Microsoft Licensing: Do I need a Volume Licence Key (VLK)?

Microsoft Volume Licence Keys (VLK) are needed to install any Microsoft product.

If you buy box copies (FPP) or OEM, you’ll get the licence key on the machine/disc.

If you purchase through Volume Licensing (Open, Open Value, Select, Schools etc) you go to the VLSC website, go to the product keys section and away you go. While this is true for the vast majority of products, there are a few exceptions to this rule. These products won’t have a VLK listed in the VLSC site. One that usually surprises people is SQL…this doesn’t have a licence key available online.

Rather than trying to list any & all products that this applies to, I’m going to give you the link to the:

Product Activation & Key Information

page on the Microsoft site.

Here you can search for the product in question and if it doesn’t return a result, it doesn’t need a licence key.


Hope this helps :-)

OneNote 2010: RTM Upgrade

I upgraded to the final release version of Office 2010 yesterday and opened up my newly installed RTM version of OneNote this morning, to be greeted by this message:


This didn’t cause me any issues as I haven’t been syncing OneNote and I imagine that people who do would usually sync everything each day so this wouldn’t really come up.

However I can also imagine that this would be really annoying if it DID affect you as you’d need to:

  1. Uninstall Office 2010 RTM
  2. Re-Install Office 2010 Beta
  3. Sync One Note
  4. Uninstall Office 2010 Beta
  5. Re-Install Office 2010 RTM


which is quite a long winded process!

So, moral of the story is:

If you’re going to move up to the Office 2010 RTM, SYNC ONENOTE FIRST! :-)

I hope that helps someone…

Office 2010: Installing the RTM

The Office 2010 Beta was downloaded and used by millions of people the world over and I imagine that most of them, like me, used it in a live environment; at home and/or at work. (I’ve never met anyone with a dedicated beta machine!)

Well the RTM (Release to Manufacture) version is available now to those of us with Software Assurance, TechNet or MSDN and from June 15th for FPP (Fully Packaged Product) boxed copies. This is great news as there are a few new additions and tweaks, plus you don’t have to worry about it expiring halfway through an important presentation in the future :-) There is however a downside to this:

There is no upgrade path from Office 2010 Beta to Office 2010 RTM

What do I do?

You need to completely uninstall the Office 2010 beta from your machine, but in itself, this often isn’t enough. You must also uninstall a number of other products, otherwise you’ll have problems! The total products you must remove are:

  1. Office 2010 Pro Plus Beta
  2. Sharepoint Designer 2010
  3. Project 2010
  4. Visio 2010
  5. Hotmail Connector for Office 2010
  6. SQL PowerPivot


I don’t think it would ever have occurred to me that PowerPivot was going to cause me issues, but it did! Luckily I got this list from a friendly neighbourhood Microsoftie before I lost my entire afternoon :-)

Also, on my home machine I’m pretty sure the Hotmail Connector would have caught me out…but not now, oh no!

Hopefully you’ll see this before you start your RTM install process and potentially lose your afternoon/day/hair/mind ;-)

Apple have Flash rival in the making?

Apple and it’s objections to Adobe’s Flash product are well known, as Steve Jobs (Apple CEO) has been more than vocal about it!

Apple’s stance has been than they will use HTML5 for all web based content that Flash is currently used for but now it seems that Apple could have their own rival to both Flash AND HTML 5!

There have been a few reports that Apple’s Gianduia Framework (a name carrying on the theme of Cocoa) has been used to create a number of web apps such as:

  • Apple’s One-to-One program
  • iPhone Reservation System
  • Genius Bar Concierge Service

This shows that HTML5 isn’t a component of it and that Gianduia can exist in it’s own right.

The question is whether Apple started this project just in case HTML5 didn’t quite pan out in order to give them a backup up plan once they publically blasted Flash; or are they really looking to create their own entry into the market?

I’m tempted to say it’s the first option, that it was a “just in case” fallback but, knowing Apple’s reputation for wanting complete control over every aspect of their products this would be a wholly surprising move. However, as it’s a framework I guess it won’t be a complete competitor to Flash or indeed Microsoft’s Silverlight; rather something a little less feature rich so not a direct rival after all.

Has anyone got any more information or views on this subject? As always, the comments are open and you can get me on Twitter @richfrombechtle.

Head over to and Apple Insider for a further look.