Second-Hand Software Archives – Buying & Selling Disused Microsoft Software Licences Since 2004

What You Need To Know When Selling Your Software

What You Need To Know When Selling Your Software


If you have redundant Microsoft software licenses that are sitting around doing nothing for your business, one of the best options available to you is to sell them.


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Doing so allows you to release your invested capital back into your business, presenting you with the opportunity to reinvest that money where it is really needed. Many Discount-Licensing clients redirect the funds raised from selling Microsoft software licenses to mitigate the costs associated with upgrading to newer technologies.


Discount-Licensing purchase fully paid perpetual Microsoft software licenses that originally came onto the market within the UK or European Economic Area, and diligently ensure full compliance with UK and EU laws. You can find out more detailed information on our FAQs page, but here’s all you need to know about selling your Microsoft software.


How Do I Know If I Have Redundant Microsoft Software Licenses?


If your organisation has previously purchased perpetual licenses (also known as ‘On Premise’ licensing) and have either moved on to a newer version or to a subscription/cloud-based model, it is likely you will have redundant licenses available to sell that may still hold a residual value. If you aren’t certain, Discount-Licensing can offer support in identifying any perpetual Microsoft software licenses you have to sell and give an indication of their potential worth. You are under no obligation to sell to us if we offer this support, and all your data will be kept confidential. If our indicative offer is of interest and you would like to go ahead and sell your licences, the process goes like this:


Offer: DL supply an indicative purchase offer listing the licences and explaining the process to follow if the clients wishes to sell.

Acceptance: To accept our offer, the client signs the offer using Adobe sign. This shows their acceptance of the offer, process and T&Cs.

Diligence: The client supplies DL with all evidence of licence ownership. This includes MLS and VLSC access plus agreement documentation when applicable.

Purchase order: If the client is able to satisfy the diligence check we send them an order confirmation detailing the licences to be purchased.

Transfer: The client sends DL an invoice and a signed deletion statement (wording provided by DL) on letterheaded paper confirming that the licenses are no longer in use and have been made unusable.

Payment: Payment is made once all the necessary documentation has been received.


All software licences DL purchase are remarketed to other companies within the UK and EU/EEA. This allows our customers to purchase the software they need, rather than what the vendors push them to buy, allowing them to maximise their own profits. DL purchase a wide variety and age of Microsoft software licences, so if you have disused Microsoft software it’s always worth checking with DL to see if it has potential value. DL do not charge to value your software.


With over 16 years’ experience, Discount-Licensing are one of the longest established pre-owned software resellers, having helped businesses, both large and small, to generate additional revenue from often-overlooked software licensing assets. If you would like more details, please call our office on +44 (0)1283 511524, selecting option 3, or alternatively drop us an email to


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Unused Software Licences In Academia: How You Can Recoup Some Costs

Unused Software Licences In Academia: How You Can Recoup Some Costs



A large number of academic institutions are in possession of old software licences that they either have forgotten about or presume are not worth anything, but did you know that they could actually be resold back to a vendor for a reasonable price?

If your academic institution is sitting on unused volume licences, this can be a valuable asset that you can sell on to a trustworthy vendor to recoup some of your original costs.

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Common Errors In Software Licence Management

One of the main goals of software licence optimisation and management is to prevent harmful software audits and ensure software licence compliance. The focus of software asset management, and probably rightly so, tends to be on what software is currently in use rather than the total licensing estate that the organisation has acquired over the years. The software in use is only the tip of the iceberg and below the surface, there could be a large amount of licensing that has been discarded as it is no longer needed or it is felt that it holds no value. This is common when institutions replace existing software with new versions, go through changes in staffing numbers or even just simply end up over-ordering.

Many organisations have optimised their licences through improved server consolidation or better processes, still ensuring full compliancy, so licence consumption in some areas is reducing (increased server virtualisation, for instance) and institutions are left with multiple unused licences that could be resold to generate much needed additional revenue. These additional funds could then supplement already tight budgets for future purchases or reduce the financial burden of current ones.

