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Frequently Asked Questions

General Information

Eligibility Information

Purchasing the software

Installing the software

Symantec Endpoint Protection antivirus

General Information

Q: What is the Microsoft Education Enterprise Consortium (MEEC)

A :The MEEC is a newly formed agreement among public and independent institutions, K-12 and higher education in the state of Maryland.  Started at the request of the University System of Maryland (USM) Chancellor Donald N. Langenberg, MEEC is the first education consortium of its kind to work with Microsoft to create a unique licensing arrangement for software important to k-12 and higher education in general.  The USM serves as the lead customer contracting on behalf of the consortium.  Currently, 65 institutions from across Maryland are part of MEEC.

Q: Why did the University of Maryland make this contract?

A: Microsoft products are an industry standard for desktop computing, and demand for them is very high.  The University of Maryland spends a large amount of money every year to purchase these products: this contract provides an opportunity for savings.  In addition, collaborative projects will be facilitated because incidence of software incompatibility will be reduced.

Q: What are the benefits of the agreement?

A: This agreement will provide several key benefits for students, faculty, and staff of the University of Maryland. The University of Maryland will be able to distribute this set of products for installation on all on-campus computers and to students for use at home. Upgrades for Microsoft software covered under the standard desktop agreement will be economical.

Q: What products are included in the contract?

A: MS Office for Windows (Office 2013, Office 2010), Windows operating systems (Windows 8.1, 8, 7, Vista), MS Office for Mac ( 2011 and 2008), and Symantec Endpoint Protection anitvirus.

Q: Can Mac users make use of the contract?

Yes, but not to the same extent as PC users. Some of the more popular products are available for the MAC.

Q: Does the agreement provide for upgrade when newer versions are released?

A: Yes. When Microsoft releases new versions of its operating systems (Windows Vista), the University of Maryland departments (faculty and staff) can upgrade to these new versions with no additional cost. Note : Software installed on personally-owned computers can only be upgraded by purchasing the new version.

Q: Where can I purchase other software not sold by the University?

A: Other software not sold by the Software Licensing Office can be purchased from retail stores or online vendors.

Q: Why are employees not eligible to purchase other software applications sold to departments?

A:Not included under the terms of the respective contracts.

Q: What is the duration of the contract?

A: The agreement will be in effect from now until June 30, 2015 with the possibility of two additional years.

Q: Was there a press release?

A: Yes. Look here for details.

Q: Does this mean that only Microsoft Products will be used in Maryland schools and institutions of higher learning?

A: No, the contract is not exclusive. Maryland schools and colleges have complete freedom of choice to use and support any other software products for the PC or Macintosh they want. Because MEEC institutions already own a license for Microsoft products, the "default option" in most cases will be Microsoft.

Q: Are we required to use Microsoft Products for our work?

A: No

Q: How many MEEC computers are encompassed by this agreement?

A: The total number of desktop computers in the MEEC is 96,035. The total number of MEEC students who have committed to the agreement so far is 23,819. Therefore, the agreement currently impacts as many as 119,854 desktops. The total number of students in all MEEC institutions is about 278,000.

Q: How much is the contract?

A: The USM will pay Microsoft $1.5 million per year for the licenses. In turn, the members of MEEC will reimburse USM for the number of licenses they require.

Q: Why did MEEC decide to join for this type of software licensing agreement?

A: There are multiple advantages to participating in the agreement. Several of the major advantages are as follows: -Economies of scale: MEEC can leverage buying power by negotiating high-volume contracts, resulting in significant discounts for users. -Use of common software reduces support costs and makes training costs easier to manage. -Widespread availability will enable students to build technology skills from kindergarten through graduate school. -A common tool set eases the exchange of electronic files and information. -Administrative process for software distribution will be simplified. -Software upgrades are part of the price.

Eligibility Information

Q: Who is eligible to purchase the software?

A: Faculty, staff of the University of Maryland and students are eligible to purchase the software.  UMMS, UPI & VA employees are not eligible to purchase the software.

Q: Why are VA, UMMS, and UPI employees not elligible to purchase the software?

A: They are not part of the University of Maryland and therefore not eligible to purchase the software.

Q: Are contractual employees eligible to purchase the software?

A: No

Q: I am an adjunct faculty, am I eligible?

A: No

Q: Are If-and-When employees eligible to participate in the contract?

A: No

Q: I work for the State of Maryland but I am not a University employee, why am I not eligible?

A:   You are notcovered under our contact, and therefore not eligible to purchase the software.

Q: I work for the University but I am being paid by the hospital?

A:  No

Purchasing the Software

Q: Where can I purchase the software if I am interested?

A: The software for personally-owned computers can be purchased on-line at, or in the Software Licensing Office in Suite 540 of the Health Sciences & Human Services Library (HS/HSL).  Software for University-owned computers, including Microsoft, Adobe, Mathematica, Symantec, SPSS and SAS can be obtained only from the Software Licensing Office in Suite 540 of the HS/HSL.

Q: What are their hours?

A: The Software Licensing Office is open from 8am until 5pm, Monday through Friday, when the HS/HSL is open.

Q: How many times can I purchase a particular software?

A: Each Microsoft title can only be purchased once.  Symantec can be purchased multiple times.

Q: What is your Return and Exchange Policy?

A: All sales are final.  We do not accept returns on software already bought but we would gladly exchange a defective disk for another one.

Q: I bought the wrong software, can I return it?

A: We do not accept returns and we encourage patrons to ask questions or call the Software Licensing Office if they are not sure of what product to buy.

