I have some questions regarding MSDN "Gold" partnership? Questions about legality etc.

The company I just started with keeps telling me to install this or that (usually Office, sometimes a Windows OS) and to just use the MSDN site for the licenses.  They keep telling me that it's all on the up and up because "we're Microsoft Gold Partners" and that lets us install whatever we want - and thus, use it.  

I've always been under the impression that MSDN partnerships were for development and testing environments, not to be used in production environments.  I have serious doubts about the legality of what they're asking me to do and just want to get an expert's answer on this as to whether this sort of thing is allowed.  The company has a number of questionable practices, so I'm not real comfortable just taking them at their word on it.

There are actually 2 companies.  A main company in Europe, and a child company in the US - I'm with the team in the US.  Well, I sort of -am- the team.  The one in Europe is the one that is the "Gold partner", even though to the best of my knowledge I'm the only person within the company with Microsoft certifications, so I'm not sure how that happened.  There are about 140 employees between the 2 countries, and just about all of them are using something from the MSDN site (most of them Office, some with OS's pulled from MSDN).  We're also running SCOM and a couple of other MS utilities in our production environment.  All of our servers are running off MSDN downloads and licenses, best I can tell.

Is what they're asking me to install legal?
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Alex AppletonBusiness Technology AnalystCommented:
Being a gold partner gives the company entitlements to use software for production purposes but this is not the entire lineup of Microsoft software.  Gold partners get a MSDN subscription but this is meant for testing purposes only, not production.  The licenses for MSDN and for production use are two separate entities.     Finally, Microsoft gives gold partners licenses for 'demonstration' use only (i.e. selling to clients).

It's hard to argue whats production and what's testing but if you have serious doubts about software piracy at your company then contact the BSA and let them deal with it.  
QuintiousAuthor Commented:
That's the rub:  The BSA is already targeting us for MS violations (we got a letter from them a couple of weeks ago).  One of my current projects is to go around to our various sites and conduct a complete software inventory so we can respond to them.  They've basically admitted we aren't compliant, they just don't know how badly.  However, they're also asking me to upgrade all of our machines to Windows 7 using our MSDN subscription as well as toss a new copy of Office on all of them as I do this.

Would you happen to have a site that can give me a definitive answer as to how many copies of what programs we're legally allowed to use in production, so I can cross-reference it with my software inventory to formulate a limit I can use?  I've tried scouring the MSDN site (and of course, Google) but my efforts so far have yielded no fruit as to what those limits are.
Alex AppletonBusiness Technology AnalystCommented:
Here are the details as outlined on the MS Partner Program site:

The following benefits are available to you at the Gold Certified Partner level

Software Licensing Benefits
Internal Use Licenses - As a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner you will receive a number of licenses that can be used to run your business.
Demonstration Use Licenses - As a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner you will receive licenses for software that can be used for demonstration purposes only and is to be used only by employees who are in contact with customers.
Development and Test Use License - As a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner you receive software licenses that can be used by your employees (only), and only in a development and testing environment.
Training Use Licenses - As a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner you will receive up to 100 training use license for each client license for desktop productivity software.
Matching License Plan - Avail of a 1:1 match for each license acquired thru Microsoft Open and Select licensing programs.

As I do not have access to my companies internal licensing structure I cannot give you the exact number but I think the minimum amount you are granted as a gold partner for Windows and Office is 100, but varies on product and partner level.  I do know this, the MSDN subscription is for internal testing only and not for production use.  The Internal Use Licenses are a different license than the MSDN one.  

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Alex AppletonBusiness Technology AnalystCommented:
I found the list on the partner site, here's the link:

QuintiousAuthor Commented:
Thanks for what help you've been able to provide.  I still don't know what "certain number of licenses" entails, but I can't expect an outsider to be able to give a firm number without knowing a lot of intimate details of the company.  Kudos to you.
Alex AppletonBusiness Technology AnalystCommented:
Also, further reading has even opened up my eyes a little on licensing here.  

The Windows 7 Enterprise licenses are upgrade licenses only and require an existing qualifying license to a prior OS to install.
The Internal use licenses expire, when they do you have 12 months to upgrade/remove your software from the expiry date.
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