How can I install Microsoft Products for Sales Demos without breaking the bank?


Woody Walton


I am often asked by partners how they can get software for their sales teams to Demo without having to pay for the license.  There are several answers to that questions and I thought I would run them by you all as a refresher.  While investigating for a recent inquiry, I learned a few things I thought you should know.

The first question I usually counter with when asked a question about demo software is what are you wanting to demo?  The reason for this qualifier is two fold.  1.) there are different options for different products and partner types, and 2.) It may be the best way to demo the software is online, which would not require installing software at all.


First a few No-no's:  TechNet and MSDN subscriptions are not for demonstration environments for sales teams per se, nor should they be installed on customer hardware. 



Demonstrating Office (Cloud)

If you or your sales teams want to demo Office and associated Server Products I would recommend using Office 365 and our Customer Immersion Experience through MEC DEMO.  Details on this offering can be found in Todd’s Sweetser’s post on this blog Get Demoing Office 365.


Microsoft Online Demo Solutions

If you are demonstrating core Microsoft stack products to include Dynamics, you might want to try

You can launch VMs and connect to a number of environments.  some others have downloadable click-throughs.  scripts are included as well.  Youncan see from the screenshot below that Dynamics, SQL Server, BI, System Center 2012 or covered among others.



Microsoft Demo Showcase Suite

Microsoft’s® Demo Showcase Suite is a collection of demonstration resources that includes the new Demo Showcase application for creating your own click-through demos as well as this community site to manage your demos, search for demos and distribute demos you’ve created. Sign in with Windows Live ID and take a look through this site and download the Demo Showcase application to get started creating your own demos that you can share through Silverlight or download as standalone executables.



Evaluation Software

Sometimes the simplest answer is the best.  Almost all Microsoft software is available as an evaluation version usually freely downloadable.  Often times there are demonstration VMs as well.   This is a great short term or quick option for simple demos.  The caveat is that as you have likely guessed, evaluation is time bombed and expires after a period of time.  this may by 90 to 180 days, but if you intend to build a complex demo environment and will be used for some time, this is likely not the best option.


For Silver or Gold Certified Partner:  Unlimited Demonstration licenses

Most partners know that as part of being certified (hold competency) they are entitled to certain internal use rights (IUR) software grants.  These license grants can be found here.

These licenses can be used to run your business; they are not for resale, personal use, or customer training. Licenses are provided for the latest released versions of Microsoft software only.

What you may not know is that in addition to IUR software you also receive an equivalent number of internal training-use licenses1 and unlimited demonstration licenses2 for these products.

Note: Partners with the Small Business competency do not receive internal training-use or demonstration licenses for Microsoft Office 365 or Windows Intune.

This makes sense as these solutions canbe readily demonstrated using the cloud properties mentioned above.

1Training-use licenses are for employee training purposes only and must not be resold or used for personal purposes.
2Demonstration-use licenses are for demonstration purposes only. Your sales and marketing employees can use this software to showcase the product to your customers. You may not leave the product with a customer after a demonstration has been completed.

This information was copied from


For Action Pack Subscribers: You can use these licenses for customer demonstration installs OR business use.

If you are not familiar with the Action Pack please visit


There are two varieties of Action Pack subscription catered toward different partner types.  Please see the above link, but to summarize there are two options:


Action Pack Solution Provider Subscription benefits

Software licenses for Microsoft Action Pack Development and Design are for use at your company’s primary business location only. These licenses may not be used for direct revenue-generating activities (such as website or email hosting, or custom solution development for monetary compensation). They also may not be resold or used for personal reasons. Licenses are provided for the latest released versions of Microsoft software. For additional details about software licensing benefits, refer to the Action Pack software licensing benefits FAQ.

Action Pack Development and Design Subscription benefits


Grow your business with Microsoft Action Pack Development and Design, a cost-effective Microsoft Partner Network subscription.

You’ll get the latest software releases, technical support, training, and sales and marketing resources.

Invest in your long-term success with an annual subscription that helps you effectively develop, design, and test new solutions.

Both of these subscriptions cost $429.00 per year and are a no brainer from a price value perspective.

Both subsciptions offer IUR software (although not as generous as the Certified Partner Grants).


The software must be used only for:

  • Managing internal business
  • Conducting demos with your customers
  • Training your employees
  • Developing and testing applications

Chances are $429.00 is far less expensive than buying software licenses outright.


I hope this has adequately covered the bases!






Comments (0)

Skip to main content