What are the differences between Office 2010 PKC, FPP, and VL?


J.J. Antequino


This is a question that is often asked by Partners.  Often times your customers are interested only in the PRICE of acquiring Office, and are unaware of the limitations and the benefits of each of the different suites and their purchase methods.  As a follow up to Charles’ post from earlier this year, I want to offer some points to think about.

As a refresher, here are the components of each of the suites:


Now what about the estimated retail pricing?


In the top row, we see the PKC and FPP versions of Office… The first price is the PKC price, while the second price is the FPP/Retail Price.  Why is there a difference in price?


So remember, you are not permitted to sell that PKC version to any of your existing customers that are “upgrading” to Office on their EXISTING desktops.  If they want to to go the retail route, they will need to purchase the FPP versions…..  So this then begs the question of how many desktops your customer has.  If it’s more than 5, then Volume Licensing is almost a no brainer.

In the pricing slide above, the bottom row gives you the pricing for the Volume Licensing versions of Office.  The first price is the Open Business license which only includes the “L” while the second price is the Open Value Price that includes the “L” plus Software assurance.  What is the difference between the two?


First, let’s discuss the differences in prices between that FPP versions and the Volume Licensing versions.  Although all the suites are a little different, I would match up Home&Business (FPP) version with Standard (VL) and I would match up Professional (FPP) with Professional Plus (VL).  If you simply compare these from a pricing perspective, you may notice that the VL pricing is a bit higher, however, you see that you get much more with the VL versions than the FPP versions…. not just in terms of volume licensing benefits such as the ability to downgrade, run in a terminal server/virtual environment, or have better license management, but you also get MORE products.  In the case of Standard, you will receive Publisher.  With Professional Plus you receive InfoPath, Communicator, and Sharepoint Workspace! 

In my next entries, I will post up a couple of videos of how I typically demo Office 2010.

Comments (20)

  1. Jelle says:


    Nice overview but it is not right that PKC can only be activated on new pc's. You can put an image of Office 2010(to be downloaded) on an existing pc as well.

    This pc needs certain requirements obviousely, but it is possible to activate PKC on a 'not brand new' pc.

    This is the big difference between 2010 and 2007 and also a big advantage.



  2. patrih says:

    Office 2010 H&B PKC – can I downgrade?

  3. Ned says:

    I have had a hard time getting clarity around which versions will run in a Remote Desktop environment. If I have a Windows Server 2008 R2 machine running RDS for a few users at a school, must I purchase VL or can I get a Home and Business version ?

  4. Garry Trinder says:

    To run Remote Desktop Services, you have to VL licensing of Office 2010.

  5. Benoit says:


    I have a pool of 10 Pcs and 4 laptops in my office, can i purchase FPP Office Home and Business for them?

  6. Ben Z says:

    @ Jelle – sure, you can activate it on an existing PC, but it is not legal, so you would waste your money. A reseller should know better than to sell a PKC separately.

  7. Ravi Luchmun says:


    I have a branded PC which came with MS Office pre-installed. The office has been activated using a product key card that came with the machine.

    Unfortunately, that PC has developed a hardware fault and a new one will be ordered.

    Can I still use PKC of the former faulty PC ?

  8. HP Proliant Guru says:

    Ravi Luchmun, Run scan disk, then if it is still a good hard drive have someone clone the PC hard drive to another hard drive. Then you need to do nothing.

  9. Ben says:

    I just pirate it some much easier and not wasting any moneys

  10. student says:


    I am taking a course which says it requires me to have the Microsoft Office 2010 PP version of the software (the class will be using Access); however, I previously had (and still do) the 2010 Home/Student version. I was able to separately acquire Access through my institution at a discounted rate. I am worried that I will still have to buy the PP version for the "various wizards to work properly" as per my syllabus. Is this true, or are all programs (that are included) created equally on all versions? I don't see how the version I have, since it is 2010, will have an effect on the wizards as long as I have all the required programs (i.e. Access, Power Point, and Excel) from the correct year. Any help is appreciated!

  11. val says:

    @Student: Pretty late answer, but well… the Access you bought separately is made equal and is the same app that comes in PP edition of Office.

    You can actually see that when installing an individually licensed Office family app (eg. you only bought Word or Access or Excel) you are actually installing the MS Office "framework", per say, only striped out of the apps you did not buy, leaving you only with the individual app you bought.

    The scheme is a bit more complicated then Win 7, for eg., where the same install kit applies for all and every edition, only the key and a setup file making a difference, but in the end it is pretty much the same.

      To answer your question and be on topic, it should work ok as long as the "various wizards" do not need to also address Office Apps other then Access or what you already have in your H&S install (for eg. a  wizard that would move data between Access and…Publisher, or InfoPath). Better check on that. Hope I made myself clear, I'm pretty bad at that. 🙂

  12. Softwaretrade says:

    Hello together

    How can it be  that the same code more than 20 times has been activated

    I buyed am office 2010 prof and verified it bei Microsoft and they said this vide is more than 20 activated ist

    Thank you for your answer

  13. Computer guy says:

    I really appreciate this article.  It helps to make it a little clearer, but I am having trouble with all the abreviations.  I figured out VL (volume licensing) I understand that new PC's use PKC but what does that stand for?  What does Open Value mean?  What does FPP mean?  I used to use a lot of abreviations without defining them and lost readers and the ability to communicate.  I would hate to see that happen here on such a nice article.  

  14. HMD says:

    We have a 25+ PCs. Shall we buy Office FPP Package?

  15. Wonder says:

    @HMD it depends whats your requirement. If you are looking to save money, ready to handle 25 different code with media and if you don't have specific requirements. Which office are you planning to buy Home & Business or Professional. Whats your requirement ?

  16. Jonpants says:

    @Computer guy – FPP stands for Fully-Packaged Product. PKC stands for Product Key Card (the kind that comes in sleeve inside a pullout box that is inside of another small packaged box (very Mission: Impossible-ish)

  17. Kurt Bresler says:

    FPP Full Packaged Product as in FULL RETAIL Transferrable license
    PKC Product Key Code works for one installation on one computer non-transferrable
    Open Value…. I think it means you can add as many computers as you need for a reduced license cost.

  18. Surinder says:

    Have purchase office standard and now my machine is damaged, can i install same office on another PC.

  19. Surinder says:

    Have purchase office standard (VL) and now my machine is damaged, can i install same office on another PC.

  20. Emily says:

    Want to Get Cheap Full Version of Microsoft Windows 7, 8, 10 is possible via Activation with license keys, such as, New, Used, MSDN etc. No mention for lost your own license, For new purchasing, I recommend for
    http://products.odosta.com">ODosta Online Store, Where I also got many license in this year, Working best.