Product High-Light – Windows Desktop OS- What is a Qualified Base license in Volume Licensing?

 

The top "program" question I get is in relation to Qualified base Licenses for the Volume Licensing Agreements – more details on agreements here

The reason qualified base licenses are required is due to the fact that in Volume Licensing Agreements, ANY VL Agreement, the Desktop OS provided is an UPGRADE only, you cannot purchase naked PCs and use your volume licensing agreement to install XP Pro/Vista, you need a pre-existing OEM/FPP copy of the Windows Desktop OS on the PC first

Some details:

The choice of Qualified Base license depends on:

  1. The Agreement type
  2. If its a new or existing Agreement
  3. Agreement version

Windows XP Professional and Windows Vista Business Upgrades

Customers who wish to acquire either the Windows XP Professional or Windows Vista Business Upgrade license through the Select License or Open License programs must first have licensed and installed on their desktop a qualifying operating system.

Qualifying OS Rules (Each of these conditions must be met in order for the base OS to qualify you for the VL Upgrade.):

  • The qualifying OS must be installed on the device to which the VL Upgrade license is to be assigned.
  • Except as provided below, you must remove the qualifying Operating System from the device in order to deploy the VL Upgrade license.
  • Customers who wish to install or run more than one licensed OS at one time (including the qualifying OS), may either:
  1. acquire Software Assurance for their VL Upgrade license, or
  2. purchase full Windows Vista licenses separately. We do not offer full Desktop OS licenses in Volume Licensing.

Customers that have active Software Assurance coverage do not need to uninstall the qualifying OS and may install and run the qualifying OS and Windows Vista at the same time.

The key notes are on Enterprise Wide Agreements, so EA and OV Company Wide, there are key differences to the qualified base license permitted between NEW and EXISTING agreements, for example XP HOME cannot be used as a qualified base license on an existing or renewal EA/OVCW/OVS agreement

Please take this into consideration when purchasing new PCs to include into an existing agreement, this has been the rule since EA 5.2 Agreements, round about 1999/2000, so really quite a while

 

Did you know – Windows XP HOME is not a qualified base license for Windows Vista Business Upgrade on any corporate program, only the Academic Agreements may use Windows XP HOME

Did you know – NON-MS software can also be used as qualified base licenses, IBM and MAC as above

 

As a caveat, below, we offered customers who had EXISTING Windows XP Home to PURCHASE the VL Vista Upgrade + SA

Customers* with Windows XP Home Edition licenses purchased on or before December 31, 2006 may acquire Windows Upgrade Licenses with Software Assurance (U & SA). 

This offer expired September 30, 2007.

*For customers under Enterprise Enrollments and Open Value company-wide agreements, this offer applies only to initial orders under new enrollments and agreements.  It does not apply to subsequent orders under new enrollments and agreements, nor to renewal enrollments and agreements.

The core offering in volume licensing is Windows Vista BUSINESS, attach SA to this offering and it becomes Windows Vista Enterprise or Ultimate

Windows Vista Enterprise

Customers with Software Assurance in the systems product pool as of November 1, 2006 are eligible for this benefit during the term of their Software Assurance coverage.  For each Windows license covered under Software Assurance, customers have the option to use Windows Vista™ Enterprise in place of Windows Vista Business on their licensed device. The type of Windows Vista Business license acquired determines whether there is an ongoing right to use Windows Vista Enterprise.

Software Assurance customers with a perpetual license for Windows Vista Business, will have a perpetual right to use Windows Vista Enterprise on the SA covered device. (a customer can continue using Windows Vista Enterprise on this device, even after their SA coverage has expired for that device).  Otherwise, the right to use Windows Vista Enterprise expires upon the expiration of rights under the Windows license for which Software Assurance coverage was acquired.

And also Windows Vista Ultimate……..

Windows Vista Ultimate

Customers with Software Assurance in the systems product pool are eligible for this benefit during the term of their Software Assurance coverage. Customers with fewer than 600 licensed devices with active Windows Software Assurance have the option to use Windows Vista™ Ultimate in place of Windows Vista Business on up to five of those licensed devices. Customers with 600 or more licensed devices with active Software Assurance have the option to use 1 Windows Vista™ Ultimate in place of Windows Vista Business on up to one for every 100 of those licensed devices.

Customers, who either have Software Assurance in the systems product pool under an Academic Select, Campus or School agreement or had active Software Assurance in the systems product pool between November 1, 2006 and November 30, 2007 have the option to use Windows Vista™ Ultimate in place of Windows Vista Business on any of their licensed devices with active coverage.

Software Assurance customers with a perpetual license for Windows Vista Business, will have a perpetual right to use Windows Vista Ultimate on the SA covered device (a customer can continue using Windows Vista Ultimate on this device, even after their SA coverage has expired for that device).  Otherwise, the right to use Windows Vista Ultimate expires upon the expiration of rights under the Windows license for which Software Assurance coverage was acquired.

Windows Vista Ultimate cannot be activated using volume license keys. It requires activation one desktop system at a time.  Upon activation of this benefit, customers will need to contact the Software Assurance Call Center for product activation.

