You may be familiar with purchasing Microsoft software either as OEM (pre-installed) and FPP (purchased separately and then installed) versions, which are easy to acquire and install. However, both OEM and FPP models have limitations to consider, especially for organization use.
OEM software licenses can only be used on new machines. It may be purchased and installed on a new machine or already installed, when you buy a machine from different brands. You will not be able to purchase and install with the device that is already in use. You can downgrade to a lower version of the software, but not transfer it to another device, and 1 OEM license gets 1 product key. You can buy the FPP type to install on your old or new machine. It can be transferred to another device but cannot be downgraded to a lower version of the software.
Both OEM and FPP have their advantages and limitations that you will need to carefully consider which one is right for your application before making a decision. The common limitation of both OEMs and FPPs is that they cannot be upgraded to higher versions of the software, while over time the software will get better and better. If you decide to purchase an OEM or FPP license, you are not eligible to upgrade to a newer version of the software, in result, the only solution is to purchase a new software license again.
This table shows a clear comparison.
|MS Windows / MS Office Professional||OEM||FPP|
|Product Key||1 Product Key 1 Device||1 Product Key 1 Device|
|Usability||New Device||Both old and new device|
|Media||DVD COA and Product Key||Box with DVD and Product Key|
|Price||Low||Suitable for family and small business use|
Software License Management Challenges.
Imagine if you were running multiple computers with an OEM or FPP software license, the difficulties you will have to deal with include:
- The OEM and FPP packaging must be kept upon request for a license verification. If not kept, it is immediately deemed to have no valid copyright.
- If using an OEM type and want to switch to a new machine, a new software license must be purchased as it cannot be transferred between devices.
- Software downgrading is not possible if using the FPP type.
- When a new software version is released, both OEM and FPP do not allow to upgrade.
- Product key of the FPP software, which comes in a separate box, must make a history record of which device this box is used with since it is not interchangeable.
- Both OEM and FPP allow internal use only (on premise). They cannot be installed on a cloud system because there is no SA (Software Assurance).
- Some software such as Microsoft SQL, both OEM and FPP are not licensed.
If you need to run a large number of machines (5 or more) and want the ease of managing software licenses, selecting the “Microsoft Volume Licensing” type of rights can solve the above problems:
- First purchase registration specifies what company the software license is sold to, so you no longer have to collect envelopes or boxes for verification purpose. To verify the license when requested, online log in to the portal or provide Microsoft documentation is sufficient.
- The same product key is used for all device installations. It is extremely convenient.
- The installer can be downloaded from the Volume Licensing web page.
- Get downgrade rights to up to 2 lower versions of software. For example, when you purchase Microsoft Office 2021, you automatically receive a license for Microsoft Office 2019 and 2016 (only the total number of devices to install must not exceed the rights that have been purchased).
- We recommend keeping your software up-to-date at all times by obtaining security patch updates. To prevent cybersecurity crime, Microsoft offers a program called SA (Software Assurance) being sold with a 3-year term of Volume Licensing software, enabling you to update your software at no additional cost.
- SA can be installed on the cloud.
We added Volume Licensing to the previous table for you to see a clear comparison.
|MS Windows / MS Office Professional||OEM||FPP||Volume Licensing|
|Product Key||1 Product Key 1 Device||1 Product Key 1 Device||Multiple devices|
|Usability||New Device||Both old and new device||Minimum 5 devices|
|Media||DVD COA and Product Key||Box with DVD and Product Key||Download from VLSC with Product Key|
|Transferability||Yes, except Windows|
|Price||Low||Suitable for family and small business use||All types of organisation|
Types of Microsoft Volume Licensing
Microsoft has categorized software licenses for you to choose from;
1. Microsoft CSP Perpetual (CSP)
This type of software license, commonly known as CSP, is a permanently purchased type, cannot upgrade or use on cloud because there is no SA. The minimum purchase is 5 licenses.
2. Microsoft Open Value (OV)
The type, often referred to as Open Value or OV, is a 3-year-valid leased software. It comes with SA, therefore can be deployed on-premise and cloud. It can be upgraded to new versions as long as you renew SA.
The original version is currently discontinued at the end of 2021.
As of April 2022, there are two types of volume licensing software licenses: CSP Perpetual and Open Value, which one is the right one for you?
Selection guide is as follows;
Does the software you purchase to be installed on the Cloud?
Answer If the answer is “yes”, Open Value is what you need.
Do you want to upgrade the software when there is a new version?
Answer For example, as of now (April 2022), the latest version of Windows is Windows11 and the latest Office is Office2021. If your organization is still running Windows7 with Office2010 and you want to upgrade your software to use the current version, then CSP is what you need.
What you may not know is you don't have to buy every software as Open Value or CSP. They can be mixed to suit your plan. If you need a consultation, contact Blesssky Connexion at 02-679-8877 or email@example.com.
Microsoft Volume Licensing can be complicated. In closing of this article, we've compiled some of frequently asked questions:
Is there a minimum amount for purchasing Volume Licensing?
Answer The minimum purchase is 5 licenses. Multiple softwares can be combined.
When do I need to purchase Software Assurance (SA)?
Answer First purchase with software lasts 3 years, you can purchase and renew SA only for 3 years at a time.
Currently running unlicensed Windows. How do I get licensed by purchasing Volume Licensing?
Answer Purchase a Windows GGWA (Get Genuine Windows Advantage) license using an amount equal to the number of machines in use.
Is Open License transferable?
Answer Not all, except Windows GGWA.