Microsoft licenses

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Procurement options for Microsoft licenses

In the field of research & teaching there are different ways of acquiring discounted Microsoft licenses. The choice of acquisition type depends (among other things) not only on the person, but also on the purpose of the software and on which computer the software will be used.

The circle of beneficiaries for research & teaching (for so-called volume licenses such as Select Plus) is defined by Microsoft in a document called "Microsoft-Berechtigungskriterien für Qualifizierte Nutzer für Forschung & Lehre (EMEA)"  (Alternative: archived  version from October 2013, downloaded on 9 December 2014)


Select Plus: Discounted purchase of Microsoft licenses by faculties of Kiel University for the business use

For this purpose Kiel University closed a Select Plus framework contract with Microsoft in 2009. Select Plus is "open end" and ends upon termination of this contract either by Microsoft or Kiel University. Orders can only be made via faculties of Kiel University or their representative. (Select Plus consists of three pools of license types: application pool, server pool, system pool. Each license, that can be ordered via Select Plus, belongs to one of the above mentioned pools. For each pool the discounted prices are only acquired, if a minimum number of points, which can be obtained via orders, has been achieved in that pool within a year.)

Licenses can generally be purchased with or without Software Assurance (SA). SA grants the right to use versions of the software that are released after the purchase of the license without further charges. However, this is only valid until the closing date after the third year of the purchase has taken place. In this context: The closing date of the Kiel University Select Plus contract is 1 April of a year. SA can also be extended. This has to be within 30 days after expiration of a previous SA.

Orders in accordance with the contract are conducted via ( via the company asknet/Karlsruhe. For using this web shop order access is required. This can be requested via "Neu registrieren" at the right upper side of the start page of the web shop. asknet states: "An employee needs an activation request. This has to be stamped by your faculty and the address of your faculty has to be stated on the request." 

The use of licenses acquired in Select Plus is (among other things) subject to the regarding framework contract text and the Product Usage Rights (PURs), extracted reference from the Microsoft website "Microsoft product licensing". A further alternative is to download the archived: PUR version from October 2014)


Select-Plus news

16/17 June 2015: Microsoft concluded the system pool of the select plus contract or set to "on-hold" as of May 2015, since not enough orders were received in this pool during the contract year. The system pool contains e.g. the upgrade of the newest Windows desktop version. Corresponding orders are being rejected/cancelled by Microsoft and asknet. To ReOpen the system pool a sufficient initial order of at least 500 points is required. This could be achieved for example by ordering 250 Win 8.1. Prof Upgrade licences.

In an email communication on 5 May 2015 asknet pointed out the alternative Open Academic: :

You can order directly via fax or e-mail.
To order from the OPEN program, an initial
minimum order of 5 licenses is required.
This can be assembled freely from the program.
Afterwards you get an OPEN authorization number, which is valid for two years.
During this two years you can also order individual licenses.
Please state this authorization number in case of further orders. 

We requested asknet at that time to branch from the web shop for Select Plus directly to this Open Academic offer. However, this has not been the case yet. (as of 16 June 2015). Please note, that additionally ordered software assurance is only valid for 2 years (not for 3 years, such as Select Plus).

Sample price.: Win 8.1. Upgrade License Select Plus: 64.62 brutto; Open Academic: 81.91 brutto.

update 17 June 2015: asknet announces that the above mentioned Open Academic offer will be build directly into our web shop ASK/CAU , which leads to the fact that switching to their web shop is no longer required and an existing account can be used to order the regarding Open Academic licenses. A relevant information for the contact partner is being prepared by asknet.

DreamSpark Premium (for students and employees of the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences and the Faculty of Engineering)

The Faculty of Mathematical and Natural Science and the Faculty of Engineering both are members of the Microsoft program called "DreamSpark Premium". The goal of this program seems to be to promote spreading and using Microsoft tools in computer science-related disciplines. Faculties that are members of the above mentioned program can enable employees and students free of charge access to certain Microsoft applications and operating systems

At this point already a prior warning: Microsoft Office is not included in DreamSpark Premium. Please mind the compliance of the terms of use (text of the DreamSpark Premium subscription contract, usage guidelines of DreamSpark Premium). There is also a list of the products included in DreamSparkPremium available.

The Computing Centre is not involved in transacting or maintenance of DreamSpark Premium memberships. In case of further information is required, please contact the regarding faculty of Kiel University:


Further information about DreamSpark Premium:


Private purchase of discounted Microsoft licenses for students and employees

Employees and students also have the possibility to purchase discounted education versions of Microsoft products (software and hardware) in retail or online. To get an idea of the product range taking a look at the regarding  Microsoft-sites might be useful. Moreover, the trend of renting software can be observed there. For example, Office 365 University can be rented there for 4 years. Please note, that prices stated at Microsoft itself might not necessarily be the discounted ones. So doing a little research prior to purchase might be of use.