Microsoft Office 2010 will ship with product activation out of the box. The methods of activation will depend on the type of Office 2010 that you have installed; Retail, OEM or Volume (Retail and OEM are not discussed).
Volume licensed versions of Office 2010 products will make use of a KMS Host, in the same way that Windows Server 2008, 2008 R2, Windows Vista and 7 do for activation. Office 2010 server products such as SharePoint Server 2010 or Project Server 2010; do not require product activation.
Volume licensed versions of Office 2010 media are pre-installed with a generic volume license key (GVLK). Volume licensed version’s of Office 2010 need to connect to a KMS host for activation. If you have a KMS host in place already, the KMS host will need to have the KMS keys for Office 2010 installed; else a new KMS host infrastructure will need to be installed (outside of the scope of this post). No end user interaction is needed to configure Office 2010 (KMS client) for product activation against a KMS host.
Office 2010 Activation
Once Office 2010 is installed, it needs to be activated within 30 days; activation is attempted every two hours, during the 30 day grace period, if after 25 days the activation has failed to occur, the last 5 days of the 30 day grace period at every Office 2010 application launch, a notification message will be displayed, warning that the activation has failed to occur.
Once Office 2010 is installed and activated, it becomes licensed for 180 days, the KMS client needs to see the KMS host at least once during the 180 days; re-activation is attempted every 7 days (configurable), if successful Office 2010 is licensed for another 180 days. If Office 2010 is not re-activated within 180 days, it re-enters its grace period of 30 days and activation is attempted every 2 hours (configurable).
If your computer is off when the computer attempts to reactivate, then the next time it is turned on, then the activation request will be sent.
If the computer is on but disconnected, an activation attempt will still be made. However, because there is no connection, then the request will fail and the next scheduled activation request will be sent at the scheduled time i.e. Day 14/21/28 etc or as configured.
To manually trigger a client activation run ospp.vbs -act from a CMD window (if not locked down).
Notification mode – notifies the user that the client is using unlicensed software. Once the KMS client sees the KMS host, the notifications are no longer received. Volume licensed software in notification mode, does not lose any functionality. Note: Retail editions of Office 2010 enter reduced functionality mode if not activated.
Reduced functionality mode – only allows users to view and open files.
KMS Host configuration will be in a follow up post.