Monty Icenogle (kd6cae) wrote,
Monty Icenogle
kd6cae

Wanting to Obtain windows 7 volume license keys

For most people, when they purchase a new PC, it comes with windows pre-installed, and they don't usually care what kind of product key they have or how many activations it allows for. However, folks like me, are interested in this sort of thing. Retail product keys for windows products such as windows 7 are most common and fairly easy to purchase from any number of places. The trouble with retail product keys, is there is no way to keep track of how many activations the keys have on them. Microsoft's license agreement states that only 1 key may be used per computer. This would mean that each key should only be able to be activated once. However what happens if you modify hardware enough to cause windows to need to be activated again, as sometimes may happen? Obviously you aren't going to buy a second copy of windows just because you changed your hardware on your PC, and Microsoft no doubt realizes this, and so allows for a limitted number of activations per key. What that limitted number is however, noone knows, since microsoft doesn't allow for any way for owners of retail licenses to check this information. Folks lucky enough to have volume licenses though can check this information whenever they wish. Businesses and organizations can purchase what are known as volume licenses, and if a key known as a multiple activation key is what the business purchased, then it has a set number of activations for the product key they purchased. So for example, if an organization has 20 computers, then their multiple activation key (MAK) will have 20 activations available on it. So in other words, one MAK can be installed on all 20 of the organizations computers. If I was in charge of this organizations tech department, I'd much rather use 1 key on 20 machines then have to have 20 keys 1 per computer, as would be the case if I used retail keys. If I however only install the 20 user MAK key on 12 of the organizations 20 machines, I can use a tool Microsoft provides called volume activation management tool, and add the key to it, then query microsoft, and it will tell me that I have 8 activations remaining on that key. I can then do more windows activations on other computers at a later time, knowing I have the 8 activations available.
This is not possible with retail keys at all. And this is why I'd love to obtain volume MAK keys for windows 7 professional while I still can, if there's any way I can. Windows 8 is being made available to everyone in just a week, and though I've been playing with it for some time now, I'm not so impressed with it that I'd tell my friends to ditch windows 7. Windows 7 is quite solid and stable, but once windows 8 is publicly released next week, it'll no doubt become harder to purchase windows 7 in any form, retail or volume I'd expect.
I do have a tiny bit of experience with volume MAK license keys for windows 7. As a student at my local area college, we do get access to Microsoft's dream spark program, formerly known as MSDNAA, which gives student's and teachers access to a variety of microsoft software. Much of it is retail licenses, but at least in the case of windows 7, each account holder is given access to 1 copy of windows 7 professional who's product key is a MAK product key with 5 activations available on it. Strangely however, the multiple activation key for windows server 2008R2 that I get with dream spark, only allows for just 1 activation! I'm not quite sure why the key doesn't have at least 2 activations on it, but that's how it goes. Back when I had technet back in 2010 the keys I got for server 2008R2 allowed for an incredible 500 activations. Since I have yet to use even one of these, I will probably use my technet key to activate server 2008R2 next semester when I take a server 2008R2 admin class, rather than the key I got from dream spark, since I get just 1 activation on the dream spark key, and my technet key gives me 500, way way more than I'll ever need.
I've never had volume licenses for windows 7 professional other than the 1 from dream spark, because my access to technet was retail and I was not authorized to get volume license products except server products. There is a level of technet subscription that allows for volume license products, but I have no clue how to get that. As I said I'd be interested in purchasing even a single volume license for windows 7 professional so that in case my computer needs re-installation, or a friend needs to re-install windows, I can help them do it, knowing that I have activations available, not needing to wonder if activation will work or not. If anyone knows how I can legally obtain a volume license for windows 7 professional, I would be interested to know. I would want a license for not more than 10 computers. If there's a way I can purchase a technet subscription or MSDN even, that allows for volume license products to be retrieved, that'd work to.
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