Not all Microsoft customers are equal and not all treated in such a manner either. The difference lies in the license that accompanies software from the Redmond company. While end users have to deal with retail software or OEM images, corporate customers access Microsoft software through volume licenses. And there’s absolutely nothing stopping the software giant from threatening its volume customers as first class citizens. Microsoft Volume Licensing Reference Guide is available for download for those that want to understand just how the company licenses software to business users.

The guide is designed to deliver an insight into the Microsoft Volume Licensing programs, covering a variety of topics from product licensing models to Software Assurance. Of course, now that Windows 7 is available for purchase, customers can also understand just how the latest iteration of Windows fits into the company’s volume licensing programs.

“Software acquired through Microsoft Volume Licensing is a software license only. A software license provides the right to run a Microsoft software product,” Microsoft revealed. “Savings above retail boxed software prices can be realized by participating in a Microsoft Volume Licensing program. By acquiring software licenses through Volume Licensing, you can pay for only the software license. More »

Microsoft is offering as a free download the Resource Kit content already made available on TechNet for the Office 2007 System. Packaged in Compiled Help format, the 2007 Office Resource Kit Technical Library weighs in at just 3.7 MB, and end-users will need an operating system capable of dealing with compiled help files, namely Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2008. According to Microsoft, the downloadable Office 2007 Resource Kit CHM offers nothing more than the 2007 Office Resource Kit technical library, which can be accessed on the company’s portal for IT professionals.

Essentially, the 2007 Office Resource Kit is designed as a resource centralizing a range of information, guides, walkthroughs, troubleshooting techniques etc. related to Office 2007. In this sense, the kit is set up to streamline the deployment of the Redmond company’s productivity suite in the context of corporate IT infrastructures.

“The primary administrative tools for deploying the 2007 Microsoft Office system are included with the product and are no longer available as a download as in previous More »

Ever had the feeling that Microsoft is scrambling to salvage what little it still can out of Windows Vista? While continuously claiming that its latest Windows client is not a failure, and pointing to the 140 million licenses sold as of March 2008, the Redmond company seems keen on demonstrating that it can pull the operating system out of the sinking sands of public opinion. In this regard, Service Pack 1 is indeed used as a floating device, but a tad of marketing on the side can’t possibly hurt, can it? The focus for the time being, as far as Microsoft is concerned, is business users. Traditionally slow to upgrade to a new Windows release, corporate clients are now looking at Windows XP SP3 and Windows 7 as alternatives to Vista upgrades. The software giant is working to push Vista SP1 down their throats even if XP SP3 continues to work, and despite the proximity of Windows 7. More »

One of the most critical tasks in preparing a deployment of Windows Vista is to test the compatibility of your applications. Many applications that run perfectly under Windows XP simply do not run on Windows Vista. Since you don’t want to spend time and money to deploy Vista if none of your users are able to run their applications afterward, it is absolutely imperative to test each application ahead of time.

What’s the best way to test?
Of course, you still have to make sure to test all of the applications in your organization. Although it’s tempting, you don’t necessarily have to set up a workstation and install a copy of every application your company uses (not at first, anyway). Unless you are very thorough in your testing, installing all those applications onto a workstation isn’t a good testing method for of couple of reasons. More »

Windows Preinstallation Environment (PE) 2.0 is a slimed down version of Windows (hence all the MiniNT references) that used to be the exclusive domain of OEM’s providers. Microsoft has wisely chosen to offer this to the masses as part of the Windows AIK. USB keys can be found just about anywhere these days for next to nothing. Combine the capabilities of WinPE with the portability of a USB key and you just made a very powerful troubleshooting, imaging, and data recovery tool. Here is a quick step by step on how to do just that: More »