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Abacus Computing: Microsoft Products Licensing

Owning software is different than other types of ownership. Because software - although often distributed on media such as CDs - is not a physical commodity, it is considered intellectual property. Ownership of such property is controlled by license agreements. Software licenses are legal documents describing the proper use and distribution of the software, as intended by the manufacturer, and provide the manufacturer with the revenue necessary to continue producing the software, and offering the service and support legitimate users depend on.

Generally, Microsoft licenses software three primary ways: Full Packaged Product, Original Equipment Manufacturer, and Volume Licensing.

  • Full Packaged Product (FPP) is boxed software. This is for consumers who are looking for a small quantity of software licenses. Consumer may purchase full or upgrade licenses through FPP.

  • Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) and System Builder software licenses are acquired when you buy a computer with software legally preinstalled. Microsoft Office and Microsoft Windows® are examples of this type of software. Look for the Certificate of Authenticity (COA) label when you purchase your new PC preinstalled with Microsoft® Windows®. The COA label should be adhered to the exterior of the computer chassis. It is a visual identifier that assists in determining whether Microsoft software and components are genuine. On the right side two types of COA labels for Microsoft Windows XP are shown - for computers manufactured from August 2004 (up), and for those manufactured from September 2005 (down).

  • Volume Licensing may be the right choice for your organization if you need multiple copies of Microsoft software. Microsoft Volume Licensing programs provide potentially substantial savings, ease of deployment, flexible acquisition, numerous payment options, and other benefits such as Software Assurance. Only Windows Client upgrades can be acquired through Volume Licensing; the full operating system license must be acquired as FPP or be pre-installed by an OEM or System Builder. Volume licensing of Microsoft products for organizations is possible through different types of licensing agreements:

    • Open Value Subscription Agreement – OVS

      • For organizations with at least 5 computers

      • Leasing of software products over a three years period

      • New purchases and payments done once a year

      • Software Assurance included for all leased products

      • Reduced license administration costs

      • Standardization of software versions on organization level.

      • Discounts for organizations with 250+ computers

    • Open License Program – OLP

      • Buying at least 5 licences for a product

      • Two price levels, depending on purchased quantity

      • Possibility of signing separate Software Assurance agreement for products included

    • Enterprise Agreement – EA

      • For organizations with at least 250 computers

Abacus Computing has been a Microsoft partner (Partner ID: 1464936) for years. For detailed information on licensing Microsoft software through buying or leasing licenses contact us on info@abacus.co.me.


Abacus Computing is registered as a limited liability company in Montenegro. Company registration number: 5-0226472/010; VAT number: 40/31-00932-8.
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