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Licensing and deploying Windows 7 PCs and Office?

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  • Licensing and deploying Windows 7 PCs and Office?

    Hi all,

    Ah, the wonderful world of Microsoft Licensing... I need help!

    So I have about 180 users on an archaic network. This is a mish-mosh of XP machines (primarily), Windows 7 x86, and a few Windows 7 x64 clients.

    This year, I am going to be rebuilding the server environment to Server 2012, Exchange 2010, etc...

    Next year, I want to start leasing PCs department by department for 2, 3, and 5 year terms. All will be moving to Windows 7. My questions are in regards to licensing, activation, and deployment of these, as well as Office (whatever version I end up buying, probably Office 2013).

    1. When PCs are purchased, they always have an OS. Doesn't anyone sell PCs with no OS installed?

    2. I ask because I want to lease, say 50 PCs that are all identical and image them with a common build. That leads me to:

    3. How does the Volume Licensing work? If I buy, say 160 Windows 7 x86 licenses and 20 Windows 7 x64 licenses, how do all the clients get activated? What's this KMS server I've read about?

    4. What about the same thing for Office?

    5. In a nutshell, what should I be looking for as a client deployment tool that will all me to effectively manage the clients?

    I find this all to be extremely confusing and would love to simplify it to English.


  • #2
    Re: Licensing and deploying Windows 7 PCs and Office?

    1. Very few people. Dell can be persuaded to sell you a PC with no OS, but it's usually a painful process and must be done through an account manager, don't know about HP. One of our clients buys Zoostorm PCs from ebuyer which come with no OS, and then we install from their VL.

    2/3/4. Normal VL procedures are that you get one key valid for the number of activations you have purchased rather than 50 individual keys. Same for Office. KMS requires a certain amount of (server) hardware before it become an option, I think it's 5 physical servers or something like that. Basically it allows you to control your licenses centrally, and the clients activate via the KMS server.

    5. I'd use WDS to build an image including Windows and Office and any other apps you need and configure unattended installation using a VL key.

    Some of this may have changed for 2012, seeing as I still haven't passed my 2008 exams I haven't looked at 2012 yet.
    BSc, MCSA: Server 2008, MCSE, MCSA: Messaging, MCTS
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