What Is The Difference Between OEM, Retail, MSDN, And Volume Licenses?

Licenses can be obtained in four ways: retail, OEM, MSDN, and Volume Licensing. Though they may sound similar, they are not the same; the usage rights associated with them differ considerably. Paying attention to the license terms at the time of purchase can make all the difference. Retail licenses allow for a single installation on any system. However, OEM licenses are restricted to one computer for life due to their lower prices and limited transferability. MSDN licenses are offered to developers and are based on a subscription fee; they gives access to select services from Microsoft. Volume Licensing is purposed for businesses and grants access to products across multiple devices with more flexibility over product activation management. Here we’ll discuss Microsoft volume licensing in more detail.

What Is Microsoft Volume Licensing?

Microsoft Volume Licensing is a licensing program that allows organizations to purchase licenses in bulk with volume discounts and other benefits. It saves time and money by simplifying the process of managing licenses across multiple devices. Volume licensing Microsoft also helps organizations stay compliant by providing key information about their license rights. Microsoft office volume licensing is available for products such as Office 2019, 2019, Exchange Server and Windows 10, 11.

Four Ways Of Obtaining Licenses

Retail License

Retail licenses are an ideal solution for those looking to purchase software without the commitment of a subscription. Full versions provide access to the latest technology and updates included with the software, making it easy to stay up-to-date. Upgrade licenses offer a cost-effective way of upgrading existing versions at a lower price compared to purchasing a full license. Both provide flexibility and convenience when shopping for software, eliminating the need to pay for additional fees and long waits in line at retail locations.

What Are The Steps To Activate A Retail License Key?

1) By Phone:

For phone-based activation, you will receive a confirmation ID that binds the license key to your computer – great if you only want one activation, but if you ever need to format your computer, you won’t be able to use the key again. Make sure to have your license key ready when calling for activation so an agent can get you online quickly!

2) Online:

Online activation is a breeze – enter your license key when prompted, and you’re done. This method is also much quicker and easier than phone-based activation, as your license key is tied to your computer and you don’t need to read out or type a long confirmation code to activate the product key.

3) Via Office Portal (Binding): 

These types of product keys are bound to your Microsoft account so in case you need to replace your computer, you can download and activate the software a second time, where as the other types of licenses often only allow for one activation.,


OEM license, or Original Equipment Manufacturer license, is a license installed on newly-bought devices. It can’t be transferred to another device for activation, though reactivation on the same computer is possible. OEM licenses are an important way manufacturers protect their products from unauthorized use.


Microsoft Software Developer Network (MSDN) licenses are genuine Microsoft product keys, retail licenses intended for subscription-paying members of the MSDN or TechNet community. These users can access premium services and products at a discounted rate compared to their non-subscribing counterparts. With MSDN and TechNet, you have complete access to the latest software from Microsoft. An invaluable investment for developers, professionals, and businesses alike.


Microsoft Volume Licensing is a great way for companies to acquire software licenses at reduced costs. When you purchase a volume license, it doesn’t just provide access to the software; it also comes with additional benefits such as product activation management and a single-use agreement across multiple devices. Volume licensing has become increasingly popular among businesses, allowing them to keep up with the ever-changing technological landscape while keeping within their budget.

MAK – Multiple Activation Key

MAK activation makes it easy to get computers up and to run quickly. Uninstall any previous Office versions first. Then simply install the download or DVD image, enter the license key and your PC will connect with a Microsoft activation server, and voila! Your systems are instantly activated on a one-time basis – no need for further communication with Microsoft. The MAK process allows for fast, hassle-free activation so businesses can keep their operations rolling with minimal interruption.

Activating with a Multiple Activation Key:

To activate a product using a Multiple Activation Key (MAK), there are two methods available:

MAK Independent Activation:

This method allows you to activate each device independently with its own activation key. Each product is activated separately, ensuring the most cost-effective use of your license keys and saving you time in the process.

MAK Proxy Activation:

This type of activation allows multiple machines to be activated using a single MAK key. The activation request is sent through an internal proxy server, which handles all communications with Microsoft’s servers and activates each computer efficiently. With this method, you’ll be able to quickly get your entire network up and running without having to install licenses individually on every machine.


Microsoft products are essential tools for many organizations and businesses. With Microsoft Volume Licensing, these users can access all the latest technology while saving money in the process. With various methods available, including retail license, OEM license, MSDN license, and volume licensing, you can easily find one that fits your needs and budget. Microsoft volume licensing center offers all the features you need to activate your products with minimal hassle and maximum savings. Whether you need a single-use license or multiple activations, you’ll be able to quickly and conveniently get your systems up and running with Microsoft volume licensing.

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