The Product Use Rights and Product List documents are perhaps the most important tools for managing your Volume Licensing acquisition from Microsoft®. The Product Use Rights document is updated quarterly and includes the following:

  • Introduction
  • Universal License Terms
  • Product Specific Terms
  • Notices
  • Software Assurance Benefits
  • Additional Software


It is important to note that we don’t actually purchase software but rather, we purchase a license to use that software. This is true whether the acquisition is for a perpetual or non-perpetual license. This is significant because we can’t merely pay for the software and use it however we wish. The PUR is a legally binding component of the Microsoft® Volume Licensing Agreement and its terms must be adhered to if the customer is to remain in compliance. Failure to do so can result in a requirement to purchase additional licenses, legal penalties, or license termination.


Microsoft® is often criticized for the complexity of their Volume Licensing program and we recently wrote an article on the subject Among the challenges facing Microsoft® is that with so many products and multiple usage scenarios there is no single solution to meet the needs of everyone. Microsoft® addresses this by offering multiple licensing models. There are a number of factors used to define each model, such as how the product(s) will be used, how it will be accessed, dependence upon other products, how many users or devices will access it, etc. Each of these models is described in the PUR. Some products may appear in more than one model.


There is a tremendous amount of information in the PUR, and while it may read like a contract or license agreement in places, it is the definitive source for usage and licensing rights and requirements. When you need to know how to license a particular product or the specifics of what you can do with that product under the terms of your agreement, generally, the PUR has the information you need.


This article will not attempt to replicate the content of the PUR but rather, serve as a brief synopsis of the document, intended to assist the reader in knowing where specific content may be in the Product Use Rights document. To accomplish this, we will briefly summarize the sections in the order in which they appear. For a more in-depth guide to using the PUR, including a reasonably comprehensive case study, see


The PUR is organized in the following manner:



The Introduction provides an overview to describe which terms apply to particular products. It also identifies the Licensing Models, changes to product availability, product name, and other relevant changes. Some products use a combination of two or more Licensing Models and are included in the Combined Licensing Models section.


Universal License Terms

These license terms apply universally to your use of Microsoft® software and online services licensed under your Volume Licensing Agreement. This includes Defined Terms, and a number of basic topics such as version rights, license reassignment, and product activation.


Product Specific Terms

The beginning of each License Model section shows “General License Terms” for that Model. General License Terms apply to all licensed products in that Model unless specifically stated otherwise. Each Model includes the name of every available product and use rights for those products (Product Specific Terms). The PUR Models are as follows:

  • Desktop Applications (Per Device)
  • Desktop Operating Systems (Per Copy Per Device)
  • Servers: Processor/CAL (Processor License + CAL + Optional External Connector)
  • Servers: Server/CAL (Server License + CAL + Optional External Connector)
  • Servers: Per Core (Core License)
  • Management Servers (Server License + Management License [fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][Server or Client])
  • Specialty Servers (Server License)
  • Developer Tools (User License)
  • Online Services (User or Device Subscription License, Services Subscription License, and/or Add-on Subscription License)
  • Combined Licensing Models


Appendix 1: Notices

This is somewhat of a catch-all section. Notices can be product specific or they may be all-encompassing such as notices of automatic updates or use of information.


Appendix 2: Software Assurance Benefits

The PUR separates SA benefits from Product Specific Terms because Software  Assurance is a program, rather than a product. The Product List offers a summary of SA offerings while the PUR provides specific usage terms such as primary, remote, and roaming use rights.


Appendix 3: Additional Software

Many Server products include rights to additional tools and software which are not specific components of the Server product itself. These “Additional Products” may often be used in conjunction with appropriately licensed server products. Appendix 3 identifies these products and additional software with which they may be used.


Nov 2016