The Benefits Of Selling Unused Software Licences

Selling redundant software licences gives the ability to release capital back into your organisation. As software manufacturers are trying to move academic institutions to a cost structure based on operating costs via subscription rather than capital investment in perpetual licensing, the window of opportunity is closing as these assets continue to depreciate. For instance, an organisation that has moved to Office 365 from Office 2016 Pro Plus may be surprised by the value they can reclaim from their initial investment. Even Office 2013 still holds some value but once a new version is released, interest in these older versions will wane, as will their value. Discount-Licensing can help you with your software management with our free remote audits to identify your full licensing estate. Once you have identified what you need and what you don’t, you can dispose of what’s no longer required, streamline your spending and invest back into your institution.

Get In Touch With Discount Licensing Today

If your institution is sitting on unused licences, get in touch with our friendly team at Discount-Licensing today and we can offer you an all-in-one solution for releasing their value.

To find out how much money you can make from reselling your disused licences, give us a call on +44 (0)1283 511524 or fill in our online form and we can offer you a free audit.


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Beware Rogue Traders – Be Vigilant In The Online Software Licence Marketplace

Beware Rogue Traders – Be Vigilant In The Online Software Licence Marketplace



Since the UK – and much of Europe – went into lockdown, many businesses have been temporarily closing or seen their revenues impacted. As a result, businesses are being forced to cut costs and to look for new ways to save money.

As software is often business critical, buyers are searching the internet for the best deals but it is important to know what to look for first. There are times when the cheapest option isn’t the best!

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This is certainly true in the technology sector when it is far too easy to be lulled into thinking you’ve found a ‘sweet deal’, only to discover you have actually been ripped off. Software offers that seem ‘too good to be true’ should particularly raise an alarm, as there is a good chance they are a ploy by a rogue trader.

Buying The Rights To Use Software

The internet is awash with cheap software offers, whether it’s directly from a seller’s website or platforms like eBay and other online marketplaces, where vendors can make unverified claims about the legitimacy of the software they’re selling. They’re advertised as genuine software and installation keys, which often they are, but are you receiving a genuine licence to legitimately use the software purchased? Probably not.

This is one way unscrupulous software vendors operate – they offer genuine installation keys for software at a great discount, failing to mention that this isn’t exactly a complete package. Many unsuspecting individuals and even companies are unaware this is not the same as having a licence to use that software.

Best Way To Source Pre-Owned And New Software

To avoid the dodgy software deals from rogue traders, it is important to deal with reputable sellers such as Discount-Licensing, who are transparent and will help you to understand what you are buying. Are you buying new software so you are the first user, or pre-owned – and what type of user licence is it?

Checking The Credentials Of New Software

Rogue vendors will promote offers on software implying or even stating that the item is new but at heavily discounted prices. You need to ask the question “Why would a software manufacturer sell off their software cheaply to these guys who will undercut their mainstream vendors?” Because of digital delivery, software manufacturers or authorised resellers are not sitting on mountains of stock that they need to sell off cheaply to make space. Nor have they much interest in selling older product versions.

Take Microsoft’s Office 2016, for example. If a business needs an older version, Microsoft’s mechanism for this is for the customer to purchase the current version via Volume Licensing, then use downgrade rights to install the previous release. Software manufacturers have far greater control over their product distribution than most businesses, so why devalue their products and undermine their key partners?

Certainly, products like Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) licences do make their way onto the grey market, but new software licences offered at very low prices are far more likely to be pirated copies rather than something a manufacturer would accept as legitimate if audited.

Remember, just because you have a working installation key, this does not mean you have a legal right to use the product.

Pre-Owned Software

In the pre-owned software market, there are good deals to be found. At Discount-Licensing we sell the right to use our software, not just the ability to install it! The law lays down criteria for pre-owned software transfers and trustworthy vendors will themselves offer up this information. Providing this criteria is meet, the software manufacturer must accept the pre-owned software is being used legitimately.

So how can you be sure that the pre-owned software you are looking to purchase is legal and fit for purpose?

Checking The Validity Of Pre-Owned Software

If we look at a manufacturer like Microsoft in whom we specialise at Discount-Licensing, Volume licensing is the safest for the customer to purchase. The reason is that Microsoft keeps records of who purchases these licences so their legitimacy can be confirmed.