Q: I was given the wrong software, can I exchange it?

A: We would only exchange the software for the same application but a different version.  We do not offer refunds.

Q: What form of payment do you accept?

A: We accept credit cards, electronically, through our on-line system -

Installing the Software

Q: Where can I find documentation on how to install the software?

A: In most cases, you can find installation procedures here -  But we also encourage you to visit the vendor's website for any updates or questions not answered on our website.

Q: What are the system requirements for the different applications sold at the circulation desk?

A: Each software title has different requirements.  Please visit the appropriate page here.

Q: Where do I find the product key to enable me install the software?

A: The product key is always located at the lower bottom on the front of the cds or on the back of the CDs cover.  It is a 25 character alphanumeric key.

Q: How do I check for the system requirements on my computer?

A: You can check the system requirements on your computer by right clicking on my computer icon located on your desktop and clicking on properties.  This would give you a brief information on what operating system you have running, how much memory you have.  To see how much hard drive space, double click on my computer icon located on your desktop and click once on your hard drive letter, in most cases it is the Letter C.  This will tell you how much hard drive space you have, what you have used and what is left.

Q: Will loading a recent version of Microsoft Office update my previous version?

A: You should always uninstall any and all previous versions of MS Office before installing a new version.

Q: If my system crashes and I need to reload Microsoft Office or Windows, will I be able to do that?

A: Yes

Q: Can I load the software on more than one computer?

A: You can only install the software on one (1) personally-owned computer.

Q: What comes with Microsoft Office ?

A: You can find the details about each software title here.

Q: What is the policy on software updates, patches, and upgrades?

A: You should be able to find most updates and patches on the vendor's web site.

Q: What about products not included in the standard package?

A: Products not covered in the standard package will be available for purchase by University schools and departments for University use only through a Microsoft select agreement. Only specified contacts within each school/department will be able to procure these products off the contract.

Q: Do you sell Word Perfect?

A: No

Q: Will you sell Word Perfect anytime soon?

A: No

Q: What is the difference between Microsoft Office and Microsoft Windows? 

A: Microsoft Office is a set of applications that allows you to create documents in word, create database in Access, design a spreadsheet in Excel, send or receive emails in outlook and a lot more while Microsoft Windows is an Operating system that you need to have running on your computer to be able to use other applications.

Q: Do you offer training on any of the software applications sold at the circulation desk?

A: We do not offer training..

Q: Will Office 2013 run on Windows Vista?

A: You can find the technical requirements for any software title here.

Q: What are the major changes between Office 2013 and Microsoft Office 2010?

A:  Please visit for additional information on the newest features in any given software title.

Q: On which versions of Windows can I install Office 2013 Edition?

A: You can find hardware and software requirements for available Microsoft products here.

Q: Are Office 2013 file formats compatible with previous versions of Office programs?

A: Yes, but some features may not function correctly.

Q: Where should I go for Office downloads?

A: Visit Office Downloads to find software updates, downloads, add-ins, templates, service releases, online services, and other downloads.

Q: How can I read an Office file if I don't have the program?

A: Use a viewer (or readers) to read—and sometimes print—a file if you do not have the program installed on your computer. Visit Office Downloads to search for and download viewers for the following programs: Microsoft Access, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, Visio and Word.

Q: Where can I get information on Office 2013 and Office 2010?

A: You can find information for available Microsoft products here.

Q: Where can I find information about Office for Macintosh?

A: You can find information for available Microsoft products here.

Q: How is Microsoft Works different from Office?

A: Microsoft Works is targeted at home users who want a basic, task-based tool. The Works suite includes templates designed for personal use, such as cards, invitations, flyers, and home budgets. In contrast, Office offers productivity and collaboration tools for use in businesses and home offices. Learn more about Works products.

Q: My copy of Office was lost, broken, or stolen.  How do I obtain a replacement CD?

A: We do not replace broken or stolen copy of any software purchased at the circulation desk.  You would need to purchase a new one.  We may ask you to show a proof of purchase and your University Identification card.

Symantec Endpoint Protection antivirus

Q: What agreement does the University have with Symantec?

A: We have a Symantec Enterprise solution for use by the Faculty, Staff and Students of the University. 

Q: What products are included in the Symantec agreement?

A: Our Enterprise solution include the Symantec Endpoint Protection.

Q: Who is eligible to purchase the software?

A: Only Faculty, Staff and Students who are currently enrolled in any of the programs offered at the Unviersity of Maryland, Baltimore campus.

Q: How do I update my virus definition files?

A: This can be updated through the live update feature that is installed when you install Symantec Endpoint Protection.

Q: Do I get free updates from Symantec once I buy Symantec Endpoint Protection from you?

A: Yes, your license does include free updates of the virus definitions.  To upgrade to a newer version of Symantec, you will need to purchase the software.

Q: What version of Symantec Endpoint Protection do you have?

A: The most recent version is the SEP 11.x.

Q:What are the new features included in SEP 11.x?

A:  Symantec Endpoint Protection 12.1.4 combines Symantec AntiVirus with advanced threat prevention to deliver unmatched defense against malware for laptops, desktops and servers.  This includes support for Microsoft Windows 8.1, 8, 7, as well as MAC OS X 0.6.8, 10.7, 10.8, 10.9.

Q: Does Symantec Endpoint Protection expire?

A: As long as the University has a valid contract with Symantec, your SEP is valid.

Q: How long can I keep Symantec Endpoint Protection?

A: For as long as we have a valid contract with Symantec.