Microsoft License woes: MLK means ‘Media-Less Key’ meaning no CDs nor DVDs for Office 2007, eg

First key point is:

MLK = ‘Media-Less Key’ which means a package that you pay for that provides the 16-digit product key that authorizes you to use a microsoft product, eg MS Office 2007. But it does not contain any disks, no CDs nor DVDs.  You can purchase for an additonal price backup media disks.  And that doesnt always work.

Businesses who sell PCs can get ‘OPK’ (OEM Pre-install Key) disks (for a fee) and install that.  Then the MLK will authorize it.  But then the end-user can not re-install for any reason (eg, disk crash, virus infection) unless they pay the fee for the backup media.

A good discussion of it can be found at http://projectdream.org/wordpress/2007/02/15/office-2007-mlkoem-and-the-missing-media-problem/ and i’ve quoted here in case that disappears:

Lukas Beeler’s IT Blog

– The experiences of an SMB IT technician

Office 2007 MLK/OEM and the missing media problem

15. February, 2007

Office 2007 is out for sale since the 31. January. I’ve got my hands on a new MLK/OEM CD set today, and it seems to be a rather interesting situation.

Office 2007 MLK Box PhotoThe official OEM Version of 2007 is no longer called “OEM”, instead “MLK” is used. MLK stands for “Media Less Key”. You get a simple box, with a key inside, but no CDs. As a reseller, you can order OPK media kits – where OPK stands for OEM Preinstallation Kit. These are needed in order to install it on the customers machine. But they’re marked “NOT FOR RESALE”. The customer can still order Backup CDs by Mail, but this costs 30CHF, requires sending in several bills (from your computer, and from the MLK version). And it probably takes several weeks till you get the actual media.

Office 2007 MLK/OEM at DigitecThis is a bit of a stupid situation, because if the customer doesn’t have his own CDs, recovery in case of problems gets very, very interesting. I wondered how other resellers handled this, and looked at digitec, where i usually buy my consumer-grade stuff. And this is were things get very, very interesting. Office 2007 OEM with CDs is offered by digitec. But how?

Office 2007 Licensing InstructionsI’ve asked our distributor why we can’t get OEM versions with CDs. He told me that digitec was wrong. I looked at the MS Partner Info, regarding Office 2007 licensing. And really, there is no licensing option which allows OEM pricing but comes with media. Our distributor is now investigating with Microsoft what the deal is. Apparently digitec is doing something wrong, but it’s hard to tell from my point of view. Maybe there is another option, or digitec pre-orders the backup CD (which would look rather irritating in this packaging), or they are reselling OPK kits.

Office 2007 MLK at our DistributorOur distributor explicitly states that you can’t get any OEM versions without CD. Thankfully they even communicate this quite well, as you can see on the screenshot to the right – if you work in switzerland you’ll even know which distributor i’m talking about. I’m wondering how this all turns out – will update this information as soon as i know more.

UPDATE:

digitec fixed their website. They now state that it’s a “license only” sale.

Category: Office, Windows  |  Comment (RSS)  |  Trackback

78 Comments

  1. Dennis Hill:

    I am wondering if you have had any luck ordering the “Backup Discs” that Microsoft stated, on the MLK package, that can be ordered at http://www.microsoft.com/office/backup because I have tried several times with no luck. I am also a System Builder and was surprised to find no disc in the package. I ordered the OEM Preinstall kit also but of course can’t resell this.
    The web site Microsoft directs the customer to does not except the Product key. I tried contacting Microsoft but was transfered from department to department at least 7 times and 3 hours later and the last one of course was closed for the weekend.
    This is a rediculous attempt by Microsoft to save money by not including the discs. Unfortunately, I think it will end up making the very poeple that sell their products and do 90% of the support for their products start to sell other products like Apple or Linux.

    3. March, 2007, 03:59

  2. Lukas Beeler:

    I was able to order CDs, but they haven’t arrived yet – i’ve ordered them two weeks ago. The same thing with Windows Vista Express Upgrade.

    I don’t really understand this policy either, but lots of software vendors have made stupid decisions. Copying the appropriate CD from the OPK seems to be the smartest solution to give the customer a CD (for free).

    3. March, 2007, 09:57

  3. Zen:

    We are a small PC reseller who just got caught out by this new licensing scheme.
    Just ordered Office 2007 Pro for a customer thinking DVD was included, as some items on the distributors site were clearly marked with “NO CD INCLUDED” while this one just had a small (mlk).

    All I can say, is its bloody stupid. For the sake of a 20c DVD, we have to go through all these hassles. We immediately checked again with the distributor to obtain the OPK disc only to find they don’t have any in stock. So now we have this useless empty DVD case and no media to install it.

    Oh sure, Microsoft will surely claim its a new attempt to thwart piracy or some crap, but it sure isn’t making our job any easier, and I’m sure the customer wont be too happy when they find out they have to spend more money on shipping just to get the media.

    I think its time to start convincing people to switch to OpenDocument format and give Office the flick. We don’t make enough money in this industry to have deal with Microsoft’s stupid schemes that come with every new release (and the customers complaints about them).

    21. March, 2007, 07:28

  4. Lukas Beeler:

    I would suggest you to call another local PC shop, someone should have an OPK kit.

    I only have german OPK kits, contact me by mail if this could be off assistance.

