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If you are planning a pilot or full deployment of Windows 7, with or without Office 2010, we have a new series of videos and demos to help you understand and implement volume activation. Volume activation is required for volume license editions of Windows 7 and Office 2010, and should be integrated in your deployment process. There are two volume activation methods. These are Key Management Service (KMS) and Multiple Activation Key (MAK). You can use either or both methods in your environment, and many organizations will want to use both. The volume activation process is very similar for Windows 7 and Office 2010. Activation is managed by IT pros like yourself, and is transparent to end users. Please be assured that activation is not tied to licensing, and data sent during activation cannot be traced to computers or users.
KMS is a lightweight service that is hosted in your environment. Only the system designated as the KMS host connects to and activates with Microsoft activation service. All the KMS clients then contact the KMS host to activate. Each KMS client must renew its activation at least every 180 days. Also, KMS needs at least 25 Windows 7 clients. We recommend using KMS for most environments, especially if your organization relies heavily on virtualization. If you have fewer than 25 Windows clients, or your systems don’t connect regularly to the network, use MAK, which is similar to retail activation. Both methods use a customer-specific key that you obtain from the Volume Licensing Service Center (VLSC). The keys are assigned to your organization based on your Microsoft volume licensing agreement.
Get Started with Videos
These three videos are 100-200 level introductions to help you get started.
Go Deeper with Demos
These four 300-level demos each focus on a different topic of implementing and managing volume activation.
For more guidance and tools to help with volume activation, visit the Windows Volume Activation zone on the Springboard Series on TechNet.