This is not to say that pre-owned Retail or OEM software can’t be legally purchased and used; but with those types of licences, it is a lot harder to prove their legitimacy and to be able to meet the manufacturer’s audit requirements. The software you have purchased could be perfectly legal but if you cannot prove that in an audit, there is every chance you will have to repurchase it.

A good pre-owned software supplier should be able to meet the following checklist for every transaction so that they meet the legal requirements:

    • The software was first put into use within the UK or EEA (‘original country of use’, not the ‘current country of use’);
    • You should be supplied the name of the original Microsoft Customer along with the unique licence agreement numbers that were issued to them. These numbers constitute the right to install and use the software;
    • Written confirmation from the original user or their legal representative that the licences have been divested and the software uninstalled from their equipment.

At Discount-Licensing we do high levels of due diligence, tracing the origins of every item we sell, right back to its starting point with Microsoft! That means that we can also show you the same information. If a company refuses to divulge a licence’s owner history, proceed with caution.

GDPR, for instance, is not applicable, as a clear audit trail needs to be established from the original user to the current one to be legally compliant. Without it, a software manufacturer may reject your right to be using the software.

Finding A Trusted Supplier Of Discounted Software

There are a few more clues you can use to find genuine deals on software licences.

Does the seller provide authentic contact details, including a postal address and telephone number? Many rogue traders keep such information under wraps, selling unusable software online with no way for dissatisfied customers to approach them if an issue occurs.

In fact, check the whole website or listing carefully for inflated claims, ambiguous terms and other red flags.

Buying low priced software from ‘fly by night’pop up traders is always a huge risk. Buying from a reputable dealer with a strong track record makes those few extra savings!

Contact Us

Trading for over 15 years, Discount-Licensing ensures all our licences comply with legislation and we can back that up with full transparency to our customers.

Never worry about purchasing illegal software or failing a Microsoft audit again – if you are looking to save money on software licences for your business please get in touch and we will provide you with a quote.

Make An Enquiry

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3 Benefits Of Buying Pre-owned Microsoft Office 2016 Licences From The Pre-Owned Market

3 Benefits Of Buying Pre-owned Microsoft Office 2016 Licences From The Pre-Owned Market



Whether you are looking to upgrade your office suite or simply maintaining compliance the cost of software licensing can be expensive. A conventional Microsoft reseller will automatically tell you that the most cost-effective way to licence your business correctly is to buy Office 365 or Azure and move away from on-premise perpetual licensing to a subscription cloud-based solution.

And at first glance, the move from CAPEX to OPEX spending could seem attractive; however, in the long term, you will always spend much more. To learn more about the cost differences between the two types of licence, see our previous article on the subject here.

Discount-Licensing is an authorised Microsoft reseller who specialises in supplying pre-owned perpetual Microsoft software at heavily discounted prices. An example of this would be Office 2016 Professional which often can be supplied at less than the cost of an annual subscription to Office 365 Pro Plus.

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Here are just a few of the benefits of opting for pre-owned Microsoft Office 2016 volume software (on-premise).

1. Great Prices For Excellent Software

Being able to secure a service that’s essential to your business for a lower cost is an excellent way to keep your budgets under control and ensure that the way you’re licensing software is the most economical and efficient for your business. Pre-owned Microsoft licences can often be purchased at more than 50% cheaper in the pre-owned market than buying through a conventional reseller.

2. Choose The Best Software For You

Choose the best software for your business, not what Microsoft tell you to buy. Using the pre-owned software market and an expert reseller such as you can purchase the software version/edition to suit you. Application, Server and Operating systems are all available pre-owned for the discerning buyer and all at a fraction of the price of the new licences.

3. Work With A Reseller Who Knows Their Stuff

Choosing a pre-owned Microsoft Reseller such as Discount-Licensing to purchase your software licences means that you get to speak to someone who is an expert in Microsoft and the field of reselling ‘pre-owned’ software. This offers you an excellent place to direct queries and questions regarding the software you’re looking to purchase; you’ll get answers from a company who knows what they’re talking about. Discount-Licensing is a Pan European reseller who supplies businesses of all sizes from SMB to Enterprise.

