Microsoft Senior Sales Excellence Manager - Eric Ligman

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What do you mean I only need 2 PCs to qualify for Volume Licensing?

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What do you mean I only need 2 PCs to qualify for Volume Licensing?

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There is a very common misconception out there that a company needs at least 5 PCs in order to qualify for the various Volume Licensing Programs, such as Open Business and Open Value.  This is absolutely false!  In fact, we have had companies with as few as 2 PCs taking advantage of the benefits of the Open Business and Open Value Programs for many years.


So how is this possible?  It’s quite simple, really.  The minimum purchase to begin a new Open Business or Open Value License Agreement is just 5 Licenses (L), Licenses + Software Assurance (L+SA), or Software Assurance (SA).  NOTE: This quantity of 5 is only required to start a NEW Agreement.  If a company already has an existing Open Business or Open Value Agreement in place, there is no minimum purchase to add any additional (L), (L+SA), or (SA) to the Agreement, they can do it one at a time if they wish.


Here is a visual example on how a company with only 2 PCs can start a brand new Open Value Agreement:


2 PCs Needed (Click image to view full size) 


As you can see, by purchasing Qty. 2 Windows Upg+SA, Qty. 2 Office Small Business 2007 L+SA, and Qty. 1 Digital Image Suite L+SA, they have purchased a total Qty. of 5 L+SA which would meet the minimum of 5 needed to start a new Open Value Agreement.  Now, this company could purchase any additional Microsoft software through their Open Value Agreement without any minimum quantity required.


Note: The one time you would need to order for at least 5 PCs to qualify for Open Value is when you purchase a Company-wide option, such as the Small Business Desktop Advantage.  This does not mean the company has to have 5 PCs, it just means the initial order would have to be at least 5 PCs.  For instance, there are some companies with 4 PCs that purchased a 5 seat Small Business Desktop Advantage Agreement since the savings of the Small Business Desktop Advantage made it more affordable to purchase 5 Small Business Desktop Advantage licenses instead of purchasing the individual software licenses for the 4 PCs.


This is a topic I cover during the Introduction to Open License for Partners webcasts I give, so if you are interested in learning more about the Open Business and Open Value Programs, be sure to register and join me for one of my upcoming sessions.  You can also look to attend a local Licensing Bootcamp for Partners, such as the ones we have scheduled in the New England, Southeast, or Gulf States areas.


As of October, 2008, platform options (such as the Small Business Desktop Advantage) are now handled through the “Build Your Own Platform” model.  Here is the post that explains this new option for you.

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
  • is this an option for anybody with multiple computers or just companies??

  • Here's where I'm confused... if I'm purchasing workstations from any major manufacturer... Dell, Lenovo, HP... they all come preloaded with Windows XP.  I asked my Lenovo rep if there was any way to purchase without XP because I wanted to use our client's XP volume license... and the rep essentially said No (well, I could buy a "Linux-ready" model, but without support).

    My question - I'm a small business.  I sell to small and mid-sized business.  Am I missing something - or do I basically need to buy the OS twice - once from the OEM, and once from the Volume License program?  As I'm sure most of you do - we build an image for each particular customer, and then maintain that image.  But we essentially are buying two OS's for each box.  What am I missing?

  • No, the Volume Licensing programs are offered to businesses only.  

  • @ Bob - Bob, you are talking about two different types of licenses.  You cannot purchase a full Windows Desktop Operating System license through any Volume Licensing Program.  The only Windows licenses you can purchase through Volume Licensing are Windows Upgrade or Software Assurance.  So, your Dell, Lenovo, HP, etc. reps are correct.  The licenses your clients have through Volume Licensing for Windows are upgrades only, not full Windows licenses, so you can't use them for a new Windows license.  The only way to purchase a full Windows license is OEM pre-installed or through Retail Box.  So no, you are not purchasing the Operating System twice.  The OEM license is the full Windows license allowing the initial install of Windows and the Volume License purchase is either just the Software Assurance to add onto the OEM license within 90 days of the OEM purchase or it is a purchase of the Windows Upgrade (with or without Software Assurance).

  • So here’s a tip that I’ve shared with several Partners in the past based on something I used to utilize

  • So who says the U.S. gets all of the promotions?! Last year we offered a pilot program in Canada called,

  • I post this because I actually saw a reseller earlier today trying to locate Office 2003 Retail Box product

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