    21. March, 2007, 18:23

  5. backdoor:

    Could someone make a CD/DVD comparation of files contained in the OPK and the Professional Version of Office 2007 (RETAIL) and list the diferencies and only make a “pack” of this files to make a patched retail version to accept OEM licenses.

    The case is i sold a Retail version and 10 oem mlk licenses of office professional 2007, thinking that with the media dvd of the retail version could install the program and put the oem license codes but not luck, then i look like a stupid with mi client, besides it cost more the retail version.

    9. August, 2007, 19:39

  6. Kerry:

    Does the mlk key work with the free 60 day trial version?

    16. August, 2007, 04:23

  7. Timur:

    Hi Lukas,

    Where did you get your OPK Kit? I’m a little german system builder and didn’t found any distributor for this.

    3. September, 2007, 20:42

  8. Lukas Beeler:

    Hi Timur,

    We buy our Stuff through ALSO. They are also in Germany ALSO Germany.

    3. September, 2007, 21:16

  9. Paulie:

    LOL, i’m at a loss with this, i just bought 16 of these for a job today. I cant get anythng done at all with the kits i’ve built. No opk packed with the oem’s like yourselves. Cant somebody just make an image of it and upload it. Is that in itself illegal?. I want to take billy bunter gates’s pants down and stick all of these up his arse 1 by 1. I’ll source a few pirate copies of windows to shove up him as well as a few crt monitors i longer need.. just to make sure he can feel my presence when i force them in.

    There must be a solution to this outside of waiting countless days & weeks for the opk or backup disks. And before you all rush in and say “just buy a retail version” i may have to do that before close of business today. Not good.

    22. September, 2007, 16:25

  10. Steve:

    This is ridiculously stupid. We bought about a dozen computers with OEM Office 2007 profiessional for our business, and finally when the shipment arrived, we realized, that there is no any media discs included. Called Microsoft, but they were not able to figure out a quick and effective solution, their advice was to order a backup media from the US (two-three weeks shipment). OUTRAGEOUS!

    18. October, 2007, 19:06

  11. Robert:

    Well, today, the website that was not operational, or at least malfunctionning on march 3rd 2007 (see Dennis Hill comment) …. is still not working ! We have to order the backup medias for Office 2007 by phone. What an example ! In fact, none of the commercial pages are functionning as they should. Another example is looking for Belgian contact references : you receive the phone number of … Switzerland. And I can tell you a dozen of those strange reactions of their Website … and the inaccessible pages !
    About the price of the backup media : it’s really a shame.
    So, just make copies !
    Why does Microsoft not include a CD in each licence kit ?
    It would cost less than half a dollar, the end-user would pay it for sure, no need to spent hours on the phone, or trying to order them on a website, no people needed to maintain the order, no delivery delay of 1 month, no supplementary invoice, no unuseful paper works (thanks for the Amazonian trees) … just Bill that would become a little more rich, because of all those economies.
    And at least : what happens when an end-user buy an OEM Office licence (MLK), together with a non-”office-ready” PC, in one of those thousands of supermarkt ? The vendor does not preinstall Office, because he knows better how selling food than computers, and the end-user has not media to install his licence. Buying Office at it’s full price ?
    Crazy !
    Another misuse of power coming from Microsoft.

    22. November, 2007, 13:21

  12. mek2600:

    The http://www.microsoft.com/office/backup site offers a download option. Act like you’re going to buy it, but when it says it could take 30 days for the shipment to arrive (ouch) look below and it’ll give you the option to download it. The in order to download the file(s) you must supply a valid key, then they’ll send you an email which gives you a link. THEN you must confirm your email address and finally you’ll get your file(s).

    4. December, 2007, 06:05

  13. Kernel Software:

    Like most others here indicated, we are also pretty tired of the situation surrounding Office 2007. Microsoft originally offered the OPK through its distributors (in fact a recent visit to the Microsoft Web site stilled indicated this was how the OPK was to be purchased). However, Microsoft pulled the product out of distribution when they found a number of system builders were giving the OPK away as Office 2007 media with their systems.

    At this time, the only way to get the OPK is via Microsoft’s Web site (which did not work for us using IE7 or Firefox, only IE6). Since only one or two OPKs shuold be needed by system builders, by itself this should be no great issue, except it costs five times more and takes two or three times longer to receive. So, that is bad enough.

    However, not being able to purchase Office 2007 licenses and media together is ridiculous. One of the ways small system builders can distinquish themselves from the mega-builders is to offer media with their systems. Customers really like getting media. Now, Microsoft requires end-users to get their own media (at a cost of about $10 now, where it was basically free in the past). If we want to provide the same level of service, we either have to buy it for our customers (and wait a couple weeks) or burn the discs ourselves (more time and cost).

    On top of this, it was recently reported that Office 2007 Service Pack 1 might abort with an error if applied to an installation done via the OPK. The only reported solution is to uninstall Office 2007 and reinstall it from the backup media! So, customers are going to clamoring for this media.

    This whole circus surrounding Office 2007 media makes me wonder if we now should be recommending that customers migrate to OpenOffice. Most customers want to use Outlook, Word, and Excel. If those customers have Exchange in their domains, they already have licenses to use Outlook (which can be installed from their servers), so that is handled. OpenOffice can be a reasonable replacement for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, so those are handled. Customers needing Access or other Office System components might be able to get those licenses separately and still save money.

