Understanding Microsoft Multiple Activation Keys

Over the past year, I have purchased MS Visio 4 different times using Volume Licensing Services.

When I look in the Volume Licensing Services website, it shows that each of the keys has 50 activations available.

A couple of the purchases were for multiple users.

How do I track if I still have licenses available?, since my understanding is:

1) The same user can install MS Visio on both their laptop and desktop and only require one seat.
2) The totals are activations and not users. So If I purchase a new computer for a user, and install the same key on their new computer, it now shows as a 2nd activation even though only 1 license is required.

For example, one purchase was for 2 user licenses. I can see that the activation count is 2, but is that a laptop and desktop for the same user or 2 separate user installs.
yonbretAsked:
Who is Participating?
I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

Jackie ManCommented:
Volume licence activation is a per device activation, not per user. So, if you install only one licence on two devices and you only have one licence, you are violating your volume licence agreement with Microsoft.

Only Office 365 is a per user activation.

When you made purchase of even one licence of a volume licence, Microsoft will give you 50 times of activation counts as volume licence customer is free to uninstall the software on one device and reinstall the software on another device.

Anyway, Microsoft has details of your activation counts, if they think you are violating the volume licence agreement, they can appoint compliance agent to your office to do a compliance check and will commence legal action against you if they have evidence of violation.
0
Jackie ManCommented:
1) The same user can install MS Visio on both their laptop and desktop and only require one seat.

No. You need two licence in the case above.

2) The totals are activations and not users. So If I purchase a new computer for a user, and install the same key on their new computer, it now shows as a 2nd activation even though only 1 license is required.

Correct. Only if you uninstall the software from the old computer.

For big corporation, audit of usage of licensed software are required from time to time and we shall keep a record of volume licence activation of all devices.

For example, one purchase was for 2 user licenses. I can see that the activation count is 2, but is that a laptop and desktop for the same user or 2 separate user installs.

It is the duty of the IT administrator to keep records of the licence usage and your company will just tell Microsoft that you have breached the volume licence agreement by activating more devices than the number of licence your corporation has purchased because normally only IT administrator has the credential for Microsoft Volume Licensing Portal to download the software and obtain the MAK keys and I will never give the MAK key to the user as they might pass the MAK key to third party without your notice. In such case, your company will take action against you only if a serious breach is found by Microsoft. You cannot just tell Microsoft that the user wants the MAK key. IT administrators are the gate keeper for compliance in software licence.

Note: If you input the MAK key in the device of the user, the user cannot recover the MAK key from the device as the same is encrypted.
0

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today
IT Administration

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.

Question has a verified solution.

Are you are experiencing a similar issue? Get a personalized answer when you ask a related question.

Have a better answer? Share it in a comment.