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Microsoft Open Value Licensing

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  • Microsoft Open Value Licensing

    First the background story...

    I started my job in September of 2005 and there was no network documentation to speak of. Contractors had set up the network, which was all new (Server 2003 Servers, XP Clients) and had purchased all of the licensing from CDW.

    Apparently there was some communications failure between CDW and the contractors, or the contractors and my bosses, because they had spread the payments for all of our licenses out over 3 years and my bosses had thought it was 2 years. In December of 2005 we got a bill for over $5K from CDW that came as a surprise.

    As a result, my bosses decided to not do any more business with CDW. Fine by me - I order from Newegg anyway.

    The original licenses that were purchased were 15 Open Value Company licenses for Office, 1 for SBS 2003, 1 for 2003 Ent, 1 for 2000, 25 Server CALs, and 20 SBS CALs.

    I just got a letter in the mail that says that our Software Assurance will expire in December, which is 3 years from the date the licenses were first purchased.

    My question is this:

    If we let this expire and don't pay the ~$15K again, will the licenses expire so we'll be illegal? Or will just the software assurance part of it expire?

    I know the new version of Office is coming out soon and with assurance we'd get it for free, but to be honest we don't really need it. Our XP licenses aren't covered under Assurance so we wouldn't get Vista upgrades, and I'm sure it'll be a while before Vista Server comes out, and I like to wait until at least SP1, so I'm not too worried about that either.

    I guess what I'm saying is that I don't care about the software assurance benefits, since the only thing we've got from it is a free SQL upgrade in the mail from MS from 2000 to 2005, but I want to stay legal on the licenses.
    A+, Network+, Security+
    MCSE+Security on Server 2003

  • #2
    Re: Microsoft Open Value Licensing

    I think you will find that about 120% of all readers of this post will agree when I say, contact Microsoft and talk to them. MS licensing is a very complex and confusing topic which I sometime wonder if MS themselves actually understand it.

    One another note, when using abbreviations,make certain that the reader knows what the abbreviation means. If possible, use the full abbreviation at least once so it is clear what you are refering to. I have no idea where in the world you are and CDW means as much to me as IQT will to you. (IQT supply VLKs to private schools in an Australia state). If you were in Melbourne then I would advise you to contact IQT as they have a person who really does understand the MS licensing.
    1 1 was a racehorse.
    2 2 was 1 2.
    1 1 1 1 race 1 day,
    2 2 1 1 2


    • #3
      Re: Microsoft Open Value Licensing

      My last venture with Open Volume was in 2001/2
      MS Open Value used to operate in the following way.

      1. Pay them lost of money (spread over 3 years)
      2. Get access to all the latest versions covered in your license
      3. And this is the crunch... The software was not yours it was leased from MS for the period of the license.

      So technically I suppose you could say that if the license expired the base license was void.

      It is indeed a minefield and I agree with biggles you really need to talk to MS or a large supplier like PCWB

      The only hope I could offer is that I think the Open Value has changed but I would not hold my breath.
      The Univurse is still winning!

      W2K AD, WSUS, RIS 2003. ISA also AVG Server
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