Well, just got off the phone with our handy-dandy MS rep and CDW...and, well, it wasn't quite as painful as I figured it could be. The woman was actually helpful and informative on the questions I had. I didn't necessarily like the answers but they were matter-of-fact and actually made sense. But, Microsoft licensing is still impossible as WVConfidential pointed out...here was his comment:
I have a golden rule when dealing with MS Licensing: once you find information you need, copy it to somewhere else, because you'll never be able to find it again.
It takes longer to find the ISO files for products you purchased than it does to download them. And once you do, there are five different versions to choose from. Only one of them works with your VLK. Do you feel lucky?
The names are helpful, too:
Yeah, it's great stuff...really is. Up until the past 6 months, we have been a Novell shop that used Corel products (WordPerfect) and, well, basically non-standard software as far as most people are concerned. The benefit of that is: 1) Pricing. 2) Ease of use. 3) Ease of licensing. For example, Corel offers Home Use. How? You send the CD home with the user and they install it. End of story. Microsoft? No, the user has to buy software (or the company does) and give it to the user to install. I mean, it's a little thing but it's really a pain.
We still are on the Novell backbone but we're going to complete MS soon and I am not looking forward to that...and the cost is going to be extraordinary (obviously). SQL licenses, server licenses, etc...yeah, it's going to be terrific. And don't forget Microsoft Exchange replacing Groupwise. Oh boy!
Anyway, back to Davis, the MS Volume Licensing site is an absolute joke. When it comes to the VLKs, he's right on the money with the number of keys they give you...it's like a crapshoot when you enter it...will it work or not? Are they trying to trick the software pirates? No...I think they just like people to be confused. And the amount of software they shipped us...man, I have 7 folders of software in my office of Microsoft products. We only ordered Office really...but I have 27 different versions of BizTalk. And SQL 2000, 2003, 2005, 2005 Developers, 2005 Standard, 2005 for Dummies, etc.
But, anyway, I'm done with Microsoft for today. All I really cared about was the Home Use Program and getting the best deal I could for our employees. I found a way to save them $11-$12, so I guess I did my job. Tomorrow, I attempt to tackle our Desktop Deployment Planning Services...I have a feeling it's going to be more of a headache.