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Can you help me with my software licensing question?

We have 40 PCs currently running Office XP Standard (Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook).

We're finally looking to upgrade them all to Office 2010, but it seems so expensive.

The main reason for the expense seems to be Microsoft's inclusion of Publisher in the Office Standard product. Trust me, none of our users will ever use Publisher.

The Product Key Card (PKC) offering is less than half the price and gives us exactly the Office applications we want.

Office Home and Business 2010 PKC [Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook] £129.15 ex VAT

Office Standard 2010 [Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Publisher] £306.54 ex VAT

Obviously, we'd need to keep track of the 40 unique licence codes, not to mention having to store them somewhere, but for this big a saving, we'd be crazy not to consider it.

Are there any big disadvantages to PKC licensing? Is it within the licensing agreements for businesses to use this method on PCs not purchased at the same time?

What would you do?

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marked as duplicate by Khaled, RobM, Iain, Scott Pack, Sam Jan 30 '11 at 13:47

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

PKC is a perfectly acceptable method of licensing Office for businesses (provided it is not a version aimed at home use, obviously). Pretty much all of our Office 2007 and 2010 installations are licensed with medialess license cards (2007) and product key cards (2010). Having just finished an audit with Microsoft a couple of weeks ago, they had no issues with this method of licensing.

Probably the biggest downside to this method is the management of the licenses, like you point out. You have to keep all of those bits of card with the product code, as they are your proof of license (a product key on its own is not proof of license). You'll also have to ensure the same code is not installed on multiple machines, as this is in breach of the license terms.

If you do have any doubt though, get in contact with a local Microsoft reseller - they will usually have a Microsoft licensing specialist who you can speak to.

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