Skip to content Skip to site navigation

Office 365 Announcement for IT Professionals

On Nov. 1, 2018, per Stanford’s renewal of our Microsoft Campus-wide License Agreement, several changes will take immediate effect across our use of activation keys, Office products, and their installation methods.  The following describes how this affects your deployment processes and decisions.

Keys will be retired and replaced

We will receive new KMS and MAK keys. These replace existing keys that will cease to activate as of Nov. 1.  Windows and Office activations before Nov. 1 using the previous keys will continue to function. However, there may be a brief outage for KMS activations, while the server team uploads the new KMS keys.

Office products and their activation methods

Our prior methods of activation remain the same (i.e., SUNet ID authentication-based activations versus Volume License Key and MAK activations), but installers will only be available as Click-to-Run where the installer bits are downloaded on-demand.  See Microsoft's Overview of Office 2019 (for IT Pros) for more information.

Below is a summary of the new agreement’s product offerings and their activation methods. The Essential Stanford Software Download Microsoft Office page provides additional details and caveats you and users should consider.

Product Activation Method Feature Update Cycle
Microsoft Office 365 ProPlus (Windows)1, 4 SUNet ID Login Monthly (semi-annual optional)
Microsoft Office ProPlus (2013, 2016, 2019)2 KMS or MAK key (volume license) With each major release version (e.g., 2016 to 2019)
Microsoft Visio (2013, 2016, 2019)3 KMS or MAK key (volume license) With each major release version (e.g., 2016 to 2019)
Microsoft Project (2013, 2016, 2019)3 KMS or MAK key (volume license) With each major release version (e.g., 2016 to 2019)
Microsoft Office 2016/2019 for Mac Volume Serializer (volume license) With each major release version (e.g., 2016 to 2019)
Microsoft Office for Mac4 SUNet ID Login Semi-annual
Note: The 2019 product versions are not compatible with Windows 7, Windows 8.x, and Mac OS X 10.11 and earlier.
1 Recommended for single-user computers (e.g., faculty, staff, and students), subject to the five-computer activation limit per user.
2 Ideal for use with multi-user computers (e.g., labs, classrooms, kiosks).
3 Compatible with both Office 365 ProPlus and Office ProPlus (volume license).
4 Downloaded from our Office 365 Portal (

For information on creating silent, custom installations with features or applications included/excluded, see Microsoft's Deploy Office 2019 (for IT Pros).

Office 365 vs Office 201x

Office 365
Pros Cons
  • Includes most up-to-date features and security patches at time of installation.
  • Receives both feature updates and security patches monthly.
  • Feature updates can fix issues/limitations that normally can’t be addressed on volume license installs.
  • Stanford users can install on personal and Stanford-owned computers (up to 5 computers, 5 tablets, and 5 smartphones).
  • When users leave Stanford, their access/licenses are removed.
  • Requires NO package maintenance for DiNG.
  • Requires initial sign-on for each user signing in to the computer.
  • Limited number of installs as described above although volume licensed installs can supplement additional need for license.
  • Not ideal for multi-use computers (e.g., labs, kiosks, classroom).
  • Requires internet access to check in every 30 days to Microsoft.
Office 2016, 2019
Pros Cons
  • Volume licensed, no sign on required
  • Preferred for multi-use computers (e.g., labs, kiosks, classroom)
  • No requirement to check in to Microsoft or Stanford if using multiple activation key (MAK)
  • Receives no feature updates, only security patches.
  • Office out of date at time of installation if using standard ISO installer.
  • Requires package maintenance to keep package up to date in DiNG.
  • Requires check in to Stanford every 180 if using KMS keys.
  • Can only be installed on Stanford-owned computers.
  • If user leaves with Stanford-owned computer, license can remain with user if using MAK keys.
Last modified January 24, 2019