 

Downgrade” right for Windows XP Professional and Windows Vista Business licenses purchased via Volume Licensing
Volume licensing customers with a license for Windows XP Professional or Windows Vista Business are eligible to use a prior version in place of the version they have licensed. Eligible Prior versions of Windows XP Professional include Windows 2000 Professional, Windows NT Workstation 4.0 or 3.51. Eligible prior versions of Windows Vista Business include Windows XP Professional and Windows 2000 Professional, Windows NT Workstation 4.0 or 3.51.

Microsoft has extended the above downgrade rights under Windows Vista Business Upgrade to allow you to downgrade to Windows 98 or Windows 95. If the customer exercises this right to use a prior qualifying Windows operating system for which there is Microsoft Plus! Software available, the customer may also use the appropriate Microsoft Plus! Software. For example, a customer who enrolls Windows Vista Business under Software Assurance may choose to use Windows 98 and Microsoft Plus! For Windows 98 instead of Windows Vista Business. Windows Millennium and Windows XP Home Edition are not prior versions of Windows Vista Business.

OEM Windows XP Pro Licenses may be downgraded to Windows 2000 Pro, Windows 98 Second edition and Windows 95

OEM Windows Vista Business and Ultimate may be downgraded to Windows XP Pro 32 bit, 64bit or Tablet PC edition only

FPP Windows XP Pro and Windows Vista Business/Ultimate licenses have no downgrade rights

Did you know – You can use any legal media to "downgrade" if you have downgrade licenses associated with your license type

 

Current Windows Promotions

Windows Software Assurance Attach Offer

For a limited time (February 1, 2008 – June 30, 2008), customers who purchased Windows Business or Professional Licenses with new PC’s through OEMs after December 31st, 2006 but more than 90 days prior, will be allowed to acquire Software Assurance coverage for those licenses. This promotion is applicable for the following programs and for the following Microsoft Windows products only:

Open Value and Select programs only

  • · Windows XP Professional (32 bit or 64 bit)
  • · Windows XP Professional N
  • · Windows Tablet PC edition
  • · Windows XP Professional Blade PC Edition
  • · Windows Vista Business
  • · Windows Vista Blade PC Edition
  • · Windows Vista Ultimate

Upgrade or OEM Licenses acquired prior to January 1, 2007 are ineligible for SA coverage under this promotion. Similarly, after June 30, 2008, OEM licenses acquired more than 90 days prior, are ineligible for SA coverage under this promotion.

Windows Vista Business + Desktop Optimization for SA

As a limited time offer from December 1, 2007 through June 30, 2008, Open Value and Select customers are eligible to acquire U&SA for Vista Business at potential savings.

Windows SA Attach

For a limited time (February 1, 2009 – June 30, 2009), customers who purchased Windows Business or Professional Licenses with new PCs through OEMs after July 31, 2008 but more than 90 days prior, will be allowed to acquire Software Assurance coverage for those licenses. This promotion is applicable for the following programs and for the following Microsoft Windows products only:

 

• Open Value and Open License programs only
• Windows XP Professional (32 bit or 64 bit)
• Windows XP Professional N
• Windows Tablet PC edition
• Windows XP Professional Blade PC Edition
• Windows Vista Business
• Windows Vista Blade PC Edition
• Windows Vista Ultimate

 

Upgrade or OEM Licenses acquired prior to August 1, 2008 are ineligible for SA coverage under this promotion. Similarly, after June 30, 2009, OEM licenses acquired more than 90 days prior, are ineligible for SA coverage under this promotion.

 

Please see the Product List for complete details.

In addition, from December 1, 2007 through June 30, 2008, customers that are purchasing Vista Business U&SA under this offer are also eligible to acquire subscriptions for Desktop Optimization for Software Assurance 4.1 (MDOP) at potential savings.

More on MDOP later………..

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5 Comments

  1. As I understand it the activation procedure for a downgarded XP Pro installation should be somethin like"When an end user is using their downgrade rights offered under the License Terms in Windows Vista Business and Ultimate versions and they use both Windows XP media and a product key that was previously activated, they will be unable to activate on-line over the Internet, due to the hardware configuration change when installing on the Vista system. In these cases the end user will be prompted to call the Activation Support Line and explain their circumstances to the Customer Service Representative. Once it is determined that the end user has a valid Vista Business or Ultimate license, the Customer Service Representative will help them activate their software."The main thing here is the need to call MS activation line to allow the installation to be activated.Now this could be a major problem if the customer is purchasing 60x computers all with XP Pro installed under Vista Business COAs.Is there a better way to get the machines activated?

  2. Hi Peter
     
    In response to the below, there are 2 alternatives
     
    Either call the activation centre and have them "bulk" activate all machines at once
     
    or
     
    If the customer has or had a volume license agreement with a Windows XP Pro VLK generated, use VL media and the VLK to install XP Pro, activation will not be required on the new machines if using VLK
     
    Hope this helps
    Emma

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