Software and online services frequently asked questions

Summary

Find answers to frequently asked questions about Microsoft Partner Network software licensing.

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Licenses

Q: What kinds of software use does the Microsoft Partner Network allow?

A: The Microsoft Partner Network grants software licenses for internal business needs, customer demonstrations, and internal training purposes. Software licenses for the latest versions of Microsoft software are granted to partners who have attained competencies through the Microsoft Partner Network. The intent of this program is to enable partners to showcase the latest Microsoft software technology. These licenses cannot be used for direct revenue-generating or commercial purposes. For example, partners cannot use the software licenses to engage in website or email hosting for monetary compensation. (Hosting policies are covered under the Services Provider License Agreement [SPLA]). For complete details, refer to the Product Usage Guide.


Q: Can competency partners share licenses earned between locations?

A: Yes, but with certain limitations. Licenses can be shared across countries, but the total number of licenses used within a partner organization cannot exceed the per-country or worldwide maximum license cap. Partners can share licenses only within the organization[1] that earns these licenses—between the headquarters location and any of its associated locations. These locations must be associated with the headquarters location at the Partner Membership Center to be eligible for this benefit. Partners cannot share licenses across separate organizations.

As an example, if the maximum license grant is 500 licenses for a certain product, and a partner has earned a total of 300 licenses in country X and 400 licenses in country Y for that product, the partner cannot use all 700 licenses earned within a single country. A maximum of 500 licenses can be used in country X or country Y. Hence, the partner could choose to assign 500 licenses to country X and 200 licenses to country Y. This same principle applies to the worldwide maximum license grant per partner organization.

Partner organizations with multiple office locations can enroll in the network with each location as a single organization, as headquarters with multiple locations, or as a combination of these. If these locations or organizations are part of the same company, conducting the same business (for example, developing and selling the same products and services), the Microsoft Partner Network will view these locations as a single partner entity for the purposes of license grants and maximum grant limits.


Q: Can Microsoft Action Pack subscribers with multiple subscriptions share licenses across countries?

A: No. The licenses granted to you through the Microsoft Action Pack subscription are per country and cannot be shared across countries. You may share the licenses granted through your Action Pack subscription within the subscribing country only.


Q: Does the Microsoft Partner Network grant downgrade rights?

A: No. The Partner Network does not offer downgrade rights. You have 12 months to upgrade from the previous version of software offered by the Partner Network to the latest version. Refer to the software updates table for details.  Note: This downgrade policy does not apply to commercial training licenses granted to partners with the Learning competency and MSDN benefits received as part of the Microsoft Partner Network.


Q: How will my software benefits be affected if my organization upgrades from an Action Pack subscription to a Microsoft competency?

A: If you have an active Action Pack subscription and your organization earns a silver or gold competency, you are not required to uninstall the software and product keys provided to you as part of your Action Pack subscription and reinstall the software and product keys provided to you for the Microsoft competency you have attained. After the Action Pack subscription ends, your organization can continue to use Action Pack products, together with the new bits or keys obtained through the competency that you have earned, to achieve the total license grant entitlement. You will no longer be entitled to the licenses granted through Action Pack after the subscription expires. Note: There can be differences between the keys provided by each program. 


Q: When my organization upgrades from a silver competency to a gold competency, how are my partner benefits affected?

A: When you attain a gold competency for the first time during the membership year, you are upgraded (following payment of required program fees) to receive gold core benefits and gold competency-specific benefits for the upgraded competency. If you attain a gold competency after first attaining a silver competency, then you pay only the difference between the two membership fees, unless you are within the 90-day membership renewal period, in which case the full gold membership fee is due.

All software licensing terminates on your competency renewal date if you do not continue to meet competency requirements.


Q: What benefits do I receive when I obtain additional silver or gold competency benefits and purchase an Additional Benefit Toolkit at a location?

A: You can purchase an Additional Benefit Toolkit for any qualifying location linked to the headquarters. Additional Benefit Toolkits are available to locations who attain at least one competency (specific to that location), and are intended to provide the qualifying location with additional silver or gold competency benefits, including internal-use licenses, MSDN subscriptions, and Technical Presales and Advisory Services. Each qualifying location can obtain only one set of core benefits and receive internal-use licenses related to the specific competency it has earned. These additional internal-use and MSDN licenses are bound to the maximum country or worldwide license grants listed on the Microsoft Competency License Table. Demonstration and training licenses are not bound to maximum grants.  Note: The headquarters location is not eligible to purchase an Additional Benefit Toolkit; only associated, qualified locations can purchase Additional Benefit Toolkits.


