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Licensing overview

Updated: January 21, 2005

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2

Licensing overview

A software license grants you the legal right to use a piece of software. For each software program you use, you need a license, which is granted to you and documented in the license agreement. Your use of a software product is governed by the terms of the license agreement, as well as by copyright law. The unauthorized duplication of software constitutes copyright infringement, whether it is done for sale, for free distribution, or for personal use.

The license agreement that governs the use of Microsoft products is called the End User License Agreement (EULA). It is a contract between you and Microsoft. By acquiring the software and opening it, you accept the terms of the license agreement and you are granted the right to use the software. It is important to keep the EULA in your files. It is proof that you are the legal, licensed user of the software program.

You must have server licenses for a Microsoft® Windows Server 2003 operating system and for other server products. You must also have a Client Access License for each device or user that connects to that server.

The following topics provide more detailed information about licensing.

  • For information about how to track licensing, see Using Licensing.

  • For information about where to find additional Microsoft licensing resources, including licensing for specific Windows Server 2003 operating systems, and information about enterprise licensing, see Licensing Resources.

  • For information about required licenses for your Windows Server 2003 operating system deployment, see the Microsoft Web Site.

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