Microsoft has a large group of people and a relatively large amount of resources dedicated to licensing. Some are responsible for ensuring that their customers are abiding by the license agreements, while others are simply there to advise customers on proper licensing options. Although fully understanding Microsoft's licensing model is probably outside the scope of all but a full-time specialist, it is important that you understand the technical differences between the available licensing options.
A major concern for Microsoft is the number of people who choose to avoid licensing issues altogether by pirating the software. Due in part to its popularity, Windows has become one of the most pirated pieces of software ever. To help curb the piracy and ensure customers understand the dangers of pirated software, Microsoft has implemented the Windows Genuine Advantage program.
Although the Windows Genuine Advantage program attempts to educate and appeal to the morals and ethics of customers, Microsoft has also begun to enforce measures to verify licensing by using the process of activation. An effective deployment solution must deal with the activation requirements of the operating system.
Understanding and managing Windows licenses can be a full-time job. Just as you think you understand it, it changes. The aim of this section is to provide you with the information necessary to build a successful deployment. You will ...