Article ID: 123761 - View products that this article applies to.
This article was previously published under Q123761
The following information describes the licensing policy for Microsoft Office.
Please note that PSS is not responsible for this information. Microsoft Sales Information Center is responsible for this information, and customers that have licensing questions about any Microsoft application should be directed to them. However, the following Q&A provides a brief description of how Microsoft's licensing policies apply to Microsoft Office.
NOTE: Microsoft Access is included only with the Professional Edition of Microsoft Office.
1. Q. How is licensing for Office different from most other Microsoft products? A. In The Microsoft Office there is ONE license agreement that lists all four products in Office--Microsoft Access, Microsoft Excel, Word, PowerPoint, and Mail. The entire Office is treated as a single license. It is NOT to be divided up, so that four different users can each use one of the Office programs all at the same time. Office is covered under concurrent use, but concurrent use should be measured by the number of users accessing ANY program in the Office. This means that when a user is using one component, such as Word, they have "checked out" the whole Office--Access, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Mail. For a specific example, if an account has signed a concurrent use agreement for 100 licenses, when one user is using Word there are only 99 licenses remaining. You cannot have a scenario where 100 people are using Word, another 100 people are using Excel, another 100 people are using PowerPoint and a different 100 are using Mail. (Such a situation would require 400 Office licenses.) 2. Q. Is Mail covered under the concurrent license clause as it applies to Office? A. The Mail workstation is not licensed for concurrent use. For example, 2 persons who each use mail cannot share ONE license by accessing their accounts at different times. Each person who uses mail needs to have a mail license. In an account with 200 users and 100 copies of Office, an additional 100 copies of the mail client need to be licensed for everyone to use mail. Legal & Licensing - General Information 3. Q. What is "concurrent use"? A. Software is "in use" on a computer when it is installed into the permanent memory (typically a hard disk, but possibly CD-ROM, or other storage device), or loaded into the temporary memory, or "RAM." On a network, a product may be used in either of following ways: - By installing the product on the workstation's hard disk and running the software "locally" -or- - By installing the product only on the network server and running the software "off the server." By running the product off the server, the network server loads a copy of the software into the temporary memory, or "RAM," of the workstation, but it is not stored in the workstation's permanent memory. This distinction is important later when we discuss how to count the number of licenses needed for a computer network. "Concurrent use" occurs when one copy of a software product is accessed from a network server and used by two or more nodes or "workstations" on that network. For example, a network of ten workstations would have five "concurrent users" of a product if, at any one time, a maximum of five workstations have the product loaded into temporary memory, and the remaining workstations do not have the product loaded into either temporary or permanent memory. Note that the identity of the five concurrent users may change over time, but in this example the maximum never exceeds five. 4. Q. Will concurrent users be charged a different price? A. The end-user license agreement allows concurrent use at no extra charge. 5. Q. If I load the product on the hard disk of every workstation on the network, can I still count the number of concurrent users so I don't have to purchase a license for every workstation? Is the answer different if I use the so-called "electronic token" technology to limit the actual number of concurrent users? A. Loading the product onto the hard disk or other storage device of a workstation is a "use" that requires a license. It makes no difference if you have an "electronic token" system to regulate use. The only way you may have fewer licenses than workstations on a network is if some of the workstations access the product off the network server itself (i.e., the product is not stored on the workstation's hard disk), and you have determined that less than all such workstations use the product at any one time. Of course, if you transfer or "download" the product from the server to a workstation's hard disk--which requires one license--you may later completely delete the product off that hard disk to free that license for use elsewhere. 6. Q. How do I determine how many licenses I need for my company to comply with the Microsoft license agreement? A. Starting with the principle that you need one license for each use of the product, there are two basic rules that you need to follow in counting the number of "uses" of the product in your company. First, each copy of the product that is installed on a hard disk or other storage device of a computer is a "use" that requires one license. Second, if you will use the product on a computer network, and you will have fewer licenses than the total number of workstations, then you need to determine the maximum number of concurrent users of the product you will have at any one time. The total number of uses, arrived at by adding the number of concurrent users on a network, determines the number of licenses you need. 7. Q. Is the new Microsoft license a site license? If not, how do they differ? A. The new Microsoft concurrent use license is not a site license because each use requires a separate license. In a "site license," a company is given unlimited rights to use a software product for a flat fee.
Article ID: 123761 - Last Review: August 15, 2005 - Revision: 2.1
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This article was written about products for which Microsoft no longer offers support. Therefore, this article is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.