    We are not happy and we plan to give this some serious consideration.

    31. December, 2007, 01:56

  14. Lukas Beeler:

    Exchange 2007 CALs no longer include any Outlook CAL – Exchange 2003 did that, but this has changed. So a Microsft Office License that includes Outlook is key if you want to use the Outlook client (and not just OWA).

    Then again, Microsoft _DOES_ offer Office 2007 which includes media – the retail versions. If your customers want media, booklets and shiny packaging they should go out and get a retail version. Or you can get them an OEM version that is preinstalled. Many new PCs ship in an “Office Ready” configuration that already has Office preloaded, and just needs you to enter the key.

    This is all just a problem for very small companies and end users – companies have volume licensing deals, where you always had to buy the media seperately, and they’re used to that. In the end, i don’t think that this is that big of a deal.

    31. December, 2007, 11:43

  15. Kernel Software:

    Lukas, thank you for pointing that out. Our customer focus is on very small businesses that all use Small Business Server. Since Exchange 2007 will not be included in SBS until the second half of 2008, none of our customers have deployed Exchange 2007, so are yet affected by this change. Has Microsoft announced that it will use the new Exchange 2007 licensing model in SBS 2008 also?

    The OWA client for Exchange 2007 promises near parity with Outlook 2007. Maybe that will be sufficient for customers that do not require Outlook integration. Still, I suspect most customers prefer a local client.

    Yes, of course retail kits include media, but OEM kits are half the price and still included media until Office 2007. And yes, we always pre-install the OEM version, but that no longer includes the media the customer wants. And yes, they can still get media, but they prefer we get it for them. We are still happy to do that, but now it takes more time and cost. That, specifically, is my complaint. We pay the price and yet this new effort will do nothing to slow piracy.

    I agree that this is only a problem for very small customers, but that is our focus, so that is why this change makes us unhappy.

    However, even though an Outlook 2007 license is no longer included in the Exchange 2007 CAL, it might be worth considering OpenOffice as a replacement for Word and Excel. For Office Basic customers, it means spending about $95 (retail) on Outlook only, instead of about $175 (OEM) on Office Basic. For Office Professional customers, the savings are not as significant: $95 (retail) for Outlook plus $205 (retail) for Access, $300 total, versus $320 (OEM) for Office Pro.

    Again, thank you for your comments.

    1. January, 2008, 00:26

  16. Lukas Beeler:

    Not much is known about SBS 2008 (Codename Cougar), except that it will include Exchange 2007. Details about the licensing model usually are unclear for months even after GA 😉

    OWA 2007 is great, but i wouldn’t want to work on it daily – it might be sufficient for an office worker who does very little mail, though.

    Won’t argue with the rest of your points, you’re completelyright.

    1. January, 2008, 01:15

  17. Dennis Hill:

    First off Lukas, I have to take exception to your comment “This is all just a problem for very small companies and end users – companies have volume licensing deals, where you always had to buy the media seperately, and they’re used to that. In the end, i don’t think that this is that big of a deal.”
    I don’t think you realize how many businesses there are that have 5 or fewer computers and no Exchange server. This is a very large number, at least here in the United States. Of the 300 or so clients I currently support, about 90% are small businesses(under 5 computers), and I am just a small shop. The minimum number of licenses to qualify for Volume Licensing is 5 and the cost is about equal to the retail licensing. Volume and Retail both are a bit of hard sell if the client is a small business and is used to paying the OEM pricing.
    Second, Just to let you know, Microsoft has even changed their packaging of the MLK License. They no longer provide even a CD holder to put your “Backup CD” into once you have paid your $10 to buy it. The Product Key comes now printed on a piece of plastic(similar to a credit card) which is inside a cardboard sleeve. This is really getting rediculous. All this creates a lot of unnecessary labor and reduces the overall profitability of selling MS Office.
    I now have successfully downloaded the “Backup CD” from Microsoft using the procedure posted by mek2600: 4. December, 2007, 06:05. I have been making CD’s for my clients that buy Office 2007 MLK.
    For those clients not totally reliant on MSOffice I will be recommending OpenOffice. I think this will eventually send a message to Microsoft. Whether or not they change their policy we will just have to wait and see.

    1. January, 2008, 02:16

  18. Paulie:

    Now you must all know someone with a pirate version of office. either at work, next door, more than likely a few here.

    It doesnt matter which way you cut it, it’s a problem for us all. But at the end of the day if this continues to be a problem for me, i WILL just install a burn of offce 2003 off a newsgroup site; especially if it costs me money f******g about because they dont send media. I hoipe your reading this Mr Gates. I like you & all that, admire you sometimes, but i’m here to run a business quite simply. Don’t think i’ll be turning up to anymore seminars…. Not now i’m a pirate with a few loose versions of MLK’s and an “easier to install” newsgroup download. Bollocks to t. Sorry folks, it’s annoying.

    Oh by the way, i’m opening a supermarket and selling boxes of fillet beef for $1 a kilo. You have to pull the cow home and halal the b’stard before you get the meat though. Oh! and pay for the whole cow too.

    1. January, 2008, 04:09

  19. Paulie:

    sorry for typos, just angry.

