If you’ve seen the TechNet article FAQ:Volume activation of Office 2010, you know that it contains many frequently asked questions about Office 2010 volume activation, including Key Management Services (KMS) and Multiple Activation Key (MAK). The questions in the article apply to Office 2013 volume activation as well as Office 2010. Included below are questions that are not found in that article and that pertain specifically to Office 2013.

What is Active Directory-Based activation?

Active Directory-Based activation uses your existing Active Directory infrastructure to activate all Office 2013 volume-licensed (VL) clients through their connection to the domain.

Important: You can’t use Active Directory-Based activation with Office 2010.

To set up Active Directory-Based activation for Office 2013, see Volume activation methods in Office 2013 and configure Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS) from either a Windows 8 VL edition computer or a Windows Server 2012 computer. The Office 2013 VL clients can automatically activate against the domain as long as they are running on a Windows 8 or Windows Server 2012 client computer.

For general information about Active Directory-Based activation, see Volume Activation Overview and for information about Active Directory-Based activation that pertains to Office 2013, see Volume activation methods in Office 2013.

What type of key is used with Active Directory-Based activation?

Active Directory-Based activation uses the same Generic Volume License Key (GVLK)/KMS host key pair that KMS activation uses. By using Active Directory-Based activation, the Software Protection Platform Service (SPPSvc) periodically attempts to activate the GVLK against either an Activation Object (AO) in AD DS or a discoverable KMS host if the Active Directory-Based activation attempt fails. A successful Active Directory-Based activation grants a license to the Office 2013 client for 180 days.

For general information about Active Directory-Based activation, see Volume Activation Overview and for information about Active Directory-Based activation that pertains to Office 2013, see Volume activation methods in Office 2013.

What are the limitations of Active Directory-Based activation and how do I decide whether to use it instead of KMS or MAK activation for my Office 2013 clients?

To use Active Directory-Based activation, your Office 2013 VL clients must be running on a Windows 8 or Windows Server 2012 client computer. This scenario also supports KMS and MAK activation.

Note: Office 2013 VL clients that are running on Windows 7 support only KMS and MAK activation. For more information, see Volume activation methods in Office 2013.

Why would I want to use Volume Activation Management Tool (VAMT) 3.0 rather than VAMT 2.0?

In addition to KMS and MAK activation, which VAMT 2.0 supports, VAMT 3.0 supports Active Directory-Based activation. For general information about VAMT, see Manage Activations Using the VAMT. For more information about VAMT 3.0, see Introduction to VAMT 3.0.

What is Windows To Go and why would I want to use it?

Windows To Go, an enterprise feature of Windows 8 that also supports Office 2013 VL clients, enables you to create a Windows To Go workspace that you can boot up from a USB-connected external drive on computers that meet the Windows 7 or Windows 8 certification requirements, regardless of the operating system running on the computer. Windows To Go workspaces can use the same image that enterprises use for their desktops and laptops and can be managed the same way. For more information about Windows To Go, see Windows To Go: Feature Overview.