The 2010 Office system KMS host does not work on the original release of Windows Server 2008


The Key Management Service (KMS) host for Microsoft Office 2010 will not work on the Windows Server 2008 original release version.


As we continue to improve our applications, platforms, and products for the benefit of our customers, we also face challenges in deciding how best to devote our resources to develop new technologies while we make sure of compatibility with earlier platforms and support earlier versions of our products.

Given these challenges, Windows Server 2008 cannot serve as a KMS host for Microsoft Office 2010. However, Windows Server 2008 R2 can serve as a KMS host for Office 2010 because this version has a different code base than Windows Server 2008.

Also, Windows Server 2003 can serve as an Office KMS host because Windows Server 2003 was not included with the KMS service. And, the KMS service that is required by Office 2010 can be installed on Windows Server 2003.


We have no plans to dedicate any resources to provide such compatibility in the future. We understand that this decision will affect some of our customers. Affected customers have several options and may take any of the following actions:
  • Do one of the following on a supported operating system:
    • Upgrade to Windows Server 2008 R2.
    • Downgrade to Windows Server 2003.
    • Run the KMS host on a Windows 7 computer.
  • Run a virtual machine of a supported operating system on the Windows Server 2008 computer.
  • Use MAK keys instead of KMS.

Customers who decide to upgrade to Windows Server 2008 R2 must obtain one Windows Server 2008 R2 license to set up the KMS host.

More Information

If the customer has fewer than 50 computers, the best option is to use Multiple Activation Keys (MAK) with Volume Activation Management Tool (VAMT). For more information, please see the following Microsoft Office for IT Professionals Forums thread:

Article ID: 981859 - Last Review: Sep 7, 2012 - Revision: 1

Microsoft Office Professional 2010