What are the Types of Microsoft Licenses?

Are you wondering, What are the Types of Microsoft Licenses? This article provides a comprehensive guide to the various Microsoft licenses, helping you choose the one that best suits your organization’s needs.

Microsoft, a leading provider of software solutions, offers a variety of licensing options to cater to the diverse needs of its users. These licenses range from those designed for small businesses to large corporations, educational institutions, government organizations, and more.

This article will delve into the different types of Microsoft licenses, providing a comprehensive guide for anyone who understands which license best suits their needs.

Microsoft Volume Licensing

Microsoft Volume Licensing is a service that allows users to run software on multiple computers within an organization. This type of licensing is cost-effective and provides more customized purchasing options and improved software management. It’s tailored to meet the needs of specific industries such as federal, state, and local government, education, healthcare, charities, independent software vendors, and service providers.

Microsoft Licensing for Small Businesses

For smaller organizations, Microsoft offers Open programs. These programs provide a simple, cost-effective way to acquire the latest Microsoft technology. They include:

  1. Open Value: Ideal for organizations that want to standardize their IT infrastructure and maximize their investment with Software Assurance.
  2. Open Value Subscription: Best for organizations that want lower upfront costs and can increase or decrease license count annually to accommodate changes in desktop PC count.
  3. Open License: Perfect for organizations that want to start using the software immediately and pay as they go.

Microsoft Licensing for Midsize and Large Businesses

Microsoft provides several midsize and large businesses licensing programs to support dynamic IT infrastructure and simplify software license management. These include:

  1. Open Value and Open Value Subscription: Similar to the offerings for small businesses.
  2. Select Plus: Allows businesses to acquire the latest Microsoft technology through a pay-as-you-go licensing model, maintaining a mixed software environment.
  3. Enterprise Agreement: Provides cost savings beyond standard license pricing, helps businesses standardize IT across the enterprise, and includes comprehensive Software Assurance benefits.
  4. Enterprise Subscription Agreement: Offers the benefits of an Enterprise Agreement with lower upfront costs and additional flexibility.

Microsoft Licensing for Specific Groups

Microsoft tailors volume licensing programs to meet the needs of specific industries. These include:

  1. Government Organizations: Microsoft offers special pricing and terms for all sizes of eligible government organizations.
  2. Educational Institutions: Microsoft provides subscription licensing offerings for education customers, including Enrollment for Education Solutions (EES), Campus Enrollment, and School Enrollment.
  3. Charitable Organizations: Eligible nonprofit organizations can acquire multiple software licenses at reduced prices through Volume Licensing.
  4. Healthcare Organizations: Microsoft provides licensing programs tailored to healthcare organizations of all sizes.
  5. Service Providers, Hosters, and Applications as Service Providers, OEM and ISVs: Microsoft offers the Service Provider License Agreement (SPLA) for organizations that want to offer hosted software and services to end customers.


Understanding the types of Microsoft licenses is crucial for any organization seeking to optimize its software investment. By choosing the correct license, organizations can ensure they have the necessary software to operate efficiently while managing costs effectively. Whether you’re a small business, a large corporation, or a government organization, Microsoft has a license tailored to your needs.


  • Fredrik Filipsson

    Fredrik Filipsson possesses 20 years of experience in Oracle license management. Having worked at Oracle for 9 years, he gained an additional 11 years of expertise in Oracle license consulting projects. Fredrik has provided assistance to over 150 organizations worldwide, ranging in size and tackling various Oracle licensing challenges, including Licensing Assessments, Oracle audits, Oracle ULAs, and more.