Talk:Volume licensing

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Regarding this quote from the main page[edit]

Regarding this quote from the main page "Although to some this may seem like an easy way to circumvent Microsoft's product activation feature, each VLK is uniquely linked to the company from which it was purchased." This is incorrect. Microsoft are not allowed to store personally identifiable data against a licence key. This is because in any communication with microsoft's servers, Windows is legally not allowed to communicate personally identifiable data. If a licence key is linked to a company, then this privacy option would be violated as the licence key communicated to microsoft can be used to identify the end-user if the PC was trying to update via windows update, or validate via genuine advantage etc... Therefore Corporate licence keys are not "linked" with anything. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:34, 3 November 2007 (UTC)

I suggest to move this article to Volume License key (License with capital letter) and create a new page like Volume Licensing. Sorry for bad English... I'm Italian. 13:32, 6 April 2007 (UTC)

Full keys in "Unauthorised use" section[edit]

I would like to suggest adding the full keys to the text. Here's why:

  • This is information that is relevant to the Unauthorised use section. I mean, you don't hide the last name of a famous person either.
  • There is no legal reason not to anymore. The keys are obsolete, so they don't give anyone unauthorised access.
  • Even if it's still theoretically illegal just because it's a key, there is no real danger of lawsuits. Do you really think Microsoft will go through the trouble of sueing a respectable organisation just because they don't censor a key that doesn't even work anymore?

Basically, if it's not absolutely nessecary to censor the keys, then it shouldn't be censored. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 00:40, 5 May 2007 (UTC).

Based on the Wikimedia Foundation's response to the AACS keys, yes, there is the potential for legal action and they shouldn't be here. SchmuckyTheCat 01:26, 5 May 2007 (UTC)
Go check those articles again. Wikimedia has said that it's fine to publish the AACS key. That said, I don't see the point of putting the full keys in this article. The "FCKGW" string is notable, but nobody remembers what the rest of it is.
If a key is not notable, then why is the 09F9-key mentioned in the AACS controversy article? As if anyone is going to remember a 128bit key. The point I'm trying to make is: the ability to memorize a piece of information doesn't define its notability. 22:57, 2 September 2007 (UTC)
Does Microsoft have copyright or something on the short series of chars ans numbers? Really. I want to know. If they don't, I say add the full key to the article. (talk) 19:04, 13 June 2008 (UTC)
IANAL, but only "creative works" are eligible for IP protection, such as source or program code. Product keys would be covered under the DMCA circumvention device guidelines, however since these keys are no longer functional I do not believe this law would apply.Alereon (talk) 08:15, 1 July 2009 (UTC)

As it does not appear that we have any objections based on Wikipedia policy, legal, or notability guidelines, I have added the full keys to the article. If you disagree with this choice, please detail your objections here.Alereon (talk) 08:12, 1 July 2009 (UTC)

Wrong focus[edit]

Considering that this is a redirect from volume licensing, why is the apparent focus of this article on piracy? Volume licensing comprises such a large part of Microsoft's revenue, and there is nothing that really discusses it on Wikipedia. davewho2 23:20, 15 August 2007 (UTC)

Further, Microsoft is one of hundreds of companies that offer software in volume licensing, and have install keys too. This article portrays that all volume licensing, and install keys, is a function of Microsoft.davewho2 23:22, 15 August 2007 (UTC)
Which is why I'm questioning this article's neutrality.Jasper Deng (talk) 05:36, 3 March 2011 (UTC)

Edit conflicts regarding the presence of full keys[edit]

I have reverted the article back to my version with the full keys present. From the discussion on this talk page, it seems to me that a consensus has been reached that the keys are notable and that their presence adds value to the article, and that there are no reasons, Wikipedia policy or legal, that they should not be present. If you disagree with this, PLEASE post your objections so that we can discuss them and reach a consensus. To avoid an edit war, I do not intend to revert the article again, but will seek admin or other appropriate intervention if the page is again edited against the talk page consensus. Alereon (talk) 05:03, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

This is interesting. I'm going to be watching this one very closely. --Hm2k (talk) 09:34, 21 July 2009 (UTC)


I think the article name is wrong. It is currently "Volume license key". It should be "Volume License Key" or "VLK". Microsoft refers to them as "Volume License Keys"[1]. What do you think? --Hm2k (talk) 10:34, 21 July 2009 (UTC)

Not sure. Capitalising it might make it clearer that we are talking about MS specific VLKs here, rather than covering the subject more generically. --DanielRigal (talk) 01:06, 5 December 2009 (UTC)

Manual of style says keep as "Volume license key". So be it. --Hm2k (talk) 09:22, 25 May 2010 (UTC)

"See also" and other issues[edit] has been removed from the "See also" section by two different editors so I am not going to add it back unless there is agreement but I think we should consider putting it back or integrating it into the text. I know that seeing a company name in the "See also" sets off alarm bells and that 99% of the time the suspicions are well justified. The reason I think that this is different is that the company is unique in finding a legal way of reselling second hand volume licences that Microsoft accept as legitimate. Given that we discuss various dodgy uses of VLKs, even some specific dodgy VLKs, then it seems right and proper that we should cover what can be done legally.

