Back in April, Microsoft announced that it was making it much easier to obtain a sideloading key for deploying “internal” line of business Windows Store applications. Until then, it was ridiculously prohibitive to acquire a key, so the sideloading story was crippled. The above link (and this one) has the details, but suffice it to say that you are now able to get a sideloading key for $100. Sounds easy, right?
I set out to buy a key for us to use at InterKnowlogy, but … I searched high and low for information on WHERE to buy such a key. We get our volume licensing via our Microsoft Gold Partnership, and that’s not one of the qualifying methods for already having a sideloading key. WHERE can I buy the key?
After many calls, I find that the Microsoft Volume License Service Center does not sell it, but instead recommends a volume license re-seller. (I’m not trying to buy a volume license, just a single license for unlimited sideloading.) I assume there are lots of volume license re-sellers, but that I ended up with was Software House International (SHI).
LONG story short: this key is being offered as part of the Open License Program, which allows you to setup an account even though you haven’t or won’t be buying LOTS of (volume) licenses.
Setup the account, purchase the “Windows Sideloading Rights” license (QTY 1), part #4UN-00005.
No good. You must buy at least 5 items to qualify for a “volume license”. WHAT? I only need a single license, that gives me UNLIMITED sideloads. Why would I need more than one?
The fix (salesman’s idea): find the cheapest thing in their catalog and buy 4 of them: “Microsoft DVD Playback Pack for Windows Vista Business” (QTY 4). $4.50 each!!
Make the purchase, $111.58, and now I have some sweet DVD playback software to give away to developers as prizes! 🙂 Download the key, and next blog post, I’ll show you how to use the key to sideload.
Really cool that Microsoft made it cheap to get a sideloading license, but the mechanics of the process (at least to purchase) are still pretty wonky.
(We have taken this approach most recently with the “Magic Wall” software that we built for CNN.)