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Microsoft License FAQs (July 1999)

Frequently Asked Questions

The University System of Maryland has taken leadership in putting together the Maryland Education Enterprise Consortium (MEEC), a voluntary agreement among public and independent higher education and county school systems. Frostburg State University is part of the MEEC consortium.

The first activity of the consortium was to work out a comprehensive, non-exclusive licensing contract with Microsoft. The standard desktop software license covers Office or MS Works, Visual Developer, client access licenses, and operating system upgrade. FSU is one of the few institutions of higher education in the MEEC that chose to broaden the scope of the contract to make the Microsoft software available to students (in addition to staff and faculty) at a discounted cost.

View the FAQs below for more information on the consortium and the Microsoft Agreement. For more information on the Microsoft License Agreement at FSU, visit the Maryland Enterprise Licensing Agreement General Information page.

Frequently Asked Questions
July 1999

What is the Maryland Enterprise Licensing Agreement?
What is the Maryland Education Enterprise Consortium?
What products are included?
Does this mean that only Microsoft products will be used in Maryland schools and institutions of higher learning?
When will the software be available?
How will the software be distributed?
How many MEEC computers are encompassed by the agreement?
How much is the contract?
How much will participating institutions save under this contract?
Who will administer the contract?
In general, what are the rules about using the software at home?
What about institutions that do not include students in their licensing agreements?
If an institution is not participating now, will it be able to join in the agreement in the future?
Why did MEEC decide to join together for this type of software licensing agreement?
What will this cost? Who will bear the cost?
Why was Microsoft chosen?
Will this include software for Mac users?
How long is the contract going to last?
Who is Bell Education and what is the company's role in the Microsoft Enterprise Licensing Agreement?
What institutions and school systems are involved in the Maryland Enterprise Agreement?

 

What is the Maryland Enterprise Licensing Agreement?

The Maryland Enterprise Licensing Agreement is a contract under which Maryland educational institutions can purchase Microsoft products at a significant discount. In order to reduce costs and simplify the purchasing of software, the institutions, representing public and independent K-12 and higher education in Maryland, have joined together as the Maryland Education Enterprise Consortium (MEEC). The agreement MEEC reached with Microsoft offers an array of software, including operating systems, desktop productivity tools, and infrastructure server and messaging
products. Faculty and staff may install and use the applications at home. Some institutions are also buying the software licenses for students.

 

What is the Maryland Education Enterprise Consortium?

The MEEC is a newly formed agreement among public and independent institutions, K-12 and higher education in the state of Maryland. Started at the request of University System of Maryland (USM) Chancellor Donald N. Langenberg, MEEC is the first education consortium of its kind to work with Microsoft to create a unique licensing arrangement for software important to K-12 and higher education in general. The USM serves as the lead customer,contracting on behalf of the consortium. Currently, 65
institutions(see list below) from across Maryland are part of MEEC.

 

What products are included?

The Maryland Enterprise Agreement includes Microsoft Office/Office Professional/Office Premium as well as Office 98 (Mac version); BackOffice Client Access licenses for the various groupware, local area network, mail/messaging and database products; 32-bit OS upgrades for Windows 95, Windows 98 and NT; Microsoft Works; Microsoft FrontPage; and Microsoft Visual Studio Professional.

 

Does this mean that only Microsoft products will be used in Maryland schools and institutions of higher learning?

No, the contract is not exclusive. Maryland schools and colleges have complete freedom of choice to use and support any other software products for the PC or Macintosh they want. Because MEEC institutions already own a license for Microsoft products, the "default option" in most cases will be Microsoft.

 

When will the software be available?

Within a few days after the contract is approved by the state Board of Public Works and signed by USM and MicroAge, probably by July 20. Under state procurement law, the Board of Public Works must give approval To public-agency contracts over $100,000. The BPW, which includes the governor, state treasurer, and the comptroller of the treasury, approves expenditures of General Funds and other funds appropriated for capital improvements.

 

How will the software be distributed?

There are many options for software distribution. Each MEEC institution must determine which distribution method will best meet its needs and the needs of its community. Options for software distribution include downloading from a secure site, remote installation for networked computers, a library check-out system for CDs, and CD distribution.

 

How many MEEC computers are encompassed by the agreement?

The total number of desktop computers in the MEEC is 96,035. The total number of MEEC students who have committed to the agreement so far is 23,819. Therefore, the agreement currently impacts as many as 119,854 desktops. The total number of students in all MEEC institutions is about 278,000.

 

How much is the contract?

The USM will pay Microsoft $1.5 million per year for the licenses. In turn, the members of MEEC will reimburse USM for the number of licenses they require.

 

How much will participating institutions save under this contract?

It is difficult to project actual cost savings because many of the participants operate in a decentralized fashion, have different ways of accounting for how much they spend on software licensing and software support each year, and utilize various procurement methods. However, USM has surveyed all of its member institutions and in one example - the University of Maryland, Baltimore - it has determined that the campus will save approximately $150,000 per year, all things being equal (i.e., if the campus were to purchase the same amount and kinds of software without the major discounts built into the agreement). The savings rate will vary from year to year, but it is expected to be significant.

 

Who will administer the contract?

The USM Service Center located at Bowie State University.

 

In general, what are the rules about using the software at home?

At colleges and universities that have included students in their licensing agreements, each student may take home one copy of all licensed software for use on a personally owned computer, whether home is on or off campus. Students who have more than one computer - say, a desktop computer in their home and a laptop they carry around campus with them - may install the software on up to two computers. Student licenses are permanent. (The license actually transfers to the student at the time of transaction, and the student has the right to software upgrades as long as they continue to be an enrolled student at a "student commitment institution," i.e., one which has committed its students to the Enterprise Licensing Agreement program). Students may continue to use the then current version of the software when their status as an enrolled student is terminated, or when the agreement ends. The acceptable-use policy for student licenses proscribes the sharing of software with computers owned by friends, family and neighbors; however, students may share media with other students of student commitment institutions. Only higher education students are eligible for student licenses.