    1. January, 2008, 04:10

  20. Misca:

    I have downloaded OEM version of my Office 2007 pro en from microsoft site.
    This are the steps:
    1. go to http://www.microsoft.com/office/backup (the page for ordering backup disks)
    2. Fill the form, go to next step
    3. Enter your product key an verification code below
    continue

    And on order page, scroll down to the bottom of the page, and you will see a link for download. You will have to provide you e-mail address, and you will recive a download link for you product.
    Be careful, because this link will work only for 7 download attempts, so use a download manager or a program witch supports resume. You will need a stable broadband connection.

    Good luck!

    11. January, 2008, 10:01

  21. SOCKPUPPET:

    There is no download link!

    I ordered the CD’s 3 Months ago and they never arrived. Does anyone have the link to download?

    4. April, 2008, 16:17

  22. Dodghz:

    The download link is there!
    Once you’ve clicked the “order” button to get it on CD, the following page shows the download option & explains that you’ll not be charged for this option. I’m just waiting for my download link i nthe e-mail now. I was panicking for a minute though, I’ve got to say!

    4. April, 2008, 21:16

  23. Nikos07:

    I am so glad I found this thread I recently built a new computer for a small office and they wanted office 2007 pro so I bought the OEM license not realising it would not come with the cd. Thanks for saying about the download link.

    9. April, 2008, 21:43

  24. Benny:

    I never get the e-mail with the link!! I followed the instruction and entered my E-mail address, they said they would send me a link within 1 hour. Now 14 hours passed by and I am still waiting for the link! When I rang Microsoft they just told us to go to the website and that’s all the assistance they could offer… does Microsoft not make any money from the retail version of Office so that they don’t even intend to help out??

    12. April, 2008, 02:27

  25. Russ:

    Does anyone know if I can sell the OEM licence with a notebook that already has the trial installed by the manufacturer? Will it take the OEM key?

    15. April, 2008, 01:51

  26. Russ:

    The answer to my own question above appears to be ‘Yes’

    Installing the OPK and having the trial preinstalled amount to the same thing. Both make the PC an “Office ready PC” (ORP).

    The ORP can then take the key from any licence, be it OEM or retail.

    15. April, 2008, 02:20

  27. Shawn:

    As a small VAR, I have to agree with the above comments. The amount of time I wasted today trying to get the stupid OEM kit to work as advertised was absolutely stupid. All in all its a pretty blatant attempt to push the small guy out. Dell, Acer and other large OEM’s have been selling their bloatware comps for years without media, so I guess MS thinks its logical for them to remove one of the advantages most of us small guys offer, that being clean, FAST, unencumbered systems that are delivered with installation media.

    Thanks for the link and the instructions showing me how to find a legal download of the “backup” media.

    13. May, 2008, 01:56

  28. T:

    This is the most insane thing I’ve ever heard. It truly is. I’ve spent freekin hours trying to find a way to get the Office 2007 media so I can rebuild my crazy laptop. The thing is, I have at least a little clue about tracking stuff down, so imagine the average Joe. And imagine if I had a slow connection. I talked to Microsoft today about 5 times, who were no freekin help at all. I’m just glad it’s over and I’ve finally read these posts and found the link. Even after finding these posts it wasn’t so straight forward. The first download link gave me a version that didn’t work, then the next one gave me the Academic version (I realise there’s a separate link for that), but the correct link still gave me that version. Then right at the end, on the receipt page when I ordered the disc, I got the the bit where it asks for the email address. Jeepers Creepers!

    27. June, 2008, 06:48

  29. Michael:

    Thanks for the ordering –> download tip. What I didn’t like was the fact that my HP laptop came with Vista, but XP preinstalled. So I used the install disks to put Vista on it, but it wiped out the chance to make backup disks. The recovery disks did not include Office Ready PC installers. Very lame, but at least the download works.

    25. July, 2008, 00:02

  30. Rob:

    This MLK is a load of s*#t. It’s Saturday afternoon, I’m in a clients office replacing a faulty HDD, and I have no way of getting my hands on the install media before Monday morning (they’re out in the country where sheep move twice as fast as the local broadband service – downloading is not an option). I am sooo very fecking annoyed at the moment. The way I see it, I have been left with two options. Either I can break the law and install my personal copy of Office 2007 on the clients machine, or I can install a copy of OpenOffice I keep with me. If I use OpenOffice, I stay legal, and the client will be able to work come Monday morning. Can someone please tell me why Microsoft makes life so difficult for the people out there selling / supporting their products. When exactly when did they swollow the pill marked “stupid”?!?!

    9. August, 2008, 13:20

  31. kev:

    Hi
    I am an IT muppet, I bought an 2007 Office Pro MLK and a PC seperate in UK when on visit, PC came with Office Home – now MLK is no use. Live in Sweden so can’t return so easy! If can get the disks, as I’ve got the link etc., can a remove the MS Office already installed and reinstall from the reinstallation disks the Full Office Pro, or am I just daft?

    8. October, 2008, 19:48

  32. Adam from OZ:

    After a bit of searching I found a site that has links to direct downloads of all the different OEM versions.

    http://www.mydigitallife.info/2007/08/13/direct-download-links-for-microsoft-office-2007-suites-and-applications/

    Hope that helps

    9. November, 2008, 14:12

  33. MobilePC:

    It seems to me that the only motivation that Microsoft has in the new MLK license is this:

    They want the end users personal information.

