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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.

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Meppyman
Level 2 Contributor

Interesting discussion. I have been a MAPS subscriber since the early days and we always got the latest versions of Office and other apps as they were launched (if not just before). Things seem to have changed in that regard which is a shame. I do less direct Microsoft work these days, but I still have clients that I advise and build out systems for that rely on the products, and when the client updates before I can it makes me question if MAPS is the right option for me anymore.

 

I still think it is fantastic value for money for someone like myself who is too small to be Silver but wants to keep up with the product offerings to help advise clients and build useful integrations and systems. But I really wish we could just be moved forward to MS365 licences and get access to at least the Office and other new apps when they are released.

JanoschUlmer
Microsoft

@Meppyman : It does include O365E3, so you have access to the newest Office Apps. I second the wish to move to M365, I haven given this feedback already, can't tell currently if it is coming.

I can remember that there was always some delay, some times it was shorter, sometimes longer - since MAPS also does not include downgrade rights I can also remember a lot of discussions on the challenge that MAPS does in fact require Partners to update when an old version is replaced with a new one (latest when new MAPS is obtained). I guess it is always a question of balancing those needs. 

Thanks again for your feedback.

Kind regards,
Janosch
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Meppyman
Level 2 Contributor

Thanks Janosch (and thanks for actively engaging in this thread). It's been a lot of years since I first started using MAPS back in the SBS days, so it's possible I it included TechNet or something back then with the latest and betas. Back when we had folders of CDs! 🙂

 

And coincidentally my core Office apps all updated shortly after I posted my comment (I gave it a push so I think I am setup on a slower update cycle on purpose which I forgot about), so you are correct there...that isn't a huge issue after all. But that is only for the core apps. Visio is still a step behind for example.

 

I am happy to wait for the Windows 11 update, as the debate around the hardware that is a allowed to run 11 is going to be pretty relevant for a lot of us with mixed hardware (e.g. I have a brand new desktop, but still using an old Surface Pro 4 for the odd time I am not at my desk). And I can see that some things didn't get baked into the initial release either, so no rush there.

JanoschUlmer
Microsoft

Yeah, those were the times - Can remember multiple boxes of those Technet CDs/DVDs in the office 🙂

Well, this is where the Visual Studio Subscriptions come into play, they still offer (downloads) for most recent Windows Client/Server releases for testing and development.

Have Surface Pro 4 as well, but those had 6th/7th generation Intel Core CPUs and thus will probably never get Windows 11. Well, when Windows 10 won't be supported anymore this device will be almost 10 years old anyhow...

 

 

Kind regards,
Janosch
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jimerb1
Level 3 Contributor

I assume you mean the Visual Studio subscription that comes with the action pack?  Interestingly, when I navigated to that I found a portal that has a bunch of keys.  Way down there was a section for Windows 11.  Attaching a screen shot.   There's a downloads tab pictured.  (There's a busload of Windows Server 2022 licenses too.)

 

Clipboard Image (9).jpg

ThomasMeyer4569
Level 2 Contributor

Hey jimerb1, 

 

I followed the path you draw, but you must have some kind of other MAPS, since my MAPS only shows "You do not have access to product keys" on the last screen... 

You must First go to Partner Center under Visual Studio assign your User first see the screen capture to follow the steps.

KandiHostLtd_0-1636729154473.png

 

once your user is assigned sign in to https://my.visualstudio.com/ using your user with correct permission then you will have access to Windows 11 Licenses .

Hope this help

@ThomasMeyer4569 : And you have assigned the Visual Studio Subscription to your user account? 

However, there is indeed one other type of MAPS - "Microsoft Action Pack Learning" which does not include Visual Studio, see the license table here: Internal Use Rights cloud and software benefit (microsoft.com)

Kind regards,
Janosch
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jimerb1
Level 3 Contributor

Any word on this?  Is this going to be added to the Action Pack?

JanoschUlmer
Microsoft

@jimerb1 : It is currently being evaluated, it will take some time though (weeks or months).