Q: Where can I go to determine the license entitlement my organization has through the Microsoft Partner Network?

A: You can refer to the license statement on the Partner Digital Distribution Portalto view your organization’s license entitlement. Note that you must be granted access by your organization’s program administrator to view the license statement.


Q: How do I access my software and cloud services benefits?

A: Your organization’s program administrator must grant you access to the Partner Digital Distribution Portal to be able to download software, use cloud services, view keys, and access the license statement.


Q: What do I need to do as a program administrator to ensure that individuals in my organization can download software, access online services benefits, obtain license keys and tokens, and view the license statement?

A: As a program administrator, you can assign and manage user access privileges to the Partner Digital Distribution Portal at the Partner Membership Center. For complete details, refer to the Program Administrator Guide.


Q: How can my organization order physical media?  
A: If your organization resides in a country where physical media is available, you may order physical media through the Partner Membership Center at the time of program enrollment, renewal, or anytime during the current program year. If you elect to receive physical media during the program year, the fee will be prorated based on the remainder of your current program enrollment. Physical media pricing is based on the technical viability of a digital-only option for a specific country or region.


Q: If I elect to receive physical media, will I receive all on-premises products on media?

A: No. All Microsoft programs are moving toward offering fewer on-premises products through physical media. Thus, if you elect to receive physical media, you will not receive all products offered for internal use in that format. The Microsoft Partner Network will continue to offer core products, such as the Windows and Windows Server operating systems, Microsoft SQL Server, and Microsoft Office client applications, on physical media. However, on-premises products such as Microsoft System Center, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, and Office server products might not be offered on physical media. On-premises product availability on physical media may change without notice, and refunds will not be issued after payment for physical media has been processed. All software offered through physical media can be downloaded from the Partner Digital Distribution Portal or MSDN with no additional fees.


Q: Where can I learn about how my organization can choose to use our license entitlement for online services or on-premises products?

A: Your organization can choose to use your license entitlement either online or on-premises. For complete details, refer to the Product Usage Guide.


Q: How do I know how many online services seats and on-premises licenses my organization has consumed?

A: Your program administrator or other assigned, internal personnel is responsible for tracking the number of licenses your organization has consumed. These records must be maintained to be in compliance with the terms of use of the program. For complete details, refer to the Program Administrator Guide.


Q: Are there different terms of use for MSDN subscriptions that are granted through the Microsoft Partner Network and those purchased through retailers or Microsoft Volume Licensing partners?

A: Yes. The MSDN subscriptions that are granted to your organization through the Microsoft Partner Network have different use rights than those purchased through retailers or Microsoft Volume Licensing partners. For instance, the MSDN subscriptions that are granted through the Partner Network cannot be used by partners for client-specific solutions because this is a direct revenue-generating activity. For complete details, refer to the overview on the MSDN page or the Product Usage Guide.


Q: Can my organization use the internal-use licenses that are granted through the program for virtual machines to be used on physical host hardware managed by Microsoft Azure or a Microsoft Authorized Mobility Partner?

A: Select internal-use licenses that have been granted through the program can be used for virtual machines with partner-only access. For complete details, refer to the Product Usage Guide.


Q: Where can I find the latest information about the retirement of TechNet Subscriptions for Competency Partners?

A: Review the TechNet Subscriptions FAQ


Q: How can my organization access software for evaluation purposes?

A: Your MSDN subscriptions include evaluation-use rights; therefore, you can use your MSDN benefits to access software for evaluation purposes.


Q: Are the Windows 8 and 8.1 licenses that are granted through the Microsoft Partner Network full licenses? 

A: No. The Windows client licenses granted through the Microsoft Partner Network are upgrade licenses only. To apply these usage licenses to computers within your environment, each of the computers must have a preexisting, qualifying operating system license (that is, a license for Windows XP Professional, Windows Vista Business, Windows 7 Professional, or Windows 8 Pro).

Note: Home editions are not considered a qualified operating system and are not eligible for a Windows 8 or 8.1 Enterprise upgrade license through the Microsoft Partner Network. The software licenses provided are for your organization’s internal installation only, and cannot be installed on any other computer outside your organization on either a permanent or a temporary basis. The product keys and the software bits provisioned through this program will allow for a clean or custom install of the software, thus providing the opportunity to customize the installation to suit your needs.


Q: What additional software benefits do I receive as a Learning competency partner?

A: As a Learning competency partner, you receive commercial training use rights.  For additional details, see the Learning competency partner guidelines and agreement.


For more information, see the Partner Support Community.



