The end result of Microsoft volume licensing depends on several factors, from the size of the company to the purpose of the purchase. In addition, licensing costs also depend on your negotiation skills. You need to make a strong case for your business to get the best license deal. Nothing is really set in stone when it comes to enterprise license pricing. And saving just a few dollars for each user/device can lead to huge savings. The single Esp Trustmark Cloud portal gives you simplified management so you can control your license usage and view current and planned Azure usage and detailed billing information. The right type and number of Microsoft licenses are important not only to ensure your users can access the tools they need, but also to avoid Microsoft compliance fines. Microsoft has been involved in volume licensing since its inception, as the enterprise sector is its main market. With the release of Windows XP in 2001, Microsoft introduced Microsoft Product Activation, a digital rights management (DRM) program designed to curb consumer software piracy by verifying user eligibility for the product`s license. At that time, however, volume licensed versions of Windows XP were exempt from this measure. (See § Unauthorized Use.) Starting with Windows Vista, Microsoft introduced two volume licensing methods for IT professionals responsible for installing Windows in organizations that are both covered by Microsoft product activation: the first are multiple activation keys (MAKs), which are identical to Windows XP volume license keys but require product activation.
The second is the Key Management Server (KMS) and the corresponding keys. KMS-enabled hosts must report to a software license server every 180 days.   Licenses that use these systems can be purchased through the Microsoft Software Assurance program. Microsoft has blocked several volume license keys that have been misused in service packs, starting with Windows XP Service Pack 1. Microsoft has even developed a new key validation engine for Windows XP Service Pack 2 that could detect illegal keys, even those that have never been used before. Several security consultants condemned Microsoft`s decision, saying it is irresponsible to leave a large installation base unpatched by various vulnerabilities, as this unpatched installation base can be used in large-scale Internet attacks such as Trojans used to send spam. Others have come to Microsoft`s defense, arguing that Microsoft should not provide support to illegal users. After a public outcry, Microsoft decided to disable the new key verification engine. Service Pack 2 searches for only the same small list of commonly used keys as Service Pack 1.
Users of existing installations of Windows XP can also change their product key by following Microsoft`s instructions.  With CSP, there is no minimum quantity or duration and this is the most flexible type of agreement with the possibility of increasing or decreasing licenses immediately. If you have more than 250 users or devices, the CAPEX volume licensing options are: Enterprise Agreements (EA) and Microsoft Products and Services Agreement (MPSA). If your organization prefers OPEX or subscription licenses, they are available through the Cloud Solutions Provider program, which is becoming a popular choice as many organizations transition their IT to as-a-service (aaS) models. MPSA is a transactional license agreement between commercial, academic, and government organizations with 250 or more users and Microsoft (or one of its affiliates or partners). It is designed for organizations that want to license Microsoft cloud services or on-premises software without a non-expiring common agreement. The agreement essentially consolidates separately licensed cloud services, software assurance and software purchases. In software licensing, volume licensing is the practice of selling a license that allows a computer program to be used on a large number of computers or by a large number of users. Customers of these licensing systems typically include businesses, governments, or educational institutions, with volume license prices varying depending on the type, quantity, and applicable subscription term. For example, Microsoft software available through Volume Licensing programs includes Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office.
  However, negotiations with Microsoft are more complicated than you might think. First of all, focus not only on the price, but also on the terms of the agreement. You should also consider your long-term IT and business goals before purchasing a license. And keep in mind that you may have to go through this whole process every time you renew a license. The Microsoft Products and Services Agreement (MPSA) provides flexible purchasing options on an ongoing, end-to-end basis. It is a transaction volume licensing agreement for business users with more than 250 users or devices and offers perpetual products with or without Software Assurance and user subscription licenses to public sector customers at the lowest price level available (Volume D). Any client computer that has the correct KMS client installation keys can authenticate to any KMS server. KMS client keys are publicly known and documented by Microsoft.  KMS servers require the correct activation of at least 25 clients, but also stop counting additional licenses beyond 50 and automatically accept each client key once the threshold of 25 clients is reached. A non-perpetual subscription or license is renewed monthly or annually.
The subscription price includes all maintenance, technical support and upgrade costs. Subscription licenses break down lifetime licensing costs into small, manageable elements spread across multiple payments. This licensing model is relatively affordable and popular with most businesses, especially start-ups and small businesses. With the COVID outbreak, businesses have had to transform quickly, which means they need to be able to scale to support a remote workforce. Cloud Service Provider (CSP) licenses are more flexible than traditional licensing models because they give organizations more control and scalability over their licenses. CSP is a cloud subscription-based method of obtaining licenses that is billed on a per-user, per-month pricing model. With CSP, there are no annual or 3-year commitments required with the added benefit of being able to increase or decrease monthly as needed. EA (Enterprise Agreements) requires at least 500 users or devices, while CSP has no minimum requirement. CSP is designed to support hybrid environments, with the ability to also sell perpetual software that was previously only available on an EA, Open, or MPSA. See Software licenses and licenses. See also « Is ownership of software the same as licensing? » in the Did you know section.
? Webopedia section. Find out how Trustmarque can help you get the right licenses for your business and what support we can provide. Note: As of January 2022, commercial customers will no longer be able to purchase or renew licenses and services online through the Open Licensing Program. Instead, these transactions must be processed through Microsoft partners as part of the Cloud Solution Partner Program. This is a licensing service offered by Microsoft organizations that need to purchase multiple licenses, but do not require separate software media or related documentation with each license. Eliminating media and documentation and purchasing in bulk reduces the cost per installation. .