 

Kind regards,
Janosch
Get consultations form Technical Presales & Deployment services team via https://aka.ms/technicalservices
AdamDavis
Level 2 Contributor

Hi,

 

That's a strange thing to say. I mean, it's not like it's a surprise to anyone ay Microsoft that these products, Windows 11, Office 21, Server 22 are going to be released. They are Microsoft products and MAPS is a Microsoft program. Of course, Microsoft can do what it likes as they own the product and program - but still it's a bizarre stance for Microsoft to take as surely Partners should get this stuff before they are released.

JanoschUlmer
Microsoft

@AdamDavis : Thank you for your feedback, I will forward this to the people responsible for the program. Yes would be great to have this in Action Pack earlier, for competency Partner this is already true, at least for Windows 11 E3. Also Action Pack can upgrade any device that has a Windows 10 license to Windows 11 (only not Enterprise edition). And for Office, a newer release of the apps is already in O365 and M365 benefits.

For early hands-on experience there are also the visual studio subscription benefit, which contain downloads for Windows Enterprise and Windows Server for Action Pack Visual Studio benefits, and almost all Microsoft software, all versions for Silver/Gold.

Kind regards,
Janosch
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AdamDavis
Level 2 Contributor

Hi Janosch,

 

Thanks for the workarounds.

MAPS is either the place to come for this stuff or it isn't - it can't be sort of, at some random point in the future. Either make MAPS Software Benefits where we can get the latest software or get rid of it and point us directly to where it is instead.

 

Adam

JanoschUlmer
Microsoft

Hi Adam,

 

It really depends on what you expect - if you want to see it only as a vehicle to get the newest version from day one to put on production servers, then I'm afraid it isn't. 

It provides immediate access for new Windows Server/client versions for testing, most of all it is meant as a discounted option to use a various Microsoft products on Partner's production environment for day-to-day business use. It is updated in certain intervals, but not immediately after each new release (and it never was, there was always some delay as far as I can remember).

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

I was also disappointed that Windows 11 Enterprise wasn't added Action Pack.

 

I tried something that worked. I created the Windows 11 ISO with the Windows 11 Media Creation Tool. I looked at the versions in install.wim with dism /GetWim-Info. I could see that Pro was included, but Enterprise wasn't. Just for kicks I ran the ISO from a running Windows 10 Enterprise system. I expected to see a message that this version of Windows couldn't be upgraded. To my surprise the install ran to completion. I now have all my Windows 10 Enterprise systems upgraded to Windows 11 Enterprise.

Sergio526
Level 1 Contributor

After reading your post, I did a fresh install of Windows 11 Enterprise on a spare laptop using the ISO I downloaded from Visual Studio's download page. After install, I used the existing Windows 10 Enterprise key from Partner Center and it worked! Registered and Activated. Looks like 10 and 11 might just use the same keys, which is VERY convenient!

JanoschUlmer
Microsoft

@Sergio526 

OK, and why did you not use the keys provided on Visual Studio subscriber downloads? 

Note that the key provided as IUR benefit in Partner Center for production use has a limited number of activations, and activations will not be increased. So every activation, like here for a test machine, will actually decrease the number of usable internal use licenses. This is why it is better to use the Visual Studio keys for testing purposes.

Kind regards,
Janosch
Get consultations form Technical Presales & Deployment services team via https://aka.ms/technicalservices
jimerb1
Level 3 Contributor

Having keys in multiple places is confusing.   What is the future of MAPS?

JanoschUlmer
Microsoft

@jimerb1 Having keys for production use only accessible in the benefits area in Partner Center, only for authorized people to access, and having keys for testing available for those users that have Visual Studio without asking the MPN Admin to get those is in my experience very helpful.

Can not tell what the future of MAPS is.

 

Kind regards,
Janosch
Get consultations form Technical Presales & Deployment services team via https://aka.ms/technicalservices
Sergio526
Level 1 Contributor

Ah, good to know. My company is a Gold Certified Partner and we don't have a lot of employees, so I've never hit the activation limit before. Conceivably, if Windows 10 and 11 did use the same key, I might hit that limit several years from now after a few more generations of laptop swaps. Thanks for the info.