    The previous OEM setup gave the customer the “option” to register with Microsoft. I can’t imagine that more than 2% of the end users were willing to provide ANY personal information to Micro$oft.

    Now, if a customer wants the CD’s for the software that they paid for – they MUST provide Microsoft with all the personal information that Microsoft requests (perhaps extorts would be a more accurate word). To this end they are perfectly willing to inconvenience the VAR’s, the end users and anyone else who would stand between them and their goal. I imagine they are getting personal information from 90% of their OEM customers now.

    My solution: Can you say http://www.openoffice.org? It’s free – It’s faster and 100% free of Microsoft’s “guilty until proven innocent” licensing practices.

    22. November, 2008, 19:17

  34. Joe:

    While I agree it is rediculous to buy a product and not get the media, I can in one way perhaps understand what they are trying to do. I can’t tell you how many times I have bought MS software online only to receive OEM version, even though it said nothing of this at purchase time. I think MS is trying to stop resellers from bilking dummies like me on software that is actually illegal unless supplied with the hardware.

    9. February, 2009, 16:57

  35. Bruce:

    That may be true Joe. But Microsoft did such a fine job of locking down media distribution on this product that although I have a license to install it. I spent hours trying to find a copy of Office Basic to download from the pirate sites to no avail. Although the more comprehensive versions of Office were all readily available on every site I found.

    It seems to me that the idea of having distribution of the media for the cheapest version of the suite made difficult to acquire is actually giving people another excuse or reason to consider piracy rather than making it easy to legally acquire what they need while causing a headache for businesses that provide computer services to small businesses.

    14. March, 2009, 21:05

  36. Lukas Beeler:

    Bruce,

    If you are an authorized Microsoft OEM Reseller (which usually requires nothing but signing a few documents), you can easily acquire an OPK Kit, which consists of media for all the Office version. At the launch of Office 2007, these were provided for a nominal fee (around 5-10 CHF), and now they cost about as much as an Office 2007 Std MLK License (~250-300 CHF).

    I’m sorry, but i have nothing but contempt for IT service companies that are oriented towards small businesses that STILL haven’t gotten a clue on how Microsoft’s licensing stuff works. It’s your goddamned business to know this stuff.

    The usage of the OPK is limited, because the licensing terms for the MLK versions are very strict – which is why we recommend our customers to buy all their license through Microsoft Open Licensing. This makes everything easier for you: Downgrading licenses is a snap, you can download everything you need from Microsoft, you only need a single key for all the machines the customer has and you get yearly revenue from selling Software Assurance to the customer, which also enables to customer to stay current with their software (which gives you ADDITIONAL revenue for upgrading the software and modernizing their internal processes to take advantage of the features.

    MLK is meant for home users that have an Office Ready PC and want to license Office for internal use – not for businesses.

    14. March, 2009, 21:13

  37. Shane Curtis:

    Lukas says, “I’m sorry, but i have nothing but contempt for IT service companies that are oriented towards small businesses that STILL haven’t gotten a clue on how Microsoft’s licensing stuff works. It’s your goddamned business to know this stuff.”

    And it’s Microsoft’s “goddamned business” to know that if they make life difficult for the local IT guy, by creating needless hoops to jump through, he’s going to save himself and his customers a lot of hassle and money by offering them the FOSS alternatives instead of filling the pockets of people who think a “small business” is four hundred seats and an “important feature” is a ribbon menu. Ballmer needs to throw his chair at the marketing department, because Microsoft built an empire on “good enough” – and the FOSS alternatives are now good enough for real small business.

    Microsoft has some brilliant kit, but their multitudinous licensing arrangements could give the Cretan Minotaur a migraine. OEM/MLK/OPK/VLK/… and don’t get me started on CALs. FFS, computers are supposed to simplify our lives, not complicate them!

    8. April, 2009, 15:21

  38. Lukas Beeler:

    Shane, learning how basic licensing works may be uninteresting and a needless hassle of commercial software – and i really wish it was simpler than it currently is, but that is now how the world works. But if you intend to sell Microsoft products to your customers, it’s your responsibility to know how their licensing works – anything else is just unprofessional.

    If you as a business do not think that licensing Microsoft Office for your customers is a good deal for your company, then stop doing it – that’s how the market works. If people really dislike the licensing schemes of Microsoft Office so much that they stop buying it, Microsoft will either cancel the product or change the licensing terms.

    8. April, 2009, 15:26

  39. Freaky:

    Learn how ‘basic’ licensing works? Two of my collegues went to 2 day during seminars on licensing (2 days ffs!!!) and still don’t get it. Hell, if I call MS 5 times in the same I will still get different answers. MS licensing is so complex they can’t even teach their own employees properly.

    People will not stop buying office as they’re mostly forced to use them. Let’s face it, there is no product that can *properly* handle MS documents and from the looks of it, it won’t happen any time soon. Yea several can open pretty basic documents but as soon as they get some complexity it frequently goes wrong. Businesses do *not* have a choice currently.

    12. June, 2009, 16:54

  40. Lukas Beeler:

    I’m sorry that your colleagues were unable to learn anything during that seminar.

