Customers who acquire Microsoft® Office XP through one of Microsoft's volume licensing programs receive the enterprise edition of the product. Enterprise customers can bypass the mandatory activation process by using the Volume License Product Key assigned to their organization. Using a Volume License Product Key means that individual users in a large organization can install Office without having to enter a product key (which is available only on the back of a retail CD case) and without having to activate the product.
Administrators can use one of several methods to deploy Office with a Volume License Product Key:
- Install from a network share
The most common method of deploying to large numbers of users at once is to create an administrative installation point by running Setup with the /a command-line option. When Setup prompts you for a product key, enter the 25-character Volume License Product Key assigned to your organization. For step-by-step instructions, see Creating an Administrative Installation Point.
- Create a customized copy of the Office XP CD
Under most volume license agreements, you can legally copy and redistribute enterprise editions of the Office CD. When you customize the CD image, set the PIDKEY property to the Volume License Product Key in a transform or in the Setup settings file (Setup.ini). For more information about creating a custom CD or CD image, see Distributing Office to Users' Computers.
- Distribute a hard-disk image
Some organizations deploy a complete user system at once, including Microsoft Windows® software, Office applications, and custom settings. In this scenario, enter the Volume License Product Key when you create the administrative installation point. Then install Office on the test computer from which you will create the hard-disk image. For more information about configuring Office for a hard-disk image, see Distributing Office to Users' Computers.
With each of these methods, you must use an enterprise edition of Office XP obtained through Worldwide Fulfillment or Select media, and you must enter your assigned 25-character Volume License Product Key when prompted. Later, when Office is installed on users' computers from the network share, custom CD, or hard-disk image, users are not prompted for a product key, nor are they required to activate Office.
For more information about Microsoft's volume licensing programs or to obtain a Volume License Product Key, see the Microsoft Licensing Web site.