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jimerb1
Level 3 Contributor

Action Pack and Windows 11

Now that Windows 11 is officially released, any word when the final version will be included in the Action Pack?

 

Seems like a core thing that should be available for lab analysis.

44 REPLIES 44
JanoschUlmer
Microsoft

@Mustang : As mentioned before, new software releases are not made available in Action Pack or Silver/Gold Benefits immediately, sometimes it takes a while.

Note on the option you used now: While this might technically work, unless you have a Windows Enterprise license with software assurance or a subscription license, you are not licensed to run Windows 11 Enterprise, even though technically it may work to upgrade. Action Pack licenses do not include Software Assurance, and subscription licenses are currently offered only for Silver/Gold competency partners (as part of M365 E3)

 

In Action Pack you have a Windows license for Test & development purposes though: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/visualstudio/subscriptions/program-mpn#subscriptions-for-partners-purchasing-the-action-pack 

Kind regards,
Janosch
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pcomazzi
Level 1 Contributor

Interesting.  Not a 100% workaround if you want to do a clean install of 11.  But install W10E first then W11 - might be an option.  Thanks for testing that out. 

JanoschUlmer
Microsoft

@pcomazzi : Media creation toolkit also allows to do a clean install, you can activate it using the Windows 7/8/10/11 Home/Pro product key of a OEM license (usually done automatic when embedded in BIOS/UEFI) or a retail key. Enterprise keys of Windows 10, like those MAK keys from Action Pack, may not work to activate Windows 11 Enterprise though.

Kind regards,
Janosch
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Dr_HansD
Level 1 Contributor

When will we see Office 2021, Project Professional 2021, Project - (cloud based) seats, Visio & Windows 11 available from MAPS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Looks like these items are available for the end users, but not retailers or developers....

 

stinsora
Level 1 Contributor

The core Office apps appear to be up to date as part of the included O365 E3, but not the one-time purchase versions. 

 

@JanoschUlmer 

When are the MAPS benefits going to update to the current 2021 versions, specifically Project and Visio?

@stinsora : As mentioned above, there is no ETA yet, could take few weeks.

Kind regards,
Janosch
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Meppyman
Level 2 Contributor

THanks Janosch, just hearing someone say "could take a few weeks" helps placate my uncertainty 😄

 

I use VISIO a lot when working with clients... There are simpler and easier to use tools our there for doing workflow diagrams, but I know Visio well enough that it doesn't hold me back too often so happy I can stick with it.

JanoschUlmer
Microsoft

@jimerb1 

Since Windows client is included in M365E3, it is already available to subscribers.

Kind regards,
Janosch
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ThomasMeyer4569
Level 2 Contributor

Hello Janosch, 

 

how is it available to subscribers? 

 

I cannot find it in Partner Center under Software (don't see the new Office either), nor do I get it through Windows update. What am I missing? Location is Berlin, Germany. 

JanoschUlmer
Microsoft

In Partner Center you will only see the M365 E3 license, this allows the licensed user to run Windows 11 E3, respectively Windows 10 E3. When you have e.g. Windows 10 Pro OEM, and you log in with a licensed user account, the device will upgrade to E3 automatically (Well, it should, device will need to be AzureAD Joined or Hybrid Joined for this to work, see Windows 10/11 Subscription Activation - Windows Deployment | Microsoft Docs )

 

When Windows 11 is supported for your device, you can download it via Windows Update (recommended) - or Windows Update would inform you if the device does not fulfill requirements. You can also download Windows 11 here: Download Windows 11 (microsoft.com) - but this method will not check for a "soft block" - e.g. when Microsoft has found problems with your device or application and therefore won't offer the upgrade in Windows Update. 

 

Since you mentioned you do not see it in Windows Update - what OS version do you currently use?

 

There is no media or key download available with M365 E3 Action Pack licenses (same for CSP customers btw) - the subscription based activation will ensure devices with Pro can upgrade to E3, and download of Windows 11 upgrade will happen directly from Microsoft like for any other end user.

 

For Office, a licensed user will see the option to download the apps when logging in to office.com. Or you use the Office Deployment Toolkit to do the installation and activation happens via the signed-in user.