Product keys and tokens

Q: Which products require product activation? What do I need to know about product activation?

A: Product activation is required for Windows Server and client operating systems and all Microsoft Office client applications. Product keys for these products are issued with a finite number of activations.

The way product activation keys are consumed is different for Action Pack subscribers and competency partners.

For Action Pack subscribers, product activation keys are consumed based on scenario:
  • If the software is installed on a new or different machine, a product activation is consumed against the product key.
  • If the software is installed on the same machine, with no changes made to the hardware, a product activation is not consumed against the product key.
  • If the software is installed on the same machine, with changes made to the hardware, a product activation is consumed against the product key.

For competency partners, each time a machine is activated, one of the product activations for that particular product key is consumed; this includes situations in which the same machine is reimaged and activated. For this reason, the number of licenses your organization is entitled to and the number of activations it has been assigned are not the same. You should not activate learning, development lab, and demonstration computers that are frequently reimaged. Instead, for these computers, you should use the initial grace periods combined with the rearm functionality. For specific details, refer to the Partner Volume Activation Guide. If you have questions about the product keys that you have been issued by the Microsoft Partner Network, contact your local Regional Service Center.


Q: How can my organization obtain a Key Management Service product key?

A: Key Management Service (KMS) keys are limited to Microsoft Volume Licensing customers and are not issued through the Microsoft Partner Network. There are no exceptions to this policy. If your organization has access to a KMS key through a Volume Licensing agreement, you can use your KMS keys for licenses granted through the Microsoft Partner Network. You can use any combination of methods and keys that you have acquired through various Microsoft programs to activate machines, depending on your business and infrastructure needs, as long as the systems are properly licensed and appropriate use rights are applied.


Q: Where can I access my product keys for my software and tokens for my cloud services benefits?

A: Only individuals who have been granted access to view keys by your organization’s program administrator will be able to view product keys and tokens for cloud services.


Q: What is the difference between a product key and a token?

A: Product keys are used during the installation and activation process for software, and tokens are used to redeem cloud services. Both product keys and tokens have a unique series of 25 characters consisting of five sets of five alphanumeric characters; this is also referred to as a “5X5 product key.”


Q: Does each user with access to the Partner Digital Distribution Portal obtain a unique set of product keys and tokens for cloud services?

A: No. All users of the same organization will have access to the same set of keys and tokens. 


Q: Where do I go to redeem my tokens from the Partner Digital Distribution Portal for cloud services?

A: Tokens for cloud services will be redeemed on the Key Redemption Portal; this is hyperlinked from the Partner Digital Distribution Portal when you view your cloud services tokens.


Q: Can I use my tokens for multiple tenants in my organization?

A: Yes, your tokens can be used to activate seats across multiple tenants for your organization. Each token can only be activated once.


Q: How do I move my seats to another tenant after I have redeemed my product key for a cloud service?

A: After a token has been activated for seats on a tenant, those seats cannot be moved to another tenant.


​Q: Do my tokens for cloud services need to be redeemed within a specific time period?  

A: Your cloud services entitlement terminates at the conclusion of your program enrollment year. You can continue to have access to your cloud services benefits past your program enrollment end date, but you will no longer have use rights through the program. During the program year, your organization will be issued additional tokens as you qualify for more seats. A new set of tokens will be issued when you renew your membership, subscription, or competency each year. If you do not renew your membership, you must purchase the cloud services through a Volume Licensing specialist.  


Q: When I renew my subscription or competency, how do I continue using my cloud services?

A: Each year when your organization renews your subscription or competency, a new set of tokens will be issued based on your organization’s entitlement at the time of renewal. You will be required to enter these new tokens on the Key Redemption Portal each program year to avoid a lapse in your cloud services.


Q: My organization has earned a new competency which provides additional cloud services benefits or we have purchased an Additional Benefit Toolkit for a qualifying location. Will I receive additional tokens?

A: As your organization earns additional cloud entitlements throughout the program year, your organization will be assigned additional tokens on the Partner Digital Distribution Portal up to the country and worldwide maximum.


Q: I do not see tokens for Microsoft Intune. How do I access my Intune benefits?

A: Tokens are not currently used to activate your Microsoft Intune benefits. You can sign up for your Microsoft Intune benefits through the subscription or competency that you have attained, by logging into the Partner Digital Distribution Portal and selecting the Microsoft Intune hyperlink. This link takes you to instructions that will guide you through the sign-up process for Microsoft Intune.


Q: When I redeem my tokens for cloud services, can I choose to add more seats or extend my subscription?