    Licensing is indeed complex – and this is precisely why a customer hires a specialist – to ensure that qualified people will take care of this complex and legally extremely important matter.

    12. June, 2009, 19:40

  41. neil davis:

    Whats the big problem? Buy office with an office ready machine and buy the mlk you have no problem. If you dont have a new machine with the trial then you have to buy the retail version, yes its more expensive but they are the rules any other way of trying to do it is piracy / theft /stealing etc etc

    Seems to be the only people having issues are muppets who claim to be consultants / know about IT but in reality havent got a clue!

    5. August, 2009, 11:33

  42. Shane Curtis:

    Neil, the problem is, and I quote the relevant passage you seem to have missed from the article, “because if the customer doesn’t have his own CDs, recovery in case of problems gets very, very interesting.” Buy an “office ready” machine – no CDs. Buy the “mlk” – still no CDs. You have to take a third step of ordering the CDs from Microsoft and paying the freight and waiting for the CDs to be shipped out before you can actually get your hands on physical media. Yeah, telling the customer to google for a MSDN download is all well and good if they’ve got broadband, but there are still otherwise very nice parts of the civilised world where your affordable choices are 28.8kbps dialup or nothing.

    As an anecdotal aside, I am seeing more people using OpenOffice, mostly seniors, large families and small businesses, with the primary reasons being (a) price and (b) the “complex and legally extremely important” licensing.

    6. August, 2009, 05:01

  43. E.R.:

    Ohh you sweet little ignorant whiners 😀

    You can download the Office 2007 OEM media from Microsoft here:

    http://www.microsoft.com/office/backup/

    Thread closed?

    31. August, 2009, 18:46

  44. Shane Curtis:

    Yes E.R., that would be the same link given in the first, twelfth and twentieth comment. Whoosh.
    However, I am tempted to second closing the thread.

    2. September, 2009, 01:04

  45. William G:

    I came across this website while searching for something else and was pleasantly surprised to see other people complaining about Microsoft’s MLK program. My company is a reselling OEM in Canada and most of my clients, whether home user, business or corporate complain about this tactic, consider us nefarious for selling Office without discs (since they can buy the packaged version at the store for only a little bit more) and of those that believe me, consider it a ridiculous program. Since Microsoft initiated this program, we’ve begun reloading all of our machines with OpenOffice and no longer suggest customers purchase Microsoft Office whatsoever. Since then, our complaints have dropped to zero and all of our customers are happily using OpenOffice to work with their documents.

    10. September, 2009, 03:41

  46. Stuart:

    This seems to work. Good Luck:

    http://trial.trymicrosoftoffice.com/msft-orpc/downloader.aspx?id=PcOBJ5VG5fB3NdtLmmdwOJ1h9Ymjn7xxTN9PVQC3Tzhy2GrOs1mFZKG7%2bIodu2KkC5ovogyf3Fy9DyjS5vODvSAtqayWYJe5pjssV13onqSclA9bF4qnGgAytvl41O70zz3MRFjJTwmWBW5s8dposPj7mtlapVpm0TmFUZMLjr0%3d&culture=en-AU

    24. September, 2009, 02:33

  47. Stuart:

    Dear Moderator, Please remove the entry above and retain this one.

    It really does work.

    24. September, 2009, 02:36

  48. Stuart:

    http://trial.trymicrosoftoffice.com/msft%2Dorpc/

    Sorry, the previous post had an incorrect site.
    This one should work, assuming I’m not having cache issues.
    But there IS a location on the MS site that provides for this situation.
    Good luck.

    24. September, 2009, 02:41

  49. Stuart:

    http://trial.trymicrosoftoffice.com/msft-orpc/default.aspx [site was live and appears to offer a form to fill out to dl MSO 2007 on 5/28/2014 and redirected to https://www2.downloadoffice2010.microsoft.com/o12/registerkey.aspx?culture=en-GB&ref=o12–Montgomery Minds]

    This site works for d/l oem Office 2007. About 400Mb.
    . . . . Well, it did for me today.

    Good luck.

    24. September, 2009, 05:44

  50. kev:

    I guess Stuart was lucky … input my MLK license no. and … the 1st attempt got a message to say the website was closed and would reopen on 30th June – did not say which year

    2nd attempt was a bit more successful … got a bit further …

    We are sorry, but we are unable to complete your request. The following problem(s) exist:
    The product key you’ve entered does not appear to be a valid key for this program. This program is only for Medialess license kits – not standard retail products.
    The product could not be found.

    But this is MY F*****G MLK no. you halfwit!

    I’ve given up!

    28. September, 2009, 21:49

  51. lcdguy:

    I am running into the same issue. I will let you know how it goes.

    9. October, 2009, 05:56

  52. richard stevens:

    This is pretty simple stuff, and well documented.

    Sorry to repeat others sentiments, but I really don’t know what the fuss is about.

    MLK is for installation on PC’s that have come preinstalled with office 2007. MLK keys will activate them, but these are different from OEM keys and are not interchangeable.

    You can then download backup media here:

    http://www.microsoft.com/office/backup

    If you don’t want medialess, then don’t buy them. The clue is in the name.

