Windows client operating systems are available to customers in multiple ways – Volume Licensing; OEM; and Retail channels. Windows licenses acquired through these channels are subject to specific terms and conditions, which outline how customers can deploy, upgrade or use Windows. Typically, enterprise customers purchase computers from OEMs with or without a version of Windows and purchase Windows Enterprise edition licenses through the Microsoft Volume Licensing Program.

A Windows Enterprise edition license that is acquired through the Volume Licensing Program is an upgrade license, so it must be deployed on a computer that already has a qualifying OEM installed Windows client operating system with a valid license. If this is not done, customers will end up in either a mislicensed or misversioned condition, which is a violation of the terms and conditions defined in Volume Licensing Program.

Defining the terms

A mislicensed computer is any computer currently using a Windows Volume License but that computer did not ship with an OEM-installed version of Windows.

A misversioned computer is a computer currently using a Windows Volume License but that computer did not ship with a qualifying OEM-installed version of Windows that qualifies for a Windows Volume License upgrade. (Windows 8 and newer only; Windows 7 and prior have a physical Certificate of Authenticity (COA) that cannot be detected by MAP)

To put this another way, MAP needs to know 2 elements, whether or not the computer shipped from the OEM with Windows installed and if it did, that the Windows edition that was installed is one that is allowed to be upgraded to Enterprise edition.

The ability for MAP to determine if an OEM installed Windows on a computer started with Windows Vista SP1. However, the capability for MAP to determine the edition wasn’t available until Windows 8 was released. For this reason, any machines that are running Windows Vista SP1 or Windows 7 that are categorized as “Licensed” (i.e. not “mislicensed”) still need to have their CoA sticker checked to verify that the edition installed is one that qualifies for upgrade to Enterprise. For Windows Vista, this would be the Business and Ultimate editions and for Windows 7 it is the Professional and Ultimate editions.

Getting the Data

For this feature, a new option has been added to the list of Inventory Scenarios in the Inventory Wizard, so you will want to choose both:

  • Windows computers
  • Windows Volume Licensing

MAP will conduct a general inventory of the environment and for any qualifying client operating systems that are discovered, MAP will use WMI and PowerShell queries to obtain the information needed for the reports. For details on how to prepare your environment for a successful WMI and PowerShell connection, see these TechNet Wiki articles:

The Report

Here is a brief explanation of the report which contains 2 worksheets:

  1. Microsoft Volume Licensing Assessment for Windows Summary - This worksheet provides a summary of the Volume Licensing Assessment for computers running Windows client operating systems.
  2. Microsoft Volume Licensing Assessment for Windows Details - This worksheet provides details about the Volume Licensing Assessment for computers running Windows client operating systems.