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What’s the difference between MAK and LTSC in Microsoft Licensing

Difference between MAK and LTSC in Microsoft Licensing

In Microsoft Licensing, MAK (Multiple Activation Key) and LTSC (Long-Term Servicing Channel) are two different concepts that serve distinct purposes.

1. MAK (Multiple Activation Key):

MAK is a type of volume licensing key provided by Microsoft for activating multiple installations of Microsoft products on multiple devices within an organization. It is typically used for volume licensing agreements, such as those for businesses, educational institutions, and government organizations.

Key features of MAK include:

– Activation Limit: Each MAK has a limited number of activations associated with it. For example, if an organization acquires a MAK for a certain number of activations, they can use it to activate that number of installations on different devices.

– Online and Offline Activation: MAK allows both online and offline activation methods. Online activation requires an internet connection, while offline activation involves contacting Microsoft through other means, such as a telephone activation process.

– One-Time Activation: Each MAK activation consumes one activation from the total available count. Once all activations are used, additional activations require obtaining more MAKs or contacting Microsoft for additional activations.

2. LTSC (Long-Term Servicing Channel):

LTSC is a release model used by Microsoft for certain products, including Windows and Office, that focuses on stability and long-term support. LTSC releases are designed for specific use cases where organizations require a predictable and unchanging software environment over an extended period, typically up to 10 years of support.

Key features of LTSC include:

– Stability and Predictability: LTSC releases offer a stable and fixed set of features, avoiding major changes and feature updates that are typically found in more frequent release models like the Semi-Annual Channel (SAC).

– Long-Term Support: LTSC releases receive extended support, including security updates and bug fixes, over their support lifecycle, making them suitable for scenarios where frequent updates are not desirable.

– Limited New Features: Unlike more regularly updated channels, LTSC releases do not receive the latest features and improvements introduced in other editions. The focus is on reliability and consistency.


It’s important to note that MAK and LTSC are not directly related or interchangeable. MAK is a licensing key mechanism used for activating Microsoft products in volume licensing scenarios, while LTSC is a release model that applies to certain Microsoft products, offering stability and long-term support.