I’m going to repost the answer to the question of “what key code can I use to run SBS 2011 during this time that there IS no key in the action pack download section.

First off if you visit the action pack download site you will notice that it lists SBS 2008 not SBS 2011 – https://www.microsoft.com/msppdd/Catalog/CatalogView.aspx

You will note that just last week Microsoft made this big deal about how SBS 2011 is now available in all channels.  In the tiny tiny fine invisible print on the page they should have said “except on the Action pack page”. 

Why isn’t it there?  Who knows.  Get Eric Ligman to let his hair down at the WWPC and give you the details (and if you know anything about Eric’s haircut you know that’s going to be a bit difficult). 

So with no Action pack license on the site.. how can you run SBS 2011 in your business to really test it good.  Okay well on that page up on the upper middle there’s another place to click on there.  See that “licensing information” tab?  https://www.microsoft.com/msppdd/Licensing.aspx  On THAT page it tells me what I’m licensed for. 

Notice how it says I’m LICENSED for SBS 2011?

Okay so let’s read the recent tweets of Eric Ligman — he says — @dinotech – Your license determines what you are entitled to run, not your product key. Having product key without a license means nothing.

And then he says @dinotech – You need a product key for the product you are licensed for. I.e. An SBS 2011 Std key for an SBS 2011 Std product license.

Then let me repost was was posted to the blog as a comment —

You actually have 75 days left on the install, not 15, since you are able to re-arm the software twice (for up to 90 days of usage). See details here: http://bit.ly/gQiRdt

As for your statement of, “we are unable to get it properly licensed,” you are fully licensed. Your License Summary at www.microsoft.com/…/Licensing.aspx is specific to your account and your subscriptions/benefits and shows what you are licensed to use through your subscription. A key has nothing to do with your license, so using the current install under your license vs. the key that will be provided on the download site doesn’t change your licensing at all, just the key you’re using to activate it.

As for, “How are we supposed to sell the product if we cannot even get it set up in production?” Why can’t you get it setup in production? I have the steps listed on how and where partners can get and install SBS 2011 right now for internal use at: http://bit.ly/gM0LMR. I would recommend reading that and following those steps to get SBS 2011 running so you are able to use, understand, and sell SBS 2011 today.

Yes, we are fully aware that not having the digital distribution keys on the download site is an inconvenience that we are working on right now; however, let’s not confuse that with not being able to get the SBS 2011 software and the ability to install and use the final bits today (which you absolutely can do through the steps listed in the link above).

Thank you and have a wonderful day,

Eric Ligman

Worldwide Partner Experience Lead

Microsoft Corporation

So what does all that mean?

In the short term use the download from the Technet plus site, key it with that key.  Later on when the Action pack key is finally released, go back, go into the control panel, click change product key and easily rekey it to the action pack key.


10 Responses to What key code can I use to run SBS 2011 standard as a partner?

  1. Graham A Welsh says:

    I would love to be able to do that but, as I have a MAPS Design & Development subscription I don’t have access to Technet keys. I’ve got the eval download but apparently no way of getting a key. I’ve been in touch with my Regional Service Centre but got told I have to wait until it’s availalble on MAPS.

    I have seen that availability on MAPS is supposed to be by the end of calendar H1 (i.e. the end of June). Now 90 days from now is going to expire before then and, it would be really stupid to allow myself to have something that may not be working for around 2 weeks, or more if the release date to MAPS slips.

    I’m afraid I don’t understand why Microsoft just can’t get keys to us MAPS guys in some way.

    I don’t nomally gripe like this but, I do feel that it has been badly handled. I do appreciate that Eric Ligman is doing his best to help us out with this and thank him for that however, I was considering dojng the beta exam in January but, by the time I found out where I could download the eval of SBS 2011 it was too late.

    If you know how I can get a key, legitimately, then I’ll be very happy.


  2. Pete says:

    I used the TechNet key a long time ago for my server.

  3. Graham A Welsh says:


    Do you have MAPS Development & Design or do you have the MAPS Solution Provider?

    If you have Development & Design then how did you get the key or, do you have a separate Technet subscription?

    My point is, how does a MAPS Development & Design subscriber get a Technet key without having a separate Technet subscription?

    I’ll be interested to hear how you did it.

  4. bradley says:

    I hear ya Graham, your category is the one that I don’t have a solution for. I pinged Eric Ligman on this.

  5. Graham A Welsh says:

    Thanks, Susan. I just want to start working on it, is all.

  6. Joe Raby says:

    I never bothered to check, but do TechNet Plus downloads have an eval-EULA? Doesn’t agreeing with the eval EULA void your option to use it in a production environment?

    I know I’m splitting hairs here. 😉

  7. bradley says:

    Go ahead make my day.

    Yes we’re splitting hairs.

  8. Dean says:

    Having a product key without a license means nothing. Having a license without a product key means nothing. Nothing means nothing. Everything means everything.

    Microsoft has so confused everyone including their own employees with this license/product key scheme that no one knows anything anymore.

    And Microsoft keeps trying to get further involved with our school system ?

  9. Joe Raby says:

    I’m just sayin’….if you agree to the end-user license agreement and it says it’s a binding contract, what part of the MAPS contract says that it supercedes the TechNet contract? If wouldn’t stand up in a legal discussion as “yeah, but a CSR said otherwise…”

    Microsoft Legal often differs in opinion from the general team census (just look at the sales channel options for Windows Home Server for proof). I often get the idea that Legal works with its own resources, separate from the mothership, and that if given the chance, stuff like this and the IP litigation cases that you hear about in the news would probably not be as actively persued.

  10. bradley says:

    And I’d take Microsoft to court (after winning the lottery of course) and sue them for breaking their contract on the Action pack digital license wherein the party of the first part (Microsoft) promised that opting for digital downloads would mean faster delivery.