In Windows 2012 there is a new method of activating Windows Servers/Clients and Office. The method is called Active Directory Based Activation and is an alternative to KMS and MAK activation. It works by adding a Activation Object to Active Directory which activates computers joined to the domain.
- First we need to install the Volume Activation Tools from Server Manager (Volume Activation Tools is just the tool to create the activation objects in AD. Active Directory Activation does not require any server components)
- Second we need to add the KMS key. And activate it
- To install an office key you will need to download and install Microsoft Office 2013 Volume License Pack
- When the install is done the Volume Activation tool will pop up and allow you to add the key
Note 1: The Windows Server 2012 R2 key will also activate clients
Note 2: Active Directory based activation works for Windows 8/8.1, Windows Server 2012 / 2012 R2 and Office 2013. For older versions you will need a KMS server.
Note 3: Since the activation object is stored in AD it is replicated to all DCs which means that all DCs can act as an activation server