    28. October, 2009, 13:45

  53. Eileen:

    shouldn’t this download site work for office professional 2007?

    my license key clearly says MSOffice Pro 2007 MLK OEM Software

    but when I enter my license key I get

    “We are sorry, but we are unable to complete your request. The following problem(s) exist:

    * The product key you’ve entered does not appear to be a valid key for this program. This program is only for Medialess license kits – not standard retail products.
    * The product could not be found.”

    6. November, 2009, 16:06

  54. Debbie:

    Thanks Stuart… that site worked for me.

    9. November, 2009, 17:32

  55. Guy:

    This may be a stupid question, but if I have one copy of the backup media from the MS website can I use that to install on any PC that has a licence? (assuming of course that it is an office ready HP PC)

    thx
    Guy

    2. December, 2009, 11:55

  56. Anon101:

    I also tried the “http://www.microsoft.com/office/backup” link as detailed on the MLK packaging!

    My scenario, two new laptops bought with Office 2007 preinstalled, also purchased two MLKs.

    I have the same problem on the above website saying that the “product could not be found” after entering my product keys. I have contacted both Microsoft and my reseller and awaiting to hear back from them both. I’ll post back any results.

    13. January, 2010, 13:12

  57. John:

    The errors are because the microsoft validation site fails to respond but rather than say that it simply displays those messages – I tried every few hours and eventually got my download.

    Once again such excellent service provision – sigh!!

    14. January, 2010, 11:26

  58. Anon101:

    As promised here’s the follow up email I received from M$. It’s only taken a little more than a week for them to respond!!

    – – – – –

    Good day ,

    Thank you for your email.

    We would like to apologise for the inconvenience experienced with this product.

    Please visit the following link for further information regarding this:

    http://www.microsoft.com/Presspass/press/2009/dec09/12-22statement.mspx

    Until this is resolved we are not able to offer the software as a download nor are we able to offer an order for the back up media disc.

    Kindly be informed that we have not got any further details for you which would solve this issue.

    We are aiming this to be resolved as soon as possible.

    Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.

    If you require further assistance please feel free to contact us.

    Kind regards

    Microsoft Direct Services Team
    E-mail: orpc@msdirectservices.com
    Fax: 08000 324 485

    Microsoft highly recommends that users with Internet access update their Microsoft software to protect against viruses and security vulnerabilities. The easiest way to do this is to visit the following
    website: http://www.Microsoft.com/protect

    18. January, 2010, 16:14

  59. Ruud:

    Unbelievable the crap ms can come up with every time. What’s so difficult about just supplying a dvd? That website is just a random error generator, then the product cannot be found, then the key is no good, then the picture is expired, then they are updating the products. Jesus…

    22. January, 2010, 02:49

  60. Anon101:

    Agreed, an extremely poor service all round. As a person who manages a large corporate network I shall certainly be looking at alternative software for the future. OpenOffice looks extremely tempting right now!!

    On a side note both my reseller and their “M$ contact” are both skirting around this issue. My reseller passed on the above reply to their M$ contact and asked if this was the case. Still to this day I’ve had no further replies.

    No other industry could get away with this…

    22. January, 2010, 10:47

  61. The IT Squad:

    Find links below to web pages where you can download a multipart WINRAR file that can be burnt to a CD or just run as is and works with the MLK key:-

    URLs removed Sorry, i can’t allow links to illegal downloads on my blog –Lukas

    Hope this helps …..

    22. January, 2010, 21:50

  62. The IT Squad:

    Hi Lukas,

    The URL’s I posted are not illegal …. it is the same software as you ‘should’ be able to get from the Microsoft site – i.e. the one mentioned above that no-one can access.

    I got a copy for myself from a colleague, who got it before it became unavailable, as I couldn’t download it either; so I know it works, as I’ve got an MLK key as well.

    As I said on my previous post, it works fine. The uploaded files contain just the software you can download, NOT the keys for the software, so, therefore, aren’t illegal – unless I’m corrected by people more informed than me.

    22. January, 2010, 22:10

  63. Lukas Beeler:

    Hi IT Squad,

    I’m sorry, but the legal situation in the country this blog is hosted (Switzerland) is pretty clear on this topic – i know the situation is bad for those out there that do not have an OPK kit and it isn’t my intention to prevent them from a interim workaround.

    If you want, you can post filenames or checksums – these would help people find those links on Google.

    Regards,

    Lukas

    22. January, 2010, 22:17

  64. The IT Squad:

    Hi Lukas,

    I fully understand.

    I thought you had misunderstood precisely what I’d uploaded.

    Unfortunately, having searched the Internet for another copy of the file I uploaded, I can’t point people to another location where the file is available.

    Regards

    The IT Squad

    22. January, 2010, 22:26

  65. Lightfoot:

    Everyone,
    I am also a small scale system builder and am between a rock and a hard place right now. I have a clients full setup ready to roll minus the office install they have to have. I purchased the MLK knowing it was online, stupid me, never thought it wouldn’t be available or the Professional install from their main site (the one with the trial) wouldn’t work. MS does not return my emails either. Anyone get a date or time out of them about when we can all get our download?

    Lukas, any chance you can point us in a direction to get those files from you? Maybe a temporary email account (hotmail or something) you could tell us about before the spammers get you? I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m up for a little donation for the valuable knowledge you have put forth… since we know paying for software we already paid for would be just plain wrong. :o)

    23. January, 2010, 01:30

  66. The IT Squad:

    If it’s okay with Lucas, I will provide an email address for people to contact me.