A: The first time you redeem your tokens or annually when you renew your subscription or competency and receive a new set of tokens, you should choose to add more seats. If you earn additional seats and receive additional tokens during the subscription or competency program year, you should choose to add more seats. For complete details, refer to the Product Usage Guide.


For more information, see the Partner Support Community.



Cloud services

Q: If my organization has purchased an additional Action Pack subscription or Additional Benefit Toolkit, can I use the Microsoft Azure credit across multiple subscriptions within my organization?

A: No. The Microsoft Azure credit is per organization regardless of the number of Action Pack subscriptions or Additional Benefit Toolkits purchased.


Q: My organization has purchased Office 365 seats outside of the Microsoft Partner Network. Can I use the purchased seats on the same tenant with the E3 seats that I have earned through the Microsoft Partner Network?

A: Yes, if the other Office 365 seats are enterprise (E) or kiosk (K) SKUs. Other SKUs cannot be used on the same tenant.


Q: My organization requires additional cloud services benefits. How can my organization obtain more seats?

A: Your organization can receive additional cloud services benefits by purchasing an additional subscription or Additional Benefit Toolkits, earning an additional competency which provides incremental cloud services entitlement, meeting specific sales requirements, taking advantage of partner discounted seats, or purchasing from a Volume License specialist. For complete details, visit the Product Usage Guide.


Q: My organization’s needs have changed and I want to switch some of my users to Office 365 who are currently using on-premises licenses (Microsoft Office Pro Plus, Microsoft SharePoint Server client access licenses [CALs], Microsoft Lync Server CALs, Microsoft Exchange Server CALs). What do I need to do to ensure my organization is in compliance?

A: Your organization may switch users between on-premises and Office 365 at any time during the subscription or competency program year as long as you do not exceed your license entitlement. For complete details, refer to the Product Usage Guide.


Q: I have consumed all of my cloud services seats. Can I use my on-premises server licenses for internal use if I purchase client access licenses (CALs) outside of the Microsoft Partner Network?

A: Yes, if the required CALs are purchased through the appropriate channel.


Q: What is a Microsoft Organization Account?

A: A Microsoft Organization Account (also referred to as a Microsoft Account for Organizations) is specific to accessing Microsoft cloud services for your organization. The first time your organization signs up for a Microsoft cloud service such as Microsoft Azure Active Directory, Office 365, or Microsoft Intune, or signs up for Microsoft Azure as an organization, you are prompted to provide details about your organization and your organization’s Internet domain name registration. This process will create an Organization Account. After you have signed up for your first service, Microsoft recommends that you continue using the same tenant administrator account associated with your organization that you received when you originally signed up.


Q: My organization wants to enroll in the Cloud Accelerate program. Do I need to purchase an Action Pack subscription or earn a competency?

A: Yes. All Cloud Accelerate partners must have either an active Action Pack subscription or competency. Internal-use rights for cloud services are granted through your Action Pack subscription and competency benefits. No internal-use licenses are granted through the Cloud Accelerate program.


For more information, see the Partner Support Community.



Cloud services transition

Q: My organization is currently enrolled in a Cloud Partner program (Cloud Essentials or Cloud Accelerate). How do I ensure my organization does not have a lapse in my cloud services?

A: To ensure your organization does not experience a lapse in service, refer to the Cloud Transition Guide, which outlines the actions required for each cloud service, by scenario. Note also that you should refer to the Cloud Transition Guide before redeeming any of your tokens to ensure your organization has a smooth transition. All cloud services benefits provided to you through the Cloud Essentials or Cloud Accelerate programs will end on June 30, 2014. 


Q: My organization is currently enrolled in a Cloud Partner program (Cloud Essential or Cloud Accelerate) and has experienced a reduction of seats for Microsoft Office 365 or Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online. What options are available to my organization to obtain more seats?

A: Refer to the Cloud Transition Guide to learn about the options available to you to obtain more seats.


Q: My organization has earned the Small Business competency and has experienced a reduction in seats for Office 365 and Microsoft Intune. What options are available to my organization to obtain more seats?

A: Refer to the Cloud Transition Guide to learn about the options available to you to obtain more seats.
 

For more information, see the Partner Support Community.



[1] Partner organizations with multiple office locations can enroll in the network with each location as a single organization, as headquarters with multiple locations, or as a combination of these. If these locations or organizations are part of the same company conducting the same business (for example, developing and selling the same products and services), the Microsoft Partner Network will view these locations as a single partner entity for the purposes of license grants and maximum grant limits. 

 

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Identyfikator artykułu: 2932656 — ostatni przegląd: 25.01.2017 — zmiana: 2

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