Microsoft is committed to protecting the integrity of the MSDN Subscriptions program and the value of the software and benefits that the program’s legitimate subscribers receive for their investment. In support of this commitment, Microsoft implemented the following changes on July 16, 2012:
Please note that each product key has multiple activations and many products allow you to install and use the product without activation for 30 days or more. Our research on historical key claiming patterns shows that the majority of subscribers are not impacted by these changes. However, if activating a product key multiple times does not meet your needs or you’ve exhausted the activations, you can submit a request for additional keys through MSDN Customer Service.
There are no changes to MSDN licensing at this time (including perpetual usage of software). Learn more about MSDN licensing.
MSDN subscriptions provide access to a wide range of Microsoft products for designing, developing, testing, and demonstrating applications. Some of these products require product keys during installation, and some of those require activation.
MSDN subscriptions typically include five product keys for current versions of Windows and Office products, and three keys for older versions.
Product keys and product activation can be a tricky topic, so we’ve assembled some useful links to better understand and be better prepared to plan out your development and testing environments as a result.
Resources for Product Keys and Activation:
Activation is required for certain products; generally in MSDN this is limited to Windows, Windows Server, Microsoft Office client applications, and Expression Studio. When activation is required, many products—including Windows and Office—allow you to install and use the product without activation for 30 days or more. If you re-image your computers frequently (at least once every 30 days), consider NOT activating the product. Product keys supplied as part of your MSDN subscription do not allow unlimited activations of a product.
If you’ve claimed all the available product keys under your subscription and have used up all the available activations, you can request additional keys by contacting your local MSDN Customer Service Center. Requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis. If approved, product keys will be accessible in Subscriber Downloads.
MSDN subscriptions offers a selection of retail and Volume Licensing versions of Microsoft products. Certain products are available from MSDN only in their retail version or only in their Volume Licensing version; some are available in both versions. Generally, products requiring activation, such as Windows, Windows Server, and Office client products, are only offered in their retail version through MSDN.
Volume Licensing customers can also download software from the Volume Licensing Service Center (VSLC) to get Volume Licensing versions of products (and the corresponding product keys). Access to the VLSC is managed by designated administrators within the customer’s organization.
You must be signed in with the Microsoft account associated with your MSDN subscription to view your product keys. Individual product keys are found by selecting the Keys button for a particular product on the Subscriber Downloads page. All keys are also available in aggregate on the My Product Keys page. When multiple keys exist for a single product, Key Notes will be displayed on the Details column for the download to assist you in identifying which key should be used.
Some products bundle multiple editions of the product into a single download. In these cases, the product key entered determines which edition of the product is installed.
Only subscribers with active subscriptions can download products and claim product keys, so you will not be able to download products after your subscription has expired. In some cases, expired subscriptions can still display keys claimed while the subscription was active, but expired subscriptions are unable to claim new keys. To access previously claimed keys from an expired subscription, you must be signed in using the Microsoft account used with that subscription.
Some keys are provided automatically, such as “static” keys, which you can use as many times as needed because activation is not required. Other keys must be claimed by selecting the Get Key or Get Another Key button for the product.
Product Key Types Listed in Subscriber Downloads
Microsoft is committed to protecting the integrity of the MSDN subscriptions program and the value of the software and benefits that the program’s legitimate subscribers receive for their investment. In support of this commitment, Microsoft has implemented daily key claim limits for MSDN subscriptions. Daily key claim limits restrict the number of keys that can be claimed per day per subscription.
The daily key claim limit is 10 keys for all MSDN, MPN, BizSpark, MCT Software & Services, and MCT Developer Software & Services subscriptions, with the exception of MSDN Essentials and MSDN For Action Pack, which have a daily key claim limit of 7 keys.
Note: key claim limits are subject to change. Please check here for the most up-to-date limits.
If you have claimed the maximum number of keys available with for your subscription within a 24-hour period, you will see an error telling you that your limit has been reached. The limit resets every 24 hours, starting at 12:01 AM PST.
Our research shows that the majority of subscribers are covered by the number of product keys included in their subscription. If you need additional keys, you can submit a request through MSDN Customer Service and it will be considered for approval on a case-by-case basis.
You can export and save all your product keys from the My Product Keys page so that you don’t need to be online to access them. You can open the XML key list using XML Notepad, Microsoft Excel, or other XML compatible programs. XML Notepad 2007 provides a simple intuitive user interface for browsing and editing XML documents, and can be downloaded from the XML Notepad 2007 page.
To open the Product Key Export using Microsoft Excel:
With an MSDN subscription, you are allowed to provide end users access to Internet demonstrations of your programs via Terminal Services (Windows Server 2003 or Windows Server 2008) or Remote Desktop Services (Windows Server 2008 R2). Up to 200 anonymous users can simultaneously access your demonstration this way. Your demonstration must not use production data. MSDN subscribers are licensed to demonstrate their applications to end users, but Terminal Services (TS) or Remote Desktop Services (RDS) is the only scenario where end users without an MSDN subscription can interact with the demonstration application while the software is licensed through MSDN subscriptions.
MSDN subscribers can access CALs for demonstration purposes through the Product keys page of MSDN Subscriber Downloads. Please access the documentation resources online for assistance with the Terminal Server activation process. If you have any questions, please visit the Microsoft Terminal Services forum.