Computer’s Product Key = Purchase Sale Receipt
Your product key is like a receipt.  If you buy a book but kept the receipt, does that give you the right to go to the bookstore and just take another off the shelf?  NO!  You could try, but honest and ethical people would know quickly this was stealing.  You need to keep both to continue to use both.  You lose one, you may have to go buy a new copy if you ever want to use it again (re-install).

Volume license support

Volume Licensing
Volume license are typically used in 15 users or above.  The de facto standard in software is Microsoft Volume License Standard but Subscription based licenses are becoming more and more popular.
MVLSC 866-230-0560 option 4, opt 1.

Expired Status for Volume Licensing
The expired part simply means you cannot purchase additional licenses without opening a new volume license agreement.  To open an agreement you need to purchase 5 licenses (ANY 5 licenses).  Once you have that agreement open, you can buy licenses one at a time.  Once the agreement expires, you need to buy 5 more licenses in order to open a new agreement.

MAK, KMS, License ID and Activations
Microsoft Volume License Support
The organization had multiple orders of whatever software (Office Standard 2010 with SP1) if there more than one License ID.  The person who order it most likely didn’t place it under the same authorization number.
Under Type, a KMS key is for a Key Management Server (KMS).   You can ignore it if you don’t use a KMS server.  (KMS requires a MINIMUM of 25 seats)
Used activations/total activations.  These CAN be increased for legitimate reasons by calling Microsoft, but again, Activations are NOT licenses!

Upgrading Office Standard 2010
You will need software assurance to upgrade to your office suite.  Consult your documentation from when you purchased the product.

What is a Software License?
A license is an AGREEMENT between two parties – the user (who you are acting on behalf of if you are the IT guy) and the entity granting the right to use the software (Microsoft in the case of Windows).   Admittedly, far too often, people don’t read the agreement and know what they are agreeing to.  However, that does not make it right that you violate licensing on their behalf.  At a minimum you should read the license agreements for the various editions of Windows.  And you should also become familiar with the laws in your area that govern those agreements.  For example, OEM copies of Windows are tied to the hardware they are first installed on and if that hardware dies, that copy of Windows dies.  EXCEPT, I *THINK*, there is a major European country where the laws of that country invalidate that particular clause in the license agreement.  Put simply, there can be laws that change what the agreement allows you to do.  In my opinion you should interpret ALL clauses in the agreement as fully in effect UNTIL you can learn definitively from a trusted source that a clause in question does not apply.

Windows 10 Licensing
Now that said, Systems upgraded to Windows 10 have a digital license and you can just download the media and reinstall – the key is assigned to Windows activation servers and the media isn’t specific.

Windows 10 Activations
Volume Licensing provides downgrade rights which include keys and media.  The number of activations is how many activations you have NOT how many licenses.  For example, you can purchase ONE license for Windows 10 Pro Volume License.  Then, using Reimaging rights, you can create an image and deploy that to other computers.  Microsoft grants you 45 total activations though technically, if you can provide proof that you are staying within licensing, you can contact them and they should increase it (at least in the case of Windows Pro.  Further, sometimes you may need to uninstall and re-install.  So you have multiple activations.  Again, they are not licenses, they are activations.

Dell and HP Licensing Upgrades to 10
The user needs the key and an appropriate media if the computer had another version of Windows installed.  Meaning, a Dell with Windows 7 Home can GENERALLY use any other Dell branded Windows 7 Home or Professional CD.  Likewise, HP, etc.

No More CDs – Backup Media
Many systems more recently stopped shipping with media and only had recovery partitions. It was up to the purchaser to create backup installation media from that partition.  Again, so long as the manufacturer and edition of Windows matched, you should be fine using a created set of disks from one on another.  Anything else is questionable at best.

Office 365 vs a License
Office 365 – The subscription surpasses the cost ($300) of owning it after three years but you have on-going support, Office authentication into sites, and Microsoft Store plug-ins.
Office Home and Business – Many users still utilize Office 2010 and don’t enough gains in functionality to make the switch.
Bottom line, stay with what you like and what is reliable or until Microsoft no longer patches it or makes it compatible with Exchange.

Office 365 Exchange Outlook Clients

You need to use a version of outlook that is under full support starting in 2020 if you use Office 365 with Email.  That means at some point in 2021, you won’t be able to use Office 2016 to connect to Office 365 Exchange.  However, if you don’t use Exchange on Office 365 OR you use Exchange on your own network and don’t plan on upgrading it for a few years, then purchasing a “regular” copy of the Office that you don’t upgrade for 6-8 years may be just fine AND would likely be cheaper than Office 365.  Do the math.  Open an excel sheet and calculate the number of seats you need and the monthly cost over 2, 4, 6, 8 years and then compare that to a single purchase of office that you only upgrade 8 years later. What is cheaper?
Note: Office 365 does have other benefits but you need to understand if they are useful to you or not.  For example, every user typically gets the right to install Office on 5 computers.  For example, a user could install it on their laptop, desktop, home computer, Windows Tablet, and an RDS server.

Microsoft Volume License Support Addition Resources and Facts


  • Do not use a different OEM disk as OEM licenses are not transferrable.
  • Do not use a different Retail or Volume License disk as then you will have to pay to activate it.


Office 365 Extra Resource List:

Hosted Office 365 Resources: 

Exchange or Mail Locally Hosted On-Site Resources: 

Hosted or Local Hosted Links: 

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