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The Microsoft Software Donation Program

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The Microsoft Software Donation Program at TechSoup provides a wide variety of software to nonprofits, charities, faith-based organizations, and public libraries throughout the United States.

The Microsoft donation program is one of TechSoup's most popular resources. You can choose from hundreds of professional and enterprise Microsoft products for your organization.


Eligibility and Restrictions

Consult the eligibility and restrictions page to review your organization's eligibility to participate in this program.

Microsoft provides nonprofits and libraries with a maximum allotment of product donations that can be requested per two-year cycle.

For detailed explanations of the quantity of products you can request, special rules for software donations to public libraries, and specific procedures to follow for returns, see the Microsoft Software Donation Program – Eligibility, Allotments, and Returns page.

 

 

Volume Licensing Service Center

Getting Started

The Microsoft products donated through TechSoup are made available through the Microsoft Volume Licensing program. You use the Volume Licensing Service Center (VLSC) — a Microsoft website — to obtain installation keys, download software, order installation discs, and access other benefits included with your Microsoft donation.

To register for the VLSC, you'll need your organization's email address and a Windows Live ID.

For more information, read Volume Licensing Service Center — Getting Started.

Obtaining Software

Through the VLSC, you can download and install any version or language for your product. Just choose the language and operating system type (32-bit or 64-bit), and download your software.

Most products are also physically available on a CD-ROM or DVD-ROM, also known as a media kit, for an additional cost.

For more information, read Volume Licensing Service Center — Downloading and Installing Software.

License Information

You can view all of your volume licenses at the VLSC. They're listed in two views: a relationship summary and a license summary.

The relationship summary lists all of the Volume Licensing Agreements and Open Licenses that are associated with your account. The license summary shows information about all the products in all your licenses.

For more information, read Volume Licensing Service Center — License Information.

Product Keys

Most Microsoft products obtained through TechSoup require a product activation key or setup code to complete the installation process. You can access these keys or codes directly from the Downloads and Keys page on the VLSC. After downloading the product, enter the key during installation to activate the software.

There are three kinds of keys: Volume License Keys (VLKs), Multiple Activation Keys (MAKs), and Key Management Service (KMS) Keys.

For more information, read Volume Licensing Service Center — Product Keys.

Software Assurance

Microsoft includes two years of Software Assurance with all Volume Licensing products it donates through TechSoup.

Software Assurance is a collection of benefits that includes free software upgrades, Office Multi-Language Packs, Office suites for use at home, E-Learning courses, and an additional cold backup copy.

For more information, read Volume Licensing Service Center — Software Assurance Benefits.

Maintaining Your Account

After the first VLSC account has been created, the administrator can create additional users and manage their permissions from within the VLSC.

To change the email address of the VLSC account owner, though, you must contact VLSC customer service. Non-email contact information can be changed by contacting TechSoup Account Management.

For more information, read Volume Licensing Service Center — Maintaining Your Account.

Differences from Retail

Not all products listed in the VLSC are identical to products you might get through the Microsoft website or at a retail outlet. For example, full Windows licenses are not available through the VLSC, and Office suites come with different configurations.

The VLSC also allows you to download earlier versions of products, products in different languages, and sometimes different products from within the same Microsoft family.

For more information, read Volume Licensing Service Center — Differences from Retail Products.

Microsoft Servers and Licensing

Overview

You'll come across three basic licensing models for Microsoft server products.

  • Server Operating Systems and Server/CAL models: include licenses for the server and users or devices that connect to it.
  • Per Processor/Per Core model: includes only server licenses that are valid for a certain number of processors or cores in a single server.
  • Management Servers model: includes licenses for the server and for servers or nonserver operating systems that are being managed. 

Server operating systems and server applications can run in either physical or virtual operating system environments (OSEs).

For detailed licensing information on individual products and product families, see Microsoft's Product Licensing Search page or TechSoup's Guide to Microsoft Server Licensing.

Dynamics CRM

Dynamics CRM is a CRM (customer relationship management) server application designed to run on Windows Server or Windows Small Business Server in conjunction with Exchange Server. Dynamics CRM is available in two editions: CRM Server and CRM Workgroup Server.

CRM Server operates under the Server/CAL licensing model and allows organizations to maintain multiple CRM databases on one server with just one server license. There are also five types of client access licenses (CAL) and an external connector license.

CRM Workgroup Server is a specially licensed edition of CRM Server and does not operate under the Server/CAL licensing model.

For more information, see TechSoup's Guide to Dynamics CRM Editions and Licensing.

Exchange Server

Exchange Server is a server application providing email functionality, group scheduling, discussion groups, team folders, and mobile and web access. It is available in two editions: Standard and Enterprise. The Standard edition allows up to five mailbox databases, while the Enterprise edition allows up to 100.

Exchange server is licensed under the Server/CAL model. Some of Exchange Server's product functionality depends on whether an organization requests Enterprise client access licenses (CALs) in addition to Standard CALs. Both Standard and Enterprise CALs can be used with either server edition, but the Enterprise CALs can be used only in conjunction with Standard CALs.

For more information, see TechSoup's Guide to Exchange Server Editions and Licensing.

SharePoint Server

SharePoint Server is a server platform for information sharing, collaboration, and content management. You can use it to set up and manage intranet sites or portals.

SharePoint Server is licensed under the Server/CAL model. Some of SharePoint Server's product functionality depends on whether an organization requests Enterprise client access licenses (CALs) in addition to Standard CALs. Enterprise CALs only need to be requested for users or devices that need to access certain additional features.

SharePoint Foundation is a collaboration platform and foundation for building web applications. It is available free of charge from Microsoft. All of the features in SharePoint Foundation are also available in SharePoint Server.

SQL Server

SQL Server is a relational database server application offering tools for data storage, management, analysis, and reporting. It's available in three editions: Standard, Business Intelligence, and Enterprise.

The Standard edition of SQL server is licensed under both the Server/CAL model and the Per Core model. The Business Intelligence Edition is only licensed under the Server/CAL model. The Enterprise Edition is only licensed under the Per Core licensing model.

For more information, see TechSoup's Guide to SQL Server Editions and Licensing.

System Center

The products in the System Center family help manage physical and virtual information technology environments across datacenters, client computers, and devices.

To use System Center software, you need the appropriate server MLs for the servers being managed or monitored and client MLs for all the end users or devices being managed. Server and Client MLs are primarily available through bundled suites: System Center 2012 Standard and System Center 2012 Datacenter.

For more information, see TechSoup's Guide to System Center Products and Licensing.

Windows Server

Windows Server is an operating system that enables a server to handle network roles such as print server, domain controller, web server, and file server, and to be the platform for separately acquired server applications such as Exchange Server or SQL Server. It is available in Standard, Datacenter, and Essentials editions.

The Standard and Enterprise editions of Windows Server use a processor-based licensing model, with each license allowing up to two physical processors on a server. Users or devices require CALs to access the server software.

The Essentials edition supports a maximum of two processors and and CALs aren't needed. This means the maximum of 25 users and 50 devices can't be exceeded.

For more information, see TechSoup's Guide to Windows Server Editions and Licensing.