.  I don't think we need to make it any more complicated for the partners trying to stay compliant.  How about a real easy way to report the "professionals" subscribing to action pack to save on buying the real license.  Better yet lets' actually enforce the $50,000 fine once and see if you could use that money to pay the lawyers to write logical license restrictions for those honest folks.  Personally I think it is appalling to have XP and Office (maps media) with WPA.  How would you ever learn to use RIS if you had to deal with WPA.  SMS? Software Publishing? etc.?

    Were is the BSA website report an pirate license?

    SBS Rocks !!!

  • Are you freaking kidding me?  We purchased the Action Pack for our PCs to get everyone up to XP Pro.  Not a 1 of the PCs are capable of running Vista at all adequately without major hardware upgrades taht the business software does not support.  We have no business case what so ever to do the Vista upgrade except for your dumbass licensing rules?  Who the hell thought of this?

  • Eric - respectfully may I also request that Microsoft ship us updated PCs so that we can run Vista on them along with the action pack... No - in all seriousness, whilst I understand the desire of Microsoft to enable resellers to have the latest software at low cost, the cost of the hardware is an issue that MS do not control and do not think about as much as they should.  They should allow downgrade rights with the Action Pack provide that the total number of units deployed does not excced the Action pack constraints, ie - the reseller should not be able to deploy 10 Vista Desktops AND 10 XP Desktops at the same time - only 10 desktops in total.

    Can I ask that you reconsider this EULA decision and work with the community to create one that works?  I'd volunteer to help out.

  • Eric,

    Thankyou for getting the clarification from the Action Pack team. I have to agree with the other posters this is both surprising and seemingly counter-productive.

    However, could you please clarify (or get them to clarifiy) where we actually agreed to this policy, and also to clarify exactly how long after the subscription is renewed before we need to upgrade all computers.

  • In June/July 2005, I raised issue, and tried to address, what I consider to be stupidity, as enacted by MAPS management.

    At that time it was over the issue of insufficient number of Server licenses required to run the software, as provided in MAPS (MS Software eg Exchange, that required underlying server OS).  It is not hard to do the math, and work out requirements.

    It is noted that this issue remains current.

    Others have tried to raise this issue, eg Hilton running poll on supply of Enterprise, such that Virtual Licenses could be used.

    What is the result......more negative postings, more Partners realising the legal/EULA divide between the MAPS offering and the reality of Partner use of MAPS.

    The MAPS server license issue remains unresolved!

    Humbly suggest that MAPS mangement have failed to listen, failed to acknowledge, and failed to address that issue, to the satisfaction of the partner community.

    An issue (not enought licenses to be legal), that shows a fundamental lack of understanding of the real world use of the MAPS product.  An issue that causes partners to consider a breach of server EULA, in order to test/use other MAPS software.

    So what is new with the current community realisation of MAPS shortcomings......Nothing!

    It is still a licensing issue, it is still a real world needs issue, it is still an issue generating partner discontent.

    The history of failure to resolve partner issues remains.

    From my perspective, it is time that MAPS mangement are called to account!

    This much negative feedback from the partner community, and MAPS management still maintaining their jobs, something is fundamentally wrong here!

    Or is there another agenda?

    Put simply, give us something that is legal, and works for us,

    and we will not be complaining, acting outside the EULA,  and/or looking at ways of circumventing MAPS shortcomings.

    Is this another example of a course in "How to Damage Partner relations 101", being offered by MAPS mangement.

    What are they thinking?

  • It's bad enough you changed the XP licenses from full product to VL (effectively making them useless for people who build their own boxes), now you are saying we have to upgrade all our MAPS XP to Vista.

    How can we support our current clients who will not be upgrading to from XP to Vista for maybe three years?

    Also, why do Australians have to pay $699 for MAPS when other countries seem to get MAPS a LOT cheaper??

  • I second Wayne's comments above.  I've been working with Vista since '05, but there are many partners that haven't even touched Vista yet.  Since most of our local partners have to renew MAPS in CYQ2 we need some time to get these folks up to speed.  PLEASE consider giving Partners at least 6-12 months of dual-usage before mandating that they blow away their MAPS XP workstations.  

    Seriously - this product hasn't even hit general availability yet.  Why all the arm-twisting?  Honestly, we all know why - it's the metrics.  But we're on the same team here, right?  Microsoft has the power to turn Partners into Pirates with the stroke of a pen.  Please use that power carefully.

  • Has anyone on this blog received an adequate response from MAPS related to this issue?  I plan to write my e-mail complaints but I want to see if they are simply turning a deaf ear or listening.

    The thing that really bothers me about all of this is whether or not we as Partners are going to be slapped around for non-compliance and treated as pirates.  After all, they do have all of our pertinent contact information and we are much easier to prosecute due to the "open relationship" we have allowed ourselves to have with MS.Would MS do a complete 180 on their relationship with so many of us?  

    Also, it would be nice if one of us had a lawyer closeby that would *volunteer* (Yeah, I know) to read the EULA (YEAH, I know) to see what our real options are, since I'm sure most of us have not.


  • Yes, your comments and feedback are being heard.  Please continue to give us your input since it is always good to hear what our Partners are thinking.  That is all I can tell you on this matter at this time.  Besides, if & when I have have something else to add about this based on anything that transpires internally, you know where I'll say it...  :-)  Right here.  Thanks again for the feedback, everyone.

  • Away with gone and down with all! MAPS can not be used to run the business and the licensing model can not be trusted for its purpose. Fine print and unpredictability within the interpretation makes it impossible. This will effectively force a hardware upgrade dictated by the licensing model. Can you please give me cash support for the new hardware? This is outrages!

  • Since my Do I have Downgrade Rights for my software that comes in Action Pack? post last week, there

  • I had a great discussion with another Microsoft Partner concerning exactly what "aanetcon" brings up.  Server licenses: Exchange, SQL and how would you legally get them all running on standalone boxes with MAPS software.   I suspect that this isn't an because people aren't really honoring the licensing.  Activation is forcing those not in compliance to realize MAPs does actually have limits and isn't as good as it should be.

    Microsoft wakeup and make it work for partners.  We work 12 hour days recommending your software.  Why should we be greeted at night with bloggers showing us just how badly Microsoft treats it's partners.

    SBS Rocks !!!

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