Microsoft explains changes to volume-licensing portal

Microsoft described changes to its Volume Licensing Service Center (VLSC) in a webcast on Wednesday.

The webcast was designed, in part, to help frustrated VLSC users who found themselves unable to access software, product keys and account information after Microsoft reworked the VSLC Web site in December. However, most of the talk during the webcast focused on the site's improvements and ease of use.

Company officials acknowledged receiving complaints about the VLSC last month, but said at the time that only some customers and partners had been affected by problems associated with the Web site's upgrade. Access to the site now requires an additional security check that tripped up some users.

The newest features and procedures in VLSC are designed to streamline and simplify license management by providing improved navigation and connectivity, according to Chris Trimmer, who narrated Microsoft's webcast.

Visitors to VLSC will see a revamped home page, improved navigation tabs, expanded FAQs, customized landing pages for various permission levels and more, Trimmer said. The updated VLSC site can be accessed here.

VLSC now supports nine levels of permission access, ranging from an administrator, who can view and act on all levels of a license, to a registered user, who can access his or her own license information and make requests for adding or deleting specific licenses.

A new security feature that some VLSC users had complained about – the linking of an e-mail address with a Windows Live ID – was explained in the webcast. Users need to have a validated business e-mail address along with an associated Windows Live ID that uses the same e-mail address. Microsoft made this change to add another level of security and to provide a more "granular" approach to the various categories of information, according to Trimmer.

Users can now verify and print out proof-of-purchase certificates, license summaries and order confirmations for specific licenses. Those actions were difficult to do with the old VLSC Web site, Trimmer said. In addition, the upgraded site has a comprehensive portal for Software Assurance management.

Microsoft may have recorded the webcast for future viewing. Check for updates at this Microsoft blog.

About the Author

Herb Torrens is a freelance writer based in Southern California.

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