Thanks to being in the hosting business for the past 3 years and doing short term contracting before that, I’ve never had to deal with the nightmare that is Microsoft volume activation. My new role requires I understand it, and it crops up plenty in an exam I’m preparing for. KMS, MAK, MAK with VAMT are three activation methods that spring to mind. KMS is what you’ll try to use in a large environment with more than 25 clients. KMS clients must be on the network to reactivate every 180 days. MAK with VAMT is recommended for up to 50 clients…. there’s a grey cross over area there! MAK is recommended for smaller environments.
You can’t install KMS on W2008, but you can with a patch, but you have to activate Windows 7 with a W2008 R2 key, and you can’t activate Office 2010 with it, but you can with a W2003/W2008R2/Windows 7 KMS … you see where I’m going with all this?
Maybe volume activation needs a rethink? Maybe it should be engineered to be as simple as Terminals Services (RDS) Licensing is.