    I will provide them with the details of a download site that I have made the files available from.

    This means that the actual links to the site aren’t directly available from his forum.

    I’ve been helped in a big way by others, so don’t mind helping my peers.

    The IT Squad.

    23. January, 2010, 14:59

  67. Lukas Beeler:

    IT Squad,

    Sure, i don’t mind.

    23. January, 2010, 15:01

  68. The IT Squad:

    Okay, here it is:-

    theitsquad (at) hotmail.com

    I will endeavour to provide those who request the information with URLs to a multipart file on hotfile.com

    Worst case scenario, I might even be able to burn a CD and send it to some – if the download site stops responding.

    Hopefully, this assists others with getting the file they require.

    The IT Squad

    23. January, 2010, 15:36

  69. Lightfoot:

    The It Squad,
    Thank you so much for making my life much easier this weekend! You rock.

    Lukas,
    Thanks for the great article and hosting such a great forum area here.

    24. January, 2010, 05:10

  70. The IT Squad:

    Here’s a bit of feedback, based on the email conversations I’ve had with visitors to this forum.

    It appears that the file I’m providing is for ALL MLK versions of Office 2007; it just depends on what key you type in as to what package options you ‘unlock’.

    I knew how it responded to the key(s) I had, but have been made aware of the wider range of versions the installation can handle.

    Glad to be able to help.

    The IT Squad

    24. January, 2010, 09:00

  71. Thomas:

    The reason for Microsoft at least in Germany is simply to cirumvent the jurisdiction. In the OEM-Case the German federal court ruled, that you can resell any standard-software together with the data storage medium whatever the “licence agreement” says. If you have a data storage medium, the software can be unbundled und sold seperatly with the data storage medium.

    The obvious solution is to sell the OEM-Software without any data storage medium.

    25. January, 2010, 13:48

  72. The IT Squad:

    Hi All,

    Just wanted to inform forum users that the links I’m providing, when requested, are for the English version of Office 2007 only.

    The file(s) are for the various flavours of Office 2007 OEM.

    It all depends on the key you enter when installing the software as to what components are made available.

    Glad to be of assistance to others.

    The IT Squad.

    25. January, 2010, 16:33

  73. Lightfoot:

    Site is back up. I got an email this morning.

    :
    Thank you very much for your e-mail.

    We are very sorry for the inconvenience caused regarding the availability of the office ready backup media.

    You will be pleased to hear that the website is working again. Please visit the follwoing website and try the download process again.

    http://www.microsoft.com/office/backup

    Thank you very much for your cooperation and your understanding in this matter.

    If you would like more information, please feel free to contact us.

    Kind regards

    Verena Kuhn

    Microsoft Direct Services Team
    E-mail: orpc@msdirectservices.com
    Fax: +49 5241 9049779

    26. January, 2010, 14:35

  74. P Ward:

    I too am having a lot of grief with this. A customers hd failed and they had no backups done (doh). I have an MLK Small Business 2007 product key and have gone to http://www.microsoft.com/office/backup, as suggested both on the back of the license card iteself and the paper wallet it came in.
    It will not allow me to dl the software. I get the following messages:

    We are sorry, but we are unable to complete your request. The following problem(s) exist:

    The product key you’ve entered does not appear to be a valid key for this program. This program is only for Medialess licence kits – not standard retail products.
    The product could not be found.

    This is frustrating, as I am clearly following the link in the literature, yet it seems to be telling me I have a standard retail product when obviously I do not.

    I am not willing to purchase a £100+ OPK kit for a one-off job. Why are MS stopping lawfully licensed customers from obtaining downloadable backup copies of their software?

    22. February, 2010, 18:14

  75. Clayton Reed:

    I went to http://trial.trymicrosoftoffice.com/msft-orpc/registration.aspx as instucted on the MS OFFICE key and I get the message below. The key is valid and the card specifically says the media MUST be downloaded! Leave it to Micros**t to do this crap. Now I either need to find someone with a disk, download a torrent or find a non-MS link to get the media. I see I am not alone in this mess, but it should nor be this way.

    We are sorry, but we are unable to complete your request. The following problem(s) exist:

    The product key you’ve entered does not appear to be a valid key for this program. This program is only for Medialess license kits – not standard retail products.
    The product could not be found.

    23. February, 2010, 03:30

  76. The IT Squad:

    Hi, it seems that Microsoft have started doing their usual trick again.

    As stated in an earlier post, please contact me if you require a copy of the Office 2007 SBE/Pro Trial CD (English version).

    The download is ONLY for the media (that would normally be available from the download site) and DOESN’T include any MLK keys.

    I’ve already had a couple of requests, and hopefully helped some people.

    Regards

    The IT Squad.

    23. February, 2010, 11:35

  77. The IT Squad:

    I’d just like to reiterate that I only have a copy of the English version of Office 2007.

    I have had many requests for the image I’ve uploaded, I just hope the download site keeps working.

    The IT Squad

    26. February, 2010, 19:56

  78. DanG.:

    A search on the Micosoft site provided the following link to create your OEM kit in mulitple languages.
    http://oem.microsoft.com/script/contentpage.aspx?pageid=563009 The kits don’t include the licenses just the images to creage the CDs

    25. April, 2010, 16:40