After receiving few questions from Enterprise Agreement customers with regards to Windows Desktop Operating System
I thought that refresh the knowledge for well familiars with Microsoft licensing and provide new and important valuable information for those who are not familiar with Windows Desktop Operating System licensing.
When it comes to purchasing Windows licenses, there are several different channels that you can purchase through:
· OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer)
· Volume Licensing (Enterprise Agreement, Open , MPSA etc.)
· FPP (Full Packaged Product)
So, what are the key differences between the channels? and what impact do they have on your licensing rights? Because it is the usage rights you receive with the software that mainly distinguish between the channels.
OEM software is software that comes pre-installed when you purchase a new computer. when you purchase a new PC it might come with an OEM licensed copy of Windows 10 Pro pre-installed on it. One of the key benefits of this is that you then know that the software has been installed correctly and is working properly and if there are any issues it is the responsibility of the computer manufacturer or installer to provide support rather than Microsoft.
The second channel you may purchase software through is Volume Licensing. There are several volume licensing agreements you can purchase through and these agreements have been tailored to suit the differing requirements of all sizes and types of organization. There are agreements aimed at the small to medium sized business in the form of Open and Open Value, and agreements aimed at medium to large organizations in the form of the MPSA and Enterprise Agreements.
The third channel is FPP (full packaged products). FPP licenses are purchased from retail and provide a quick and convenient way for customers requiring less than five licenses to purchase their software. Licenses sold through FPP are either full licenses or upgrade licenses. A full license does not require any pre-existing versions of the software to be on the machine it is installed on, whereas an upgrade license allow you to cost effectively upgrade to a newer version of software that you are already licensed for.
When discussing Windows Desktop Operating System there is a very important rule that compliance manager, ITAM and any other software licensing role in the organization needs to be familiar with.
The OEM Windows 10 Pro, which usually received pre-installed with new PC, is the BASE operating system license. The Volume Licensing Windows is UPGRADE only to the BASE license (OEM). Meaning, when discussing Windows Desktop Operating System, you can never have Volume Licensing license only.
For example, Enterprise Agreement customer who wants to use Windows 10 Enterprise needs First to be licensed with OEM Windows Pro (BASE license) and then license with Volume Licensing Windows Enterprise Upgrade. Enterprise Agreement customer must license the Pro version in Windows OEM to upgrade through VL to Windows Enterprise.
As we saw that many customers didn’t know that Microsoft has a verification process to support the customer while upgrading the Windows software by 3rd party.
We add the form which gives the Enterprise Agreement customer approval by the 3rd party who upgrade the PC’s with the VL sku’s that those PC’s where preinstalled with Windows OEM (BASE license)
Please see the form: MSWindowsOSLicenseVerification(WW)(ENG)(Aug2015)(CR)
We encourage our customers to use it as part of healthy licensing and compliance methodologies and procurement process.
Hope you find it useful for your use.