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Microsoft sell a wide range of products across traditional software, Online Services and Azure, and there are a substantial number of agreements that customers can purchase them through. The rules for how you acquire licenses for the different products are diverse, often complicated, and can differ dependent on how the licenses are purchased. The licensing information for all of these different products and agreements is spread across many documents and websites, and this makes it really difficult to learn the rules or even find them when you need them.

All this is why we've created our Microsoft Licensing Body of Knowledge – to gather together licensing information across all of the products across all of the ways to buy them. We’ve chosen the content carefully – we wanted to make it as complete as possible without making it overwhelming by including every single licensing detail about every single product. Overall, it’s about 90% of the full set of licensing information, and we think that’s probably the right amount for the vast majority of people.

The intention of this digital book is not to replace Microsoft’s official documentation, rather to explain it. You should always reference Microsoft’s own resources, rather than this digital book, for example, when you document your licensing decisions, and it’s the Product Terms site and Microsoft’s Licensing Guides that you’ll probably find most useful.