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Updated: How and where to download Microsoft Windows Small Business Server 2011 as a Microsoft partner

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UPDATE: Please see the latest official Microsoft update on this located at the link below:

Microsoft Windows Small Business Server 2011 now available for download through Microsoft partner digital distribution site

I have been receiving some questions this week (and rightfully so) regarding my How and where to download Microsoft Windows Small Business Server 2011 as a Microsoft partner post from January which stated that “Windows SBS 2011 software and keys will be available on the Microsoft partner digital distribution site in late February (estimated),” since ‘late February’ has passed and they are not there yet. Because of this, I wanted to share an update here on this situation so you all have the latest information, instead of just those I have had exchanges with via social media, email, or conversations. 

At the time of the original post, we anticipated being able to deliver the Windows SBS 2011 software and keys through the Microsoft partner digital distribution portal by end of February; however, we have since discovered a situation, which we are actively working on, that did not allow us to make this happen. As such, below are the updated answers to the questions of:

  1. When will Windows Small Business Server 2011 bits be on the Microsoft partner digital distribution portal for Microsoft partners to download it?
  2. How/where do Microsoft partners get the bits for Windows Small Business Server 2011 before then?

Question #1: When will Windows Small Business Server 2011 bits be on the Microsoft partner digital distribution site for Microsoft partners to download it?

Answer: We are working to resolve the current situation as soon as possible, and will make the download and keys available on the digital distribution site as soon as we can. We expect the Windows SBS 2011 software and keys to be available on the Microsoft partner digital distribution site during the second quarter of calendar year 2011 (if not before).  In the interim, please use one of the defined options below to obtain access to Windows SBS 2011 for your internal use license entitlement.  For updates, please start to check the Microsoft partner digital distribution portal after mid-March.

Question #2: How/where do Microsoft partners get the bits for Windows Small Business Server 2011 before it is available on the Microsoft partner digital distribution portal?

Answer #2: Below I will provide the answers, depending on if you are a Microsoft partner with a gold competency or silver competency, Action Pack Solution Provider subscription, or Action Pack Development and Design subscription.

If you are a Microsoft partner with a gold competency or silver competency:

  • You should download the Windows Small Business Server 2011 bits from the TechNet or MSDN site that you receive access to as a benefit of your Microsoft Partner Network Membership.
  • Please note: product keys distributed through the MSDN and TechNet are single activation keys. As a Microsoft partner, you can obtain your Multiple Activation Key (MAK) product key from the Microsoft partner digital distribution portal as soon as available (See Question #1 above). Partners may use any combination of methods and keys acquired through Microsoft programs to activate machines as long as the systems are properly licensed and appropriate use rights are applied. Software use right is not enforced by which product key is used for a specific license entitlement.

If you are a Microsoft partner with an Action Pack Solution Provider subscription:

  • You should download the Windows Small Business Server 2011 bits from the TechNet site that you receive access to as a benefit of your Microsoft Action Pack Solution Provider subscription.
  • Please note: product keys distributed through the TechNet are single activation keys. As a Microsoft partner, you can obtain your Multiple Activation Key (MAK) product key from the Microsoft partner digital distribution portal as soon as available (See Question #1 above). Partners may use any combination of methods and keys acquired through Microsoft programs to activate machines as long as the systems are properly licensed and appropriate use rights are applied. Software use right is not enforced by which product key is used for a specific license entitlement.

If you are a Microsoft partner with an Action Pack Development and Design subscription:

  • You should download the Windows Small Business Server 2011 bits from the Microsoft TechNet Evaluation Center site.
  • This is a 30 day evaluation copy and no product key is required.
  • Although the evaluation period is 30 days, it can be rearmed twice, meaning you can actually use it for up to a 90 day time period before requiring your MAK key.
  • As a Microsoft partner, you can obtain your Multiple Activation Key (MAK) product key from the Microsoft partner digital distribution portal as soon as available (See Question #1 above) and convert your trial into a full production copy.

As I mentioned above, we are working to resolve the current situation as soon as possible, and will make the download and keys available on the digital distribution site as soon as we can. We realize this is not the ideal situation but we are committed to make sure you have access to and know how you can obtain the bits for Windows Small Business Server 2011 for your internal use. As such, please utilize the steps above, if you haven’t already, to get your bits of Windows Small Business Server 2011 to use under your license entitlement.

Did you find this information helpful? If so, you may want to make sure you are utilizing all of the areas I share information online, such as: my Facebook page, my Twitter account, my LinkedIn account, and my blog.


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Thank you and have a wonderful day,

Eric LigmanFollow me on TWITTER, LinkedIn, and RSS and see “What I’m thinking
Global Partner Experience Lead
Microsoft Worldwide Partner Group
This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights

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