Microsoft’s VLSC (Volume Licensing Service Center) is the central portal for volume licensing customers to manage and download licence keys and media.
Microsoft’s Volume Licences all include “Downgrade Rights” which let you run previous version of the software, for instance:
Buy Windows 7, install XP or Buy Office 2010, install 2007
However, Microsoft have only ever provided the media for 1 previous version AKA N-1 so:
Windows 7 = Vista
Office 2010 = Office 2007
Exchange 2010 = Exchange 2003
If you needed to downgrade further than that, you were required to provide your own media…usually from a previous install.
That being said, Microsoft are now changing that!
From July 2010, VLSC users have been able to access:
- Windows XP
- Windows Server 2003 R2
and from September 2010, the following N-2 downloads will be made available:
- Office 2003
- SQL Server 2005
- Exchange Server 2003
This will make it easier for organizations who still need to run these older versions.