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Posted on May 27, 2014 by montg

First key point is:

MLK = ‘Media-Less Key’ which means a package that you pay for that provides the 16-digit product key that authorizes you to use a microsoft product, eg MS Office 2007. But it does not contain any disks, no CDs nor DVDs.  You can purchase for an additonal price backup media disks.  And that doesnt always work.

Businesses who sell PCs can get ‘OPK’ (OEM Pre-install Key) disks (for a fee) and install that.  Then the MLK will authorize it.  But then the end-user can not re-install for any reason (eg, disk crash, virus infection) unless they pay the fee for the backup media.

A good discussion of it can be found at and i’ve quoted here in case that disappears:

15. February, 2007

Office 2007 is out for sale since the 31. January. I’ve got my hands on a new MLK/OEM CD set today, and it seems to be a rather interesting situation.

Office 2007 MLK Box PhotoThe official OEM Version of 2007 is no longer called “OEM”, instead “MLK” is used. MLK stands for “Media Less Key”. You get a simple box, with a key inside, but no CDs. As a reseller, you can order OPK media kits – where OPK stands for OEM Preinstallation Kit. These are needed in order to install it on the customers machine. But they’re marked “NOT FOR RESALE”. The customer can still order Backup CDs by Mail, but this costs 30CHF, requires sending in several bills (from your computer, and from the MLK version). And it probably takes several weeks till you get the actual media.

Office 2007 MLK/OEM at DigitecThis is a bit of a stupid situation, because if the customer doesn’t have his own CDs, recovery in case of problems gets very, very interesting. I wondered how other resellers handled this, and looked at digitec, where i usually buy my consumer-grade stuff. And this is were things get very, very interesting. Office 2007 OEM with CDs is offered by digitec. But how?

Office 2007 Licensing InstructionsI’ve asked our distributor why we can’t get OEM versions with CDs. He told me that digitec was wrong. I looked at the MS Partner Info, regarding Office 2007 licensing. And really, there is no licensing option which allows OEM pricing but comes with media. Our distributor is now investigating with Microsoft what the deal is. Apparently digitec is doing something wrong, but it’s hard to tell from my point of view. Maybe there is another option, or digitec pre-orders the backup CD (which would look rather irritating in this packaging), or they are reselling OPK kits.

Office 2007 MLK at our DistributorOur distributor explicitly states that you can’t get any OEM versions without CD. Thankfully they even communicate this quite well, as you can see on the screenshot to the right – if you work in switzerland you’ll even know which distributor i’m talking about. I’m wondering how this all turns out – will update this information as soon as i know more.


digitec fixed their website. They now state that it’s a “license only” sale.

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