So, if you’re considering purchasing pre-owned Microsoft licences and you’re looking for a reseller who can help you make the best decision for your business, look no further. From legacy versions to the very latest release, we stock a range of Application and Server software to meet all your business requirements. Click here to make an online enquiry or call us on +44 (0)1283 511 524 to speak to our team today. Alternatively, you can send a direct email to


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Is Pre-Owned Software “As Good As New”?

Is Pre-Owned Software “As Good As New”?



Many people liken pre-owned software to second-hand objects, assuming that there will be signs of usage – but this isn’t true. Pre-owned software is as good as new with every fresh install. There are no mechanical aspects and there are no moving parts, so there is no way to “wear out” a piece of software. As long as software is installed on the appropriate hardware, it will be as responsive, usable, and suitable for your business as ever – even if it has been used before.

Download our FREE guide to second-hand software!

More and more businesses are turning to vendors such as Discount-Licensing who sell pre-owned Microsoft volume licences as an alternative to “brand new” software as offered by the traditional LSP, distributor or reseller. Buying from a legitimate pre-owned software reseller is an excellent way to affordably and legally get access to the software versions and editions that your business needs and not necessarily the latest versions as traditional resellers demand that you buy.

Pre-owned software is ideal for supporting a growing team, satisfying a licence shortfall to remain compliant or implementing a hybrid software platform. Pre-owned software allows employees to continue to use software programs which they are familiar with, removing the need to learn new layouts and system changes often introduced with the latest versions, thus maintaining productivity. Pre-owned software helps stretch your IT budgets, freeing up cash for other IT projects that have perhaps been postponed due to other budgetary demands.

Discount-Licensing sources all its software from within the EU/EEA from companies that no longer have a requirement for them. Companies who sell their surplus software licences do so for many reasons including Cloud migration, reduced head count, mergers and acquisition, or having purchased a new licence agreement from a different vendor.

So Why Is Pre-Owned Software Cheaper?

Pre-owned software is cheaper because it has been purchased, installed and put to use by a previous owner within the EU/EEA. Companies that sell their surplus software to Discount-Licensing do so to recoup money back from their initial software investment. That software purchased by Discount-Licensing is often the latest version/edition, so buyers of pre-owned software have an opportunity to obtain very recent versions at a much lower price when compared to brand new licences or alternative cloud offerings.

Using A Trusted Reseller

Discount-Licensing are a registered Microsoft Partner – and a trustworthy reseller of pre-owned Microsoft volume software licences who performs all due diligence to ensure compliancy with the EU Software Directive 2009. It’s important to remember when buying used software to always buy from a reputable seller who understands the licensing and the legalities surrounding the safe purchase and transfer of pre-owned software. Discount-Licensing offer complete transparency with the software that they trade. A full and complete audit trail is essential to remain compliant including full disclosure of software licence numbers, activation keys and original end user information/confirmation.

Discount-Licensing provides sales and purchasing quotations for pre-owned software within 24 hours of enquiry. Alternatively, if you would like further information please call us on +44 1283 511524 to discuss your options. We have offices around Europe and can provide support in multiple languages – get in touch today!

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Will Buying Pre-owned Software Limit What Functions I Have Available?

Will Buying Pre-owned Software Limit What Functions I Have Available?



If you’re buying new equipment or software for your business, you may have considered pre-owned software as an alternative to buying a brand new software at the full price. After all, that reduction in cost can make expensive Microsoft software more affordable to any business that wants to stretch its IT budget. But when you choose to buy pre-owned software, will your business be limited to what it can do in comparison to buying new? Read on to find out more…

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Why Choose Pre-owned Software?

There are many reasons why you may opt for pre-owned software. This could be down to budget constraints, or it could even be that you need access to older software that’s no longer sold as new. Unlike a car, software doesn’t degrade over time and so there’s no reason why a used/pre-owned software version shouldn’t be a more viable option compared to new.

Will Pre-owned Software Limit My Functionality?

