Editor's Note: This blog originally appeared on the TechSoup blog. Because Microsoft products are some of the most popular among libraries, we thought this article might be useful for requesting and downloading software.
The Microsoft Software Donation Program is by far the most popular of TechSoup's many donation programs. Here's a quick guide to getting the most out of your Microsoft donation requests.
1. Maximize the Number of Microsoft Products You Request
First off, you should know that there's a maximum allotment of Microsoft software donations that eligible organizations can request every two years. Your two-year cycle begins with your first Microsoft donation request. After two years, a new cycle begins, and a new allotment is available.
If you aren't sure when your two-year cycle began or how many more donations you can request during the current cycle, there's an easy way to check. Just go to My Microsoft Donation Center. You'll need to log in to your TechSoup account to see it.
You can see how many donations you've already received from each group of Microsoft products and how many more you're still allowed to request.
If you haven't requested all the products you're eligible for, now's the time to request more!
2. Choose the Version That Works for You
When you request a Microsoft product donation through TechSoup, you can choose either the most recent version of the software or the previous version.
So if you request Microsoft Office Professional Plus through TechSoup, you can choose to download Office 2016 or the previous version, Office 2013.
This is a handy option if your organization isn't ready to upgrade to the latest version of a Microsoft product. You'll still be able to access the newer version from the Microsoft Volume Licensing Service Center (VLSC) whenever you're ready to upgrade.
3. Become a Microsoft Product Installation Pro
So you've successfully completed a Microsoft donation request. Great!
To install the Microsoft products you've requested, you'll need to use the Microsoft Volume Licensing Service Center (VLSC). The VLSC is an online tool for managing Microsoft Volume Licensing agreements, downloading products, and accessing volume license keys.
To help you navigate the VLSC and get your Microsoft donations installed as quickly as possible, we've put together a VLSC quick-start guide.
4. Get Free Microsoft Upgrades and More with Software Assurance
Software Assurance is a nifty collection of benefits included with Microsoft products requested through TechSoup.
One of the handiest Software Assurance benefits is free upgrades to new versions of the Microsoft products you've requested from TechSoup. You can upgrade to any new version of your licensed products that Microsoft releases for two years after your Microsoft donation request.
Software Assurance also offers free Office Multi-Language Packs, Office suites for use at home, online training courses, and more.
Check out all the Software Assurance goodies you can get through the Microsoft Donation program.
Answers to All Your Burning Microsoft Questions
- What are the most popular Microsoft products?
- Who's eligible for Microsoft donations?
- How many Microsoft donations can I get?
- How do I install my Microsoft products?
- What is Software Assurance?
- How do I get help with the VLSC?
We hope this helps you and your organization make the most of the Microsoft Software Donation Program. Happy downloading!