If I added Software Assurance to my OEM Office Professional 2003, what do I have rights to?

With the release of Microsoft Office 2007, some of the Editions of Office were enhanced or updated to include additional items or technologies, such as Office Professional Plus (offered through Volume Licensing), which includes Microsoft Office InfoPath® 2007 and Microsoft Office Communicator 2007.  Because of this, the differences between the editions offered through OEM, Retail Box, and Volume Licensing have increased as well.  You can see the difference in the chart between Office Professional (OEM or Retail Box version of Office Professional 2007) and Office Professional Plus (Volume Licensing version of Office Professional 2007).  NOTE: Even though “Office Outlook 2007 with Business Contact Manager” is not checked under Office Professional Plus, you do do get the rights to it.  You can see that in footnote #2 below the chart and I included the steps to get it in an earlier post.

So, after my, “Remember, OEM Office Pro is not the same as Office Pro + in Volume License, so your SA attach is different” post about how adding Software Assurance to OEM Office Professional 2007 gets you rights to Office 2007 Standard or Small Business Edition, not Office 2007 Professional Plus, I received several questions from people looking to confirm what they received if they had added Software Assurance to their OEM Office Professional 2003 now that Office 2007 was released.  As such, I wanted to point you to the 2007 Microsoft Office System Components/Migrations/Step-Up License/Multilanguage/OEM Enrollment document posted on the Microsoft Volume Licensing Briefs website.

In this document you will see under the Migration Paths section that those who had active Software Assurance coverage on Office Professional Enterprise 2003 licenses (the Edition those who added Software Assurance to their OEM Office Professional 2003 licenses received) at the time of the Office 2007 launch received rights to Office Professional Plus 2007.  As such, if you had added Software Assurance to an OEM Office Professional 2003 license within 90 days of the OEM Office license purchase, you would have received rights to Office Professional Enterprise 2003.  If that Software Assurance was still active on November 1, 2006 (release date of Office 2007 through Volume Licensing), then you received rights to Office Professional Plus 2007.

Thank you and have a wonderful day,

Eric Ligman
Microsoft US Senior Manager
Small Business Community Engagement
This posting is provided “AS IS” with no warranties, and confers no rights

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Comments (11)

  1. Did you see this post at blogs.msdn.com

  2. In some of my earlier post, such as: OEM Microsoft Server software. New short video answers top questions

  3. Juan Trevino says:

    The purpose behind being able to buy SA for OEM purchases is to provide an upgrade path. That is why Retail editions do not qualify for SA.

    The fact that Microsoft is not supplying a apples-to-apples upgrade path for OEM Office Professional is just ludicrous. Not that I buy it, but it just adds another layer of complexity to their licensing fiasco.

    No wonder they have a specialty designation just for their licensing. Too bad you cannot get certified as a license specialist if you just understand it all…you have to sell a bunch too.

    Not that I am any smarter than the Microsoft Licensing machine geniuses in Redmond…but it would seem to me that the best way to get everyone that actually buys MS Office on Software Assurance is to get rid of retail upgrades, make OEM new installs and retail full products the same…and make the only upgrade path a software assurance purchase that can be purchased one-off in stores, or in volume from your local VAR.

    You pay x amount for purchases done before SA expiration, or y amount for purchases outside of the SA expiration.

    If you are in a product feature transition across versions, then you let the customer pick as they do now. The new license key can determine the features installed/available.

    This simplies the entire OEM/Retail/VL mess.