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Frequently Asked Questions

General Information

Eligibility Information

Purchasing the software

Installing the software

Norton 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 higehr 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 high.  The University of Maryland spends a large amount of money every year to purchase these products: this contract provides an oportunity for saving.  In addition, collaborative projects will be facilitated because incidence of software in compartibility will be reduced.


Q:  What are the benefits of this contract?

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 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:  The contract includes all Microsoft Office 2000, XP and 2003 for Windows and Office 98, 2001, vX for Mac, Microsoft Windows 98, 2000 and XP, Visual Studio and Visual Studi, Microsoft Publisher 2002


Q:  Can Mac users make use of the contract?

A:  Yes, but not to the same extent as PC users.  Some of the more popular products are available for the mac users.  Check here for details. 


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

A :  Yes.  When Microsoft releases a new version of its operating systems, the University of Maryland departments can upgrade to these new versions with no additional cost.  


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

A: To purchase software not sold on this campus, you would have to shop online or go to your regular retail store.


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

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


Q: What is the duration of the contract?

A: The agreement will be in effect from now until June 30, 2002 with the possibility of two additional years.


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: 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 the 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: Who will administer the contract?

A: The USM Service Center located at Bowie State University.


Q: Why did MEEC decide to join together 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.


Q: I don't give out my Social Security Number, it is against the law.

A: Right now, we have no means of conduction a transaction with your social security number.  The University is working towards moving away from this system.  Once that is implemented, we will desist from using it as a form of identification.

Eligibility Information

Q: Who is eligible to purchase the software?

A: You have to be a student of the University of Maryland, Baltimore campus to be eligible to purchase any of the software applications sold at the circulation desk.


Q: Am I eligible to participate if I am a recent graduate or alumni member of the University?

A: No. Only current students may participate in this agreement.


Q: I am a distance education student, am I eligible?

A: Yes.  You have to be a current student of the University and you are enrolled in one of the programs, then you are eligible to participate in the agreement.


Q: I am a resident with UMMS, am I eligible?

A: No


Q: Can students take the software home for personal use?

A: Every student may take home all licensed software covered under the standard agreement for use on a personally-owned computer. Microsoft products may not be distributed to graduated students of the University or alumni members.

Purchasing the Software

Q: Where can I purchase the software?

A: The software can be purchased at the circulation desk of the Health Sciences and Human Services Library (HS/HSL).


Q: What are their hours?

A:The circulation desk is open as long as the library is open.  Visit the HS/HSL library website for more information on their hours or you can call the circulation desk at (410) 706-7995.


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

A: We understand that software may get lost or damaged, so we allow multiple purchases of the software at different dates.  This information is tracked and limits may be placed at any time.


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 defected 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 cash, check and credit cards.


Q: Can I purchase software from the circulation desk for departmental use?

A: No

Installing the Software

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

A: We would try to provide detailed information on how to install the different applications.  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: Please follow the links to determine the system requirements for each application.  Windows 2000, Windows XP, Office 2003, Office XP, Office 2000


Q: Where can 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.  It is a 25 character alphanumeric key.


Q: How do I check the system requirements for 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 case 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: What comes with Microsoft Office?

A: Microsoft Offce comes default with Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, Outlook, Frontpage and Publisher.  Different versions may differ.


Q:I have Windows XP, what version of Office do I buy?

A: You should be able to install Office 2000, XP or 2003 on your computer.  We always recommend patrons go with the recent version.


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

A: Yes


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 install the software on more than one machine and you must be the owner of the computer to install the software on that computer.  You CANNOT install on any computer that is not technically yours.


Q: Do I need Windows XP to use Office XP

A: No.  As long as you have enough hard drive space and memory on your computer, you can run Office XP on a Windows 2000 machine.  Please visit the Office XP site for more information on the required minimum requirements.


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

A: Updates, patches, and upgrades will be available by ftp or will be distributed on CDROM.  We would also try to provide a link to the vendor's website to allow patrons to go in and download any update or patches. 


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 offer training on how the use the Microsoft Office applications which includes Word, Excel, Access, Powerpoint, and Outlook.  To register for a class, please contact the helpdesk at (410) 706-HELP.  We also offer Microsoft E-Learning software which provide training on how to use the different Microsoft applications and Windows.


Q: Does Office 2003 run on Windows 98?

A: No.  Office 2003 will only run on Windows 2000 with Service Pack 3 or later and Window XP professional or Home editions.


Q: What are the major changes between Office 2003 version and Microsoft Office XP?

A: Office 2003 Editions programs include many significant changes, including:

  • Broader support for Extensible Markup Language (XML). Microsoft Office Word 2003, Microsoft Office Excel 2003, and Microsoft Office Access 2003 offer XML schemas you can customize for using data, smart documents, and programmable task panes (such as the Research task pane).

  • Greater integration with Microsoft Windows® SharePoint™ Services. This provides increased collaboration through team sites, such as Document Workspaces, Meeting Workspaces, and other collaboration tools.
  • A redesigned version of Microsoft Outlook® with an improved Reading Pane, cached memory, e-mail conversation thread condensers, and other improvements.


Q: On which versions of Windows can I install Office 2003 Edition?

A: Office 2003 Editions require Microsoft Windows XP or Microsoft Windows 2000 Service Pack 3 (SP3). Using these operating systems can enhance security and reliability, and many businesses already have them. Businesses can plan for software upgrades by reviewing Microsoft product life-cycle policies.


Q: Are Office 2003 Editions file format compatible with previous versions of Office programs?

A: Yes. Since document formats in Office 2003 Editions are the same as those in Office XP, Office 2000, and Office 97, they are compatible with those versions.


  • Binary File formats for Excel 2003, PowerPoint 2003, and Word 2003 remain the same and are compatible with previous versions dating to Office 97.
  • An Outlook Personal Folders file (.pst) can now be saved as a new binary format, which uses Unicode and increases the storage limit to approximately 20 gigabytes (GB). An Outlook 2003 .pst file is not compatible with previous versions of Outlook, but the old format is the default.
  • Access 2003 has no change to the file format as previous versions, so you can open Access 2003 files in Microsoft Access version 2002. Note  There is an Access 2000 file format, in addition to Access 2003 and Access 2002 file formats. The Access 2000 file format is the default, but users or administrators can change the default to Access 2003 or Access 2002 formats.


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 XP, Office 2000, Office 97, and Office 95?

A: See the previous versions section for product information, downloads, and support options


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

A:  Visit the Microsoft mactopia for Macintosh products and support information.


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.

Norton 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 which provides you to alert and protects against detection of new virus attacks.


Q: What products are included in the Symantec Agreement?

A: Our Enterprise solution include the Norton Antivirus Corporate Edition which is sold at the Circulation desk.


Q: Who is eligible to purchase the software?

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


Q: Ho do I update my virus protection files?

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


Q: Do I get free updates from Symantec once I buy Norton Antivirus?

A: Yes


Q: What version of Norton Antivirus do you have?

A: The most recent version is the NAV 9.0


Q: What are the new features included in NAV 9.0?

A: Some of the new features included expanded threat detection, Internet mail scanning of POP3, outbound email worm heuristics, Threat tracer and a whole lot more.  For more information, please visit the vendor's website.


Q: What is the difference between Norton 2004 and Norton Antivirus 9.0 that is sold at the circulation Desk?

A: The major difference between Norton 2004 and NAV 9.0 is that Norton 2004 requires you to renew your subscription every year for a fee.  NAV 9.0 does not require a yearly subscription.


Q: Does the Norton Antivirus expire?

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


Q: How long can I keep the Norton Antivirus?

A: For as long as you want.