Faculty and staff may use the products on personally-owned computers at home for work related to their employment. The Work at Home (WAH) license is not tied to the faculty/staff member's computer at work. Lab machines, for example, may actually be assigned for WAH licenses. Basically, the number of WAH licenses may not exceed the total desktop count reported by the institution. Only desktop applications are eligible for WAH licensing - the Office suite, Front Page, Publisher, PhotoDraw and Project. Other faculty and staff responsibilities include:

-The licenses are owned by the institution, therefore, use of the software must be discontinued when the faculty/staff member leaves the employment of the institution. -Faculty/staff must use the WAH software only for uses approved in the campus's acceptable use policy. Running a side business using the software, for instance, is prohibited. -The software is not to be shared or loaned to friends, family and neighbors.

 

What about institutions that do not include students in their licensing agreements?

MEEC institutions hold the license for use on all computers they own. If these institutions choose not to sell the licenses to the users, then students will be able to access the software on computers in institutional libraries, labs, etc.

 

If an institution is not participating now, will it be able to join in the agreement in the future?

Yes, the Maryland Enterprise Licensing Agreement will allow K-12 schools, colleges and universities to join at any time during the first two years of the agreement. In addition, participating colleges and universities also will be able to include students during the first two years of the agreement if they are not included at the outset.

 

Why did MEEC decide to join together for this type of software licensing agreement?

There are multiple advantages to participating in the agreement. Several of the major advantages are as follows:

-Economies of scale: MEEC can leverage buying power by negotiating high-volume contracts, resulting in significant discounts for users. -Use of common software reduces support costs and makes training costs easier to manage. -Widespread availability will enable students to build technology skills from kindergarten through graduate school. -A common tool set eases the exchange of electronic files and information. -Administrative process for software distribution will be simplified. -Software upgrades are part of the price.

 

What will this cost? Who will bear the cost?

The agreement calls for a $14 fee per year for each software license, for a total of $42 over the three years of the contract. Each institution will bear its share of the cost, based on the number of desktops in use at its site and the number of enrolled students. The contract itself will be administered by the USM.

 

Why was Microsoft chosen?

Microsoft products are already the most widely used software at the participating institutions. This agreement simply reduces the cost of purchasing and upgrading the software.

 

Will this include software for Mac users?

Yes. The various application packages - Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) and others - do include a Macintosh version, as do the Web Browser (Internet Explorer), Web Development (Microsoft FrontPage), and Messaging (Exchange) products. So Mac users can use these products too.

 

How long is the contract going to last?

This is a three-year licensing agreement. MEEC has the option of extending the contract for an additional two years.

 

Who is Bell Education and what is the company's role in the Microsoft Enterprise Licensing Agreement?

The software is actually purchased through a reseller, who pays Microsoft annually for the licenses. The reseller provides a web page and CDs for distributing the software and sells other Microsoft products at a substantial discount to all the participants in the Maryland Education Enterprise Consortium. Bell Education of Rockville, working with MicroAge, a Microsoft-approved large account reseller, submitted a proposal that met the diverse needs of this complex consortium.

 

What institutions and school systems are involved in the Maryland Enterprise Agreement?

USM INSTITUTIONS

Bowie State University
Coppin State College University
Frostburg State University
Salisbury State University
Towson University
University of Baltimore
University of Maryland, Baltimore
University of Maryland, Baltimore County
University of Maryland, College Park
University of Maryland, Eastern Shore
University of Maryland, University College
University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute
University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science

OTHER MARYLAND INSTITUTIONS AND ORGANIZATIONS

Morgan State University
St. Mary's College of Maryland
Traditional Acupuncture Institute

K-12 PUBLIC SCHOOLS

Allegany County Public Schools
Anne Arundel County Public Schools
Baltimore County Public Schools
Charles County Public Schools
Dorchester County Public Schools
Garrett County Public Schools
Prince George's County Public Schools
Queen Anne's County Public Schools
St. Mary's County Public Schools
Wicomico County Public Schools

COMMUNITY COLLEGES

Allegany College of Maryland
Anne Arundel Community College
Baltimore City Community College
Carroll Community College
Cecil Community College
Charles County Community College
Chesapeake College
The Community Colleges of Baltimore County
Frederick Community College
Hagerstown Community College
Harford Community College
Howard County Community College
Montgomery College
Prince George's Community College
Wor-Wic Community College

MARYLAND INDEPENDENT COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES SCHOOLS

Capitol College
College of Notre Dame of Maryland
Columbia Union College
Goucher College
Hood College
Johns Hopkins University
Loyola College of Maryland
Mount St. Mary's College
St. John's College
St. Mary's Seminary & University
Sojourner-Douglas College
The Maryland Institute, College of Art
Villa Julie College
Western Maryland College
Washington Bible College
Washington College

OTHER ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICES AND NON-DEGREE GRANTING INSTITUTIONS

University System of Maryland Headquarters
University System of Maryland Service Center
Maryland Independent Colleges and Universities Association
Maryland Higher Education Commission System
Maryland State Department of Education
Maryland Association of Community Colleges
Johns Hopkins Hospital

OVERSEAS ENTITIES

Bowie State University - UMUC European Division
Johns Hopkins University - Bologna Center; Villa Spellman; Nanjing
Center for Chinese and American Studies
University of Maryland, University College - European Division; Asian Division


This information is subject to change without notice. Please contact FSU's Office of Academic Computing & Instructional Technologies at 301-687-7090 for the latest information.