Short answer: no. Software doesn’t lose its functionality depending on how many people have used it or who’s previously owned it. Pre-owned software is now practically identical to buying new, especially if you buy from a reputable source. Your business is provided with a unique set of licence agreement numbers (originally created by Microsoft), media and supporting documentation via Discount-Licensing’s client portal: Secondary Software Licence Centre (SSLC). The only limitation is the number of installations that your company can make, which is also true of new software licence purchases.

Be aware of rouge reseller sites may illegally selling trial installation keys or software that is not for purpose because the software was originally put into use outside Europe – such software may not pass an audit and what originally appeared to be amazing short term savings can turn out to be very costly at time of audit). So, it’s important to be vigilant about what you’re purchasing in order to ensure you’re getting the right pre-owned software product with all the functionality that your company needs.

Does Pre-owned Software Appear ‘Used’?

Short answer: no. In terms of installation and usage of Microsoft software licence, there’s no difference between the pre-owned and new software options. Previously, people thought of pre-owned software as a battered box or used CD-ROM but in a digital era, Discount-Licensing has built a web portal so that the pre-owned software licences, media and supporting documentation is delivered to its customers in the same way that the vendor supplies new software through its new licence portal.

Are you considering pre-owned software for your next purchase? View our full range of pre-owned software today.


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Should You Buy A New Microsoft Licence Or Get Used Software?

Should You Buy A New Microsoft Licence Or Get Used Software?



When setting out to acquire new software solutions for your business, it can be tempting to save money by opting for used software. You could purchase a fresh licence directly from Microsoft, or you could purchase a second-hand licence from a reseller – perhaps even from eBay! There are advantages and disadvantages to each option, so it is important to be aware of all the facts before making a decision about which way to go. Here we compare the option of buying new against buying second hand – which is right for you?

Mint Condition

Unsurprisingly, when you purchase a fresh new software licence for any Microsoft product, you get something that is shiny and new. But the same is true of a second-hand software product – unlike physical products, Microsoft software licences don’t get worn out over time. There will be no difference in the quality of the product when you buy second-hand as opposed to brand new. With a fully legal used software licence, you will be able to install and use your software just as you would with a new software licence from a conventional software licence reseller. It will work just the same and you will be able to download all the necessary updates without any worries, so your software will be in mint condition.

A Question Of Security

One of the key reasons that people are apprehensive about buying used Microsoft software licences is legal and security. Many businesses still do not realise that buying used software is as legal as buying/selling a house or a car within Europe. Ratified by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in 2012, so long as the reseller follows the criteria set out by the ECJ, the European Software Directive 2009 permits the resale of intangible software such as Microsoft Volume software licences – it is wrong to assume that buying used software is akin to pirating it. Visit our LEGAL web page to find out more.

Secondly, there is the issue of getting a genuine product. When you purchase a fresh new Microsoft licence directly from a registered / certified reseller, you know that you will be receiving a genuine, legitimate product. You may feel less certain about that with the second-hand option due to the stigma attached to secondary markets. If you buy from a suspicious reseller (companies only reselling licence installation keys only or hiding behind Notary Attestations), you have reason to be concerned. But with a reliable reseller like Discount-Licensing, you are warranted to receive a trustworthy, genuine licence every single time and every transaction is insured – we do not purchase used software for resale without completing thorough background checks that are made in accordance with the 2021 ECJ ruling and Software Directive 2009.

A Question Of Cost

The greatest advantage of buying second-hand is the money you save as pre-owned/used software is normally 50%+ cheaper than a fresh new software licence, and the total cost is more transparent and straightforward than the pricing models of rental / cloud options. You can minimise your software and administration costs by going second-hand and keep everything simple.

In a nutshell, as long as you choose a trustworthy reseller like Discount-Licensing, business stand to benefit more by purchasing used software as opposed to new. You get the same product in mint condition, completely legal with comprehensive proof of ownership; and you get it at a greatly reduced price as well as full access to the ongoing support/updates that a fresh new software licence provides. Pre-owned/used software is a no-brainer for European businesses.

Choose Discount Licensing for help with buying second-hand software today.


