Volume Activation 2.0 is a new technology which will be implemented in the Windows Vista operating system and Windows Server Code Name “Longhorn” that requires activation of each Windows Vista license acquired under a Volume License agreement (i.e. Volume License Key VLK), similar to Windows Product Activation (WPA) for single home users. Volume Activation 2.0 features support for centrally managing Volume License keys and providing Multiple Activation Key (MAK) which resident on individual computers by way of MAK Proxy Activation or MAK Independent Activation and Key Management Service (KMS) Key that installed on the KMS host and clients connect to the KMS host to renew the activation once every 180 days.

Microsoft offers to Windows Vista users free download of technical documentation focusing on planning, deployment and operational guidance of Volume Activation 2.0. The technical guidance includes:

  • Volume Activation 2.0 Step-by-Step Guide which provides provides planning, deployment and operational guidance for activating volume editions of the Windows Vista operating system.
  • Volume Activation 2.0 FAQ which contains some answers to frequently asked questions about Windows Vista Volume Activation 2.0.
  • Volume Activation 2.0 Technical Attributes which contains list ofs WMI properties, WMI methods, KMS registry keys and values, KMS log events, KMS error codes and KMS PRC messages in Excel spreadsheet format.
  • Standard User Product Activation zip file which contains Standard User Product Activation webpage that is used for during recovery from Reduced Functionality Mode (RFM) in Software Protection Platform (SPP), as detailed in Step by Step Guide.

Download Windows Vista Volume Activation 2.0 Technical Guidance.

Update: Volume activation guide for Windows Vista SP1 and Windows Server 2008 SP1