Kind regards,
Janosch
Get consultations form Technical Presales & Deployment services team via https://aka.ms/technicalservices
GarethWinn
Level 1 Contributor

That's all very well that the updates will come in via subscriptions but Action Pack doesnt seem to come with Microsoft 365 licences, just Office 365. Also what happens when you want to do a fresh install straight on Windows 11? With Windows 10 we just download the ISO and we can install it and then activate with one of the provided keys. We dont have the option with the lack of a Windows 11 ISO and Key. 

ThomasMeyer4569
Level 2 Contributor

I am in the same situation as pcomazzi: There is no M365 in Action Pack, which is why I cannot get Win 11 through this channel. I am on the same Win 10 as pcomazzi and I don't see it in Action Pack... 

pcomazzi
Level 1 Contributor

I think this is an issue with the Action Pack, as M365E3 isn't included with an action pack subscription-only Offce365 E3.  Even if it was, this doesn't solve the issue of a fresh install of Pro or Enterprise versions.  Hopefully, they will add Win11 to the action-pack as they did Win10.  

 

As for me, the PC health Check says I am 100% on requirements for Win11, but it is not available on  Windows Update.  I am currently running Win10 Enterprise 21H1 19043.1266.  I really do not want to upgrade, but a fresh install of Enterprise. 

JanoschUlmer
Microsoft

@pcomazzi : You are correct, sorry. @ThomasMeyer4569 : Sorry for the confusion.

 

Somehow I was under the impression replacing Windows + Office 365 use rights with M365 use rights happened for both Silver/Gold competency partners and Action Pack, but for Action Pack it is still separated, so Windows 11 is not yet available for Action Pack.

New software releases for MPN benefits are not happening regularly (e.g. Windows Server 2022 is also not available, though already released in some channels in August), I would need to check if there is already a timeline for adding this, or if the LTSC Windows client license will be replaced with M365 use rights like it has happened for competency Partners.

Kind regards,
Janosch
Get consultations form Technical Presales & Deployment services team via https://aka.ms/technicalservices
GarethWinn
Level 1 Contributor

This is most definitely needed to be done as soon as possible. Action Pack requirements are that you are running the latest version of all software and yet Action Pack subscribers arent being supplied with the software to be compliant

JanoschUlmer
Microsoft

@GarethWinn : If Windows 11 will be added to MAPS as Windows 10 was made available, there will be an ISO as well. If MAPS would switch to provide M365 instead, like it is done for Silver/Gold competency Partners, then you can download Win11 with the Media Creation toolkit, and via the M365 license you can activate Win11 E3.

Remember, Windows licenses in MAPS or Silver/old IUR benefit are only upgrade licenses, even if an ISO is provided that allows bare metal install you still need to have the eligible base license (e.g. Windows 7/8/10/11 Pro OEM). When you use the Media Creation Toolkit you would install e.g. Windows 11 Pro, which is activated via the OEM or Retail license key you already have (in case of OEM this is automatic if license is embedded in BIOS/UEFI), and then the upgrade from Pro to E3 happens automatic on user login. The Media Creation Toolkit allows for both bare metal and upgrade installs.

 

On the compliance side - the requirement to use the latest version refers to the latest version available in MAPS, so only as soon as the new software versions are being made available you would be required to upgrade.

Kind regards,
Janosch
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aburton
Level 1 Contributor

Having I been using the Action Pack in the wrong manner all this time? I thought it was to familiarize myself with these systems so I could go out, recommend, sell and support them. At one point this was a huge benefit to me, but will all the instability (seems every year, this "partnership" becomes less valuable) and lack of reliability (now Windows 11 keys are upgrade only?)

Case in point. Just bought a new Surface Pro 8 to test drive, eventually want to upgrade it from Home to Pro to check out the new features there, but I can't? Unless I purchase another license?

JanoschUlmer
Microsoft

@aburton : Windows Client licenses in Action Pack always were Upgrade licenses only, at least for the last 10 years. So this did not change. So, while the ISO allowed for a bare-metal installation, it required a base license. This is the same like it is done for volume licensing customers - while Media in VLSC allowed for full install, the license was upgrade only and requires an eligible OS license.