Here’s How Easy It Is To Buy Used Microsoft Software

Here’s How Easy It Is To Buy Used Microsoft Software



With Discount-Licensing, you have a simple and effective way to buy Microsoft software. We sell licences for second-hand software, which means our customers get their own, fully-functional software without having to splash out on a more expensive software product. In terms of installation and usage, there is no disadvantage to buying used software as opposed to the brand new software alternative, except for the risk of being sold fake activation codes from rogue resellers. We offer a marketplace for legitimate, trustworthy licences that are completely legal and above board.



Here’s how easy it is to buy genuine used software for your business:

Step 1: Finding The Right Software

From our Home menu, select the Software Solutions option and click Buy Software. You will then be presented with a list of Microsoft products to build and add to your enquiry cart. When selecting a product, you will then get a list of available versions and editions – for example, if you select Microsoft Office the list will include everything from Office 2003 to Office 2019 versions. Finally, select the edition (Standard/Professional Plus) and the quantity of the licences that your business requires; then click on ‘Add Software to Enquiry Basket’.

Step 2: Submitting Your Enquiry

Once you have built and added all the products that your business requires, click on ‘View Software in Basket’ or hit the enquiry basket icon at the top right hand side of your screen to review your selected pre-owned Microsoft software licences that you require a price for.. Once you have inserted your contact details, submit your enquiry and a member of staff will contact you within 24 hours in order to provide you with a formal quotation. From there, you can make a decision as to whether you wish to proceed with an order.

Step 3: Receiving Your Pre-Owned Microsoft Software Licence(s), Media & Installation Keys

Once you have confirmed your order, your business will be provided with the ‘Parent Program’ and ‘Enrollment’ software licence numbers that were created/supplied by Microsoft for the original Microsoft customer. The supporting legal documentation and installation media is made available through Discount-Licensing’s unique Secondary Software Licence Centre (SSLC), a web portal for pre-owned/used Microsoft software.

It’s that simple. With Discount-Licensing, you get 100% transparency and comprehensive documentation that demonstrates full legal ownership of your chosen software and everything you need to prove it if your company is ever audited. Discount-Licensing can give your business peace of mind when you choose to purchase second-hand/used Microsoft software.


Navigating The Used Software Market

Navigating The Used Software Market

Savvy European Software Buyers Can Save Up To 50% By Buying And Selling Used Software

After years of wrangling, on July 3, 2012, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) declared that trading in used software programs was legal in the European Union. This landmark decision reaffirmed that enterprises with excess software license capacity can sell off their unused software assets to resellers who can then offer the used software for sale. Since then, businesses across Europe have taken advantage of this burgeoning market. Find out more here.


Hamburg Court Issues Injunction Against Microsoft

Hamburg Court Issues Injunction Against Microsoft

Further to last month’s landmark Court Judgement of the CJEU against Oracle (Case C-128/11 – 3 rd July 2012), in which the legalities of second-hand software licensing was re-affirmed, a district court of Hamburg (Germany) has subsequently issued a temporary injunction against Microsoft – Court Reference: 327 O 396/12 (9th August 2012): – “Gebrauchtsoftware: Schlappe für Microsoft bei Aufspaltung von Volumenlizenzen“. Find out more here.


‘Usedsoft’ Bankrupt & Business Model Exposed

‘Usedsoft’ Bankrupt & Business Model Exposed

Most of the innovators and me-too competitors that have emerged over the past decade have worked in relative harmony with the software vendors in what has become a fragmented secondary software licence industry; an industry, which now incorporates numerous markets defined by the different software vendors (Microsoft, SAP etc), vendor’s products and licence platforms (Volume, OEM, boxed products etc); and each vendor offering different transfer provisions that continuously change. Find out more here.

Microsoft volume licensing website takes festive holiday

Microsoft volume licensing website takes festive holiday

Microsoft’s volume licensing websites have been offline for over a week while the software giant has been tweaking its service.

Redmond’s eOpen licence and volume licensing service sites have been “down for maintenance” since 7 December.

Microsoft apologised to customers affected by the scheduled outage and said it hoped to bring the service back online tomorrow (16 December).

“The Microsoft Volume Licensing Service Center is undergoing maintenance as part of a series of enhancements to improve the licensing management experience for partners and customers,” it said. Find out more here.