I must admit to a slight ulterior motive here. is an article I created and I am trying to deorphan it. This is not about promoting the company itself but about expanding our coverage of Microsoft licensing and the issues around it. If they had notable competitors I would cheerfully write about them too. I did consider writing about Usedsoft but it is very hard to judge notability or write an article when all the sources are in German and I don't speak it. If there was a thriving market in second hand licences than I would be looking to write about the market as a whole rather than specific companies but there isn't. This is what makes special.

Anyway, whatever we decide about this, maybe I should also mention that I have a grand masterplan for a coherent suite of articles on Microsoft licensing, intended to bring our coverage up to a similar quality to our extensive coverage of Open Source licences, but it is a daunting prospect which I have not yet been able to psych myself up to start on. The outline is here: User:DanielRigal#Microsoft licensing. If anybody has any comments, or would like to circumvent my inactivity by working on it themselves, then I would be glad to hear about it. --DanielRigal (talk) 01:03, 5 December 2009 (UTC)

I'm happy to keep and Wasatch Software as their main business is reselling VLKs and the information in these articles is relevant to this topic. I will make this clearer. --Hm2k (talk) 09:19, 5 December 2009 (UTC)
No, see also is a navigation aid. Putting a link there becomes an ad. SchmuckyTheCat (talk) 16:46, 5 December 2009 (UTC)
So the objection is the use of "See also" not the article itself? I am not aware of a policy that says this but I can see sense in moving it. I will have a think about moving the link into the article. We need to expand discussion of legitimate use of VLKs anyway as it is dwarfed by the coverage of their abuse. Wasatch got deleted so I am going to remove that one. --DanielRigal (talk) 20:26, 5 December 2009 (UTC)
I think SchmuckyTheCat is confused. "See also" is used for internal links. Ads are external links. The link, is an internal link, not an external link. If your only issue is that "see also is a navigation aid" then it clearly should be kept. --Hm2k (talk) 23:55, 5 December 2009 (UTC)
I have moved into a sorely needed new section anyway. I think that is better as it explains its relevance. I agree that it looked a bit odd where it was before. --DanielRigal (talk) 23:59, 5 December 2009 (UTC)

Recommendation to Obtain Licences[edit]

Users using these keys will receive an error message when they install the latest service pack, and so users are recommended to obtain a legitimate license and change their product key.

The given reference (Get IT Done:Change the product key on Windows XP) explains how to change a product key; it does not recommend doing so. The wording is an antique from the original version, and was probably copied from a Microsoft Website. – RossJ81 | Talk 09:51, 12 May 2010 (UTC)

I've changed it to "told", which reflects what is seen in windows itself. --Hm2k (talk) 09:58, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
Thanks ;-) – RossJ81 | Talk 16:30, 12 May 2010 (UTC)

Find sources[edit]

Please help improve this article by adding reliable references. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.

Find sources: Google (books · news · newspapers · scholar · free images · WP refs· FENS · HighBeam · JSTOR · NYT · TWL
Find sources: Google (books · news · newspapers · scholar · free images · WP refs· FENS · HighBeam · JSTOR · NYT · TWL

--Hm2k (talk) 09:20, 25 May 2010 (UTC)[edit]

A wikilink to the article appears in the "See also" section as it is a related article. Many people seem to want to remove it (in particular IP users), without valid reason. I have no affiliation with this company, I just understand the relationship of the topic. If you believe it should be removed, please discuss below, otherwise it will remain. --Hm2k (talk) 10:07, 20 June 2010 (UTC)

It is mentioned in the article itself, so there is no real need for it to also be in See Also. That said, its recent removal was nothing to do with me. --DanielRigal (talk) 12:06, 20 June 2010 (UTC)
I see your point, but I see no policy that says it shouldn't appear in both. Further more it keeps getting removed on the basis of "spam", which is not a valid reason for wikilink removal. --Hm2k (talk) 08:47, 21 June 2010 (UTC)
There is a valid reason on the Wikipedia:Guide_to_layout#See_also_section which says that if a Wikipedia link is already used in the body of the text then it generally doesn't need to be in the "See Also" section. The only other link in the "See Also" section is similarly redundant. The whole "See Also" section should be removed. I would just move the "A UK-based reseller of second hand Microsoft VLKs" annotation to right after the current link to the article in the body of the text. As it stands now, it looks like the article is biased and is trying to promote the company over and above all other licensing companies, discount or otherwise. CitizenRon (talk) 18:09, 19 August 2010 (UTC)
Point taken, ok. --Hm2k (talk) 21:50, 19 August 2010 (UTC)


This article mostly covers Microsoft software; however, Microsoft is not the only company that uses this.Jasper Deng (talk) 05:35, 3 March 2011 (UTC) Agreed. I, however, don't know about these things, can't help, sorry. But would be nice to hear about other companies. Hoemaco (talk) 18:17, 16 February 2012 (UTC)


"Microsoft has also released the Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) program, which requires users of Windows XP (and other recent operating systems) to verify their copy before downloading updates and certain programs from Microsoft's website.[citation needed]" This sentence might seem to indicate that the WGA can't be avoided (also the article on WGA also implies this, as far as I understood it). According to my experience, however, at least with XP and when using a corporate key (VLK) (but probably with other keys as well), Windows XP offers to download the WGA but it can be chosen not to install and it will go on with other updates without a problem. (Someone knowing more about this could also look this over at the WGA article, thanks) Hoemaco (talk) 18:20, 16 February 2012 (UTC)

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