The licensing rules are documented in the benefits usage guide available here: Internal Use Rights cloud and software benefit (microsoft.com)

 

When you have Action Pack you also get Windows licenses for test and development as part of the Visual Studio Subscription - here you don't need a prerequisite license, though is not for production use: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/visualstudio/subscriptions/program-mpn#subscriptions-for-partners-purchasing-the-action-pack 

Kind regards,
Janosch
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aburton
Level 1 Contributor

@JanoschUlmer. First, I want to thank you for response to my post and others.

Unfortunately, your response make little practical sense to me. I read the link you sent me Internal Use Rights cloud and software benefit (microsoft.com)  and I see no mention an eligible OS license requirement and no mention of upgrade only licenses. To the contrary page 5 mentions the following "If the software is installed on a new machine, one product activation is consumed against the product key."

In addition, as you know, the last two versions of Windows (10 and now 11) were free upgrades from the previous version. So no key would be required and thus isn't much of a benefit.

And yet, even if it were an upgrade only license, I still can't upgrade my Windows 11 Home to Windows 11 Pro nor can I to a clean install of Windows 11 Pro either, which in this case certainly falls with in the parameters of "Product licenses for internal use, in a development, test, demo, sandbox, or production environment for general internal business purposes and not for any type of commercial purpose."

Again many thanks,
Andrew

 

JanoschUlmer
Microsoft

@aburton : Yes, it seems the note about upgrade licenses have been removed - I just had a conversation with the people responsible for this and they still confirmed that those are considered to be upgrade licenses - will approach them again and mention the missing statement guide (it was in the last version). It seems in the effort to make the usage guide simpler a few but important details were left out. And since I don't have access to the benefits section, I can 't tell if the download includes a note on that. 

For Silver/Gold Partners it is enforced technically that this is only an upgrade license, because the way Win11 E3 would activate as subscription based activation requires an activated base OS, respectively a valid Win 7/8/10/11 Pro key (OEM or Retail)  - in line with the scenario of an upgrade license.

 

Reg. " To the contrary page 5 mentions the following "If the software is installed on a new machine, one product activation is consumed against the product key."

That does not document the contrary - as mentioned before there is a difference between technical and licensing. From licensing perspective Windows 10/11 Enterprise licenses are only upgrade licenses (in any license agreement), technically Windows Enterprise might come as a media that allows full install - because the requirement to have the license does not mean you have to have this preinstalled. Additionally, even if you would only enter the product key on an existing machine, one of the activations would be consumed. 

The statement in there only refers to the fact, that if you try to activate multiple times on the same machine, you are only using one activation - while activating on each new machine will consume another activation.

 

Reg. "In addition, as you know, the last two versions of Windows (10 and now 11) were free upgrades from the previous version. So no key would be required and thus isn't much of a benefit."

The free upgrade period for upgrading from Win7/8 to 10 was only from August 2015 to August 2016, later the upgrade was still possible but we described that you need an eligible license for it (Check the FAQs in the Media Creation Toolkit). Also, the upgrade was never free for going from Win 7/8 Enterprise to Win10 Enterprise - since Enterprise/E3/E5 required always active software assurance or a running subscription (E3 or E5). So, what Partners received was the option to upgrade from Pro to Enterprise, and upgrade to Windows 10 after the free upgrade period ended.

 

As mentioned before, I'm still clarifying when Windows 11 will be released as benefit - only when we know if this comes as Windows 11 Enterprise ISO, or as part of e.g. M365 E3 subscription, we know for sure what options exist to install it. In your case with Home, you can install Windows 11 Pro with the media creation toolkit, but there is no product key to activate it.  If it is just for test and not for internal production, please look at the Visual Studio benefits you also get.

Kind regards,
Janosch
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jimerb1
Level 3 Contributor

Do you know when Windows 11 will show up in the action pack?

 

I'm looking to have the ISO's and keys like windows 10 is setup.  This is the best way I like to work in an somewhat offline lab.   It also is the way I can figure out the keys in use/remaining and plan out how to use them.