registering MS software on a different PC

  kenwyn 20:05 07 Dec 2004

I have been given a copy of MS Office 2003 Small Business Edition by a friend who got it with a new Dell PC, but did,t need it. The software is genuine, still sealed etc, but with 'DELL' imprinted onto the MS Seal. My question is , can I load this onto my own PC (not a Dell), currently running Office Professional 2000, or when trying to register it, will the MS site detect that it is loaded on to a non-Dell PC, and reject the regisration? Incidentally, am I actually upgrading by going from Office Pro 2000 to Office SBE 2003? - Thanks Matt

  Diodorus Siculus 20:18 07 Dec 2004

If it is OEM, then it is likely only licensed for the machine it was sold with.

Try reading the EULA if you can work it out!

  kenwyn 20:47 07 Dec 2004

Can't see OEM anywhere on the packaging or the CD's - look like completely original microsoft to me.

  Forum Editor 00:05 08 Dec 2004

but provided it hasn't been activated on the Dell machine you may safely go ahead and install it. The activation process creates a unique hash based on the internal hardware components of your computer, the software isn't manufacturer-specific.

  Diodorus Siculus 07:36 08 Dec 2004

Does this mean that the OEM software that comes with one PC can be used on a different PC, as long as it is only installed on a single PC?

That was not my understanding of OEM but is an interesting opinion. In your conversations with MS (lsat year?) did this topic come up?

  ventanas 10:47 08 Dec 2004

Surely this software is for use only on the pc that it was supplied with. It has Dell stamped on it and therