Microsoft Volume Activation - Service Description

This document gives an overview of Microsoft Volume Activation for University volume license editions of Microsoft products.


Microsoft Volume Activation 2.0 (VA 2.0) is a new requirement for volume licensed versions of Windows Vista & 7 and Windows Server 2008 & 2008 R2. Volume license versions of previous Windows editions provided through the Microsoft Campus Agreement - Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 - did not require activation. It will also be used for volume license editions of Microsoft Office 2010 (including Visio and Project). VA 2.0 is expected to be expanded to other Microsoft volume license products used on campus in the future.

There are two volume activation models available:

  1. Key Management Service (KMS)
    • KMS allows organizations to activate systems within their own network through a local activation server. Systems must check-in with the activation server on a recurring basis.
  2. Multiple Activation Key (MAK)
    • MAK activates systems on a one-time basis, using Microsoft's hosted activation services.

For additional information, please see [Windows] Volume Activation 2.0 at UW-Madison

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