Understanding Windows Licensing

Going through this article will help understanding windows licensing. One of the biggest costs to any IT department is the cost of software. When you add the client copies of Windows and Office, the cost of the server operating system, and the cost of  additional enterprise software such as Exchange or SQL, it can easily add up to thousands of dollars. Therefore, you need to look at your available options to get the best price for what you need to do.

A software license is given to you from a software company like Microsoft that gives you permission to use a specific software package and usually comes with many restrictions. Most licenses from corporations such as Microsoft work more like a lease rather than a purchase of the actual software. The typical restriction limits you to use only one copy of the software per license and prohibits you from distributing or copying the license in any way (except for backup purposes). Licenses for enterprise-class server software (such as Microsoft Exchange or Microsoft SQL) could also require a Client Access License (CAL) for each user that is to access the server software.

The least inexpensive license to obtain is the OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) license, which can only be purchased with a new computer from a system builder such as HP or IBM.

Unfortunately, these licenses are tied to a specific machine and cannot be transferred later to a new machine. The OEM is usually responsible for technical support on the software that you bought.
The retail license (usually purchased from your office or computer store or over the Internet) allows you move it from one machine to another. Of course, retail software usually costs more than OEM software. Another disadvantage of using retail software from Microsoft is that you need to enter a key code to activate the software. Another disadvantage is that if you move the software to another computer or you make semi-significant changes such as adding RAM or a new hard drive, you may need to re-activate the software.

Finally, Microsoft has several volume licensing programs available to organize their licenses and to keep you up to date with the newest software at a discounted price. The Open license is intended for businesses with at least 5 PCs, and Select License and Enterprise Agreement Plans are licensing programs intended for corporations with at least 250 PCs. Each of these programs may have additional benefits such as free take-home licenses and training.

Volume licensing can be further broken down into Multiple Activation Key (MAK) and Key Management Services (KMS). With MAK, each key has to be registered and activated individually, while Key Management Services (KMS) uses a KMS server to automatically connect to Microsoft’s license warehouse and activate the key.

Articles in this Course

  1. Selecting Server Hardware
  2. Selecting the Software
  3. Performing Clean Installation of Windows Server 2008 R2
  4. Performing an Upgrade to Windows Server 2008 R2
  5. Disk Cloning and System Preparation Tool
  6. Performing an Unattended Installation
  7. Installing Windows Server 2008 R2 Using Windows Deployment Services
  8. Understanding Windows Licensing
  9. Understanding Windows Activation
  10. Understanding Windows Updates
  11. Understanding User Account Control
  12. Introducing System Settings
  13. Changing Computer Name and Domain Settings
  14. Configuring Remote Settings
  15. Changing Date and Time
  16. Understanding Plug and Play Devices
  17. Understanding Signed Drivers
  18. Using Devices and Printers
  19. Using Device Manager
  20. Using Computer Management Console and Server Management Console
  21. Managing Programs
  22. Managing Roles and Features
  23. Comparing IDE and SCSI Drives
  24. Introducing Redundant Arrays of Independent Disks
  25. Introducing Hot Spares
  26. Using Storage Explorer and Storage Manager
  27. Introducing Disk Partitioning Styles
  28. Comparing Types of Disks
  29. Introducing File Systems
  30. System Information
  31. Using the Event Viewer
  32. Understanding Boot.ini
  33. Understanding BCDEdit
  34. Understanding Advanced Boot Menu
  35. Using the System Configuration Tool
  36. Understanding Virtual Memory and Paging File
  37. Using Task Manager
  38. Using Performance Monitor
  39. Using Resource Monitor
  40. Introducing Fault-Tolerant Components
  41. Understanding Clustering
  42. Understanding Power
  43. Introducing Backup Media
  44. Introducing Backup Items
  45. Introducing Microsoft Windows Backup
  46. Understanding Shadow Copies of Shared Folders
  47. Understanding HOSTS and LMHOSTS Files
  48. Exploring DNS
  49. WINS
  50. Introducing Domains and Trees and Forests
  51. Introducing Sites and Domain Controllers
  52. Introducing Organizational Units
  53. Looking at Objects
  54. Introducing Groups
  55. Introducing Group Policy
  56. Setting NTFS Permissions
  57. Looking at Effective NTFS Permissions
  58. Copying and Moving Files
  59. Looking at Folder and File Owners
  60. Encrypting Files with NTFS
  61. Network Discovery and Browsing
  62. Looking at Special and Administrative Shares
  63. Installing Printers
  64. Looking at Printer Properties
  65. Setting Printer Permissions
  66. Managing Print Jobs
  67. Configuring Internet Printing
  68. Managing Web Sites with IIS
  69. Managing FTP with IIS
  70. Creating Virtual Machines
  71. Managing Virtual Machines