With the latest versions of Microsoft’s cash cows available to volume license customers, a new version of the tool allowing for the administration of volume activation is currently available for download. The Volume Activation Management Tool has made it all the way to version 2.0, and is now tailored not only to Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2, but also to the recently released to manufacturing Office 2010. VAMT 2.0 is designed to allow IT professionals to centrally manage volume activation, as well as automate repetitive tasks. Of course, VAMT 2.0 needs to be used in conjunction with the Microsoft Management Console.

Unlike home users, businesses have the option to buy not only the retail version of Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 and Office 2010 RTM, but also the volume versions, which differ in terms of activation. While retail versions of the products mentioned above can only be activated one at a time, volume activation can be performed on multiple instances of the operating systems or the productivity suite, via the Key Management Service (KMS) or Multiple Activation Key (MAK), while retail activation remains an option.

Jodi Kogan, marketing communications manager at Microsoft, revealed that, “The release of VAMT v2.0 is a significant milestone as it packs the following features/benefits:

“•Helps IT administrators centrally manage and automate a range of activities related to Windows activation using Microsoft Management Console (MMC) snap-in for a consistent administration experience;

“•Enables management of product keys – whether obtained from the Volume Licensing Service Center (VLSC) or from other sources such as retail, MSDN, MSPP — and product activations using those keys;

“•Provides disconnected activation and reactivation of systems without each system having to connect with Microsoft activation services individually;

“•Facilitates remote management of systems relating to activation/genuine using Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) interface;

“•Assists with license compliance, letting IT administrators monitor system license state, including whether systems are licensed and running genuine Windows.”

Volume Activation Management Tool (VAMT) 2.0 is available for download here.

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