Microsoft Key Management Service for Windows Server 2003 is now part of Microsoft Windows Volume Activation 2.0. It allows enterprise users to host Key Management Service on Windows Server 2003 to enable activation of Windows Vista using Key Management Service (KMS) Key.
Microsoft Volume Activation 2.0 is a set of technical and policy related solution provided by Microsoft’s Software Protection Platform (SPP) that gives Microsoft customers a more secure and easy to deploy solution to protect and manage their volume license keys. Microsoft Key Management Service for Windows Server 2003 is part of Microsoft Volume Activation 2.0 allows enterprise customers manage the activation of their Windows machines using Key Management Service (KMS) Key.
Enterprise customers who license Windows Vista and Windows Server “Longhorn” server under volume license program get two keys namely a Multiple Activation Key (MAK) and a Key Management Service (KMS) Key.
KMS based activation allows enterprise customers to host a local service within their environment to enable activation of machines running Windows Vista Business and Windows Vista Enterprise editions within their environment instead of any activation against Microsoft. Machines that have been activated through KMS will be required to reactivate by connecting to the KMS host at least once every 6 months.
Key Management Service for Windows Server 2003 enables deployment of Windows Vista using current and released server operating system. It uses the Windows Vista KMS key provided through Microsoft’s Volume Licensing System portals (MVLS, eOpen). The KMS host can be activated using either online or offline methods. It uses the same interfaces and tools as KMS on Windows Vista including:
- Software Licensing API, WMI interfaces, error codes, logging events
- SLMGR.VBS and KMS Management Pack for Microsoft Operations Manager
See more information on Windows Vista volume activation at http://www.microsoft.com/technet/windowsvista/plan/volact.mspx.