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Action-Pack Subscription??

By ObiWayneKenobi ·
I have a quick question.. I think this is the right forum for it.

The company I work for has about 50 computers, and my boss wants me to work on upgrading them all to Windows XP and Office 2003. They currently use 2K/Office XP.

Here's the problem: Rather than have the standard x amount of licenses that use one serial number, they have something called an Action Pack subscription. It has copies of practically every MS software, but there's some weird thing with the licenses. For example with Office, each key can only be used twice and then I have to use another key. I don't know if this happens with the XP CD, but I do know there are two different serial numbers.

I want to try and automate the upgrade process to XP (they want me to do clean installs, not upgrades), but I don't know if I can with this action pack thing. I'm aware of how you set up a network distribution and create an answer file for the unattended install, but how would I go about this with multiple serials? Create multiple answer files? Has anyone worked with this Action Pack thing? Can I even DO an unattended install? I really want to try and streamline this to impress the higher ups. :)

Thanks in advance!

~ Wayne

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by pgm554 In reply to Action-Pack Subscription? ...

You need a special version of 2003 to do an admin install.
Also,the Action pack is licensed for internal use only.
If they are using it for anything beyond that(you get a 10 user license count),I would say it is probably illegal.

If this is the case,I would Cover My A**.

If they were to get audited and caught ,who do you think they are going to blame and fire?

Send a memo to whoever and CC yourself ,because if the sh*t hits the fan, you will be a a world of trouble.

These guys sound like real dicks!

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by ObiWayneKenobi In reply to Nope

They're only using it internally to my knowledge (I only started there Wednesday), but there's more than 10 licenses, I think? I know that at least 10 PCs have XP already running on them, so they have more than that in licenses. But.. yeah, I didn't think I coud do the network install. I just figured I'd check so I didn't have to do them manually. I'm still kinda confused about the Action Pack thing in general.. I never heard of it until I started there. Thanks for the help.

OH, I forgot to mention (if it even matters) that the main network server is running 2003 Small Business Server, and the file/print one runs 2000 Server (standard). I want to get them to eventually upgrade to 2003, but I don't have any clout since I just started...

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by pgm554 In reply to Hmm

Action pack is a subscription based service from M$ for resellers and such ,that allows you to "test and evaluate" software from M$.

A standard action pack license allows for ten licensed Office 2003 installs.

As I have alluded to in my previous post,unless they have more than one Action Pack subscription and are a reseller or developer of some sorts,having 50 or more seats of Office 2003 sounds very suspicious.

I realize that you are new at your job and don't want to rock the boat,but it sounds to me as if they are putting you in a very awkward posistion.

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Action Pack of trouble!

by IT24 In reply to Licensing

Wayne I strongly recommend that your company stop using the action pack in the manner which they are. Almost all of these replies are correct. I am a certified Microsoft partner/VAR and I can assure you your company is just asking for severe litigation!! They need to obtain a type of open license for their software. The software would be just one CD for each type of OS and you would not need a product key! I recommend that your company reads the EULA on the action pack and then contact microsoft for the accurate license program. Good luck and I would not be telling anymore people about this!

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I think I'll do that.. thanks

by ObiWayneKenobi In reply to Action Pack of trouble!

I'll come up with some way to suggest they do that.. it could save them some future trouble and make me out to be a hero for avoiding it. Or it could get me fired. lol. Thanks for the advice!

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Not what you want

by TheChas In reply to Action-Pack Subscription? ...

Here is a quote from a Microsoft web page on the Action Pack:

"The software products that are included with the subscription are NFD versions. You can use them only for testing, evaluation, demonstration, training, and educational purposes. For example, you can use the Action Pack software to host your company's intranet but the software cannot be used to host a commercial Web site. This is considered a production environment that is outside the scope of the software's intended purpose."

In addition, the Action Pack licenses are only good for 1 year.
You need to renew your license for Action Pack and switch to any newer versions of the software EVERY year.

What you want to look into is a corporate license agreement.


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by ObiWayneKenobi In reply to Action-Pack Subscription? ...

Thanks for the replies, guys. I'll keep on my toes, but there isn't really anything I can do since I don't want to overstep my bounds. I *think* they have two subscriptions since we have two bundles of CDs. The company also develops a software program that they sell.

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MS Action Pack Rules

by razz2 In reply to Thanks...

Being a subscriber to Action pack I can tell you that the rules

"The Microsoft Action Pack Subscription is restricted to resellers,
consultants, value-added resellers, value-added providers,
system integrators, developers, system builders, hosts, service
providers, and IT professionals who sell Microsoft products or
provide solutions based on Microsoft products and technologies
to third-party customers."

So, what does that mean? If your company provides solutions
using MS products or consults on them then they can use the
included software for Demo, Training, Testing, or even running
their business. If they are providing solutions with their own
software then they should be subscribing to MSDN. The Action
pack licenses are as follows:

Each application has 10 licenses (2 activations per key code)

Each desktop OS has 10 licenses (2 activations per key code)

Each Server has 1 license and 10 CAL's

Each subscription allows use of the software for one year and
then you must renew the subscription or remove the software. I
am not aware of the previously mention rule that you must
allways use the latest. I still run older software from the pack as
it helps in my serving my clients.

Lets put it this way, HP provides solutions and those solutions
use windows but they DO NOT use Action pack subscriptions.

I have had Accountants and the like find out about MSAP and
order it. They even got it! I will no longer work for them.

You do not want to procede without also protecting the
employer. Be an ethical employee and confirm with the higher-
ups that they fit the license situation. Approach it as protecting
the company. (and yourself)


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STOP - Licensing

by Johan101 In reply to Action-Pack Subscription? ...

You only got 2 XP keys with your subscription
but you can activate each one 5 times

In terms of downgrade rights
The moment you receive the newer version you MUST upgrade

The software versions included is full retail versions and thus use the same network instalation methods as those you buy over the shelf

AND YOU CANNOT buy multiple action packs and thus get more licenses. The agreement allows you to buy extra action packs but your license count stays at the same amount ie. 10 Windows XP Pro licenses even if you have 210 Action packs.
Just joking about the 210 subscriptions - there are in fact a limit of how much subscriptions you can have.

The only way you will be able to cover 50 PC's is if your company becomes Certified partners or GOLD Partners ( not sure wich one though)wich is much more expensive.

Just call MS and ask for the "action pack centre".
In my country (South Africa) they first put you through to customer service and them you have to ask again for action pack centre.
What type of company do you work for ?
Just say if you want more info

Johan Hickman
IT Manager
Enslins Kimberley
South Africa

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by ObiWayneKenobi In reply to STOP - Licensing

They're a pharmaceutical returns company. They also develop a piece of software that (as I understand it) allows pharmacies to scan items rather than enter them by hand and print out return invoices.

There has to be more than 5 licenses.. because I've upgraded at least 6 or 7 PCs and had no problems with activation. Plus, we do have two Action Packs, but I don't know what the deal is with them. I think the serials are different, and the other IT person who has been there longer said it's the new one they got. I haven't used anything from it, though.

I don't know.. I don't think I should be worried because I'm just a lowly part-time Help Desk guy who's only following orders? Wouldn't the IT Manager (i.e. my boss) know this already and be aware if they were doing something wrong with the licenses? He's also the software developer so I think that's the reason they get the Action Pack. I mean.. I don't want the company to get in trouble, but I don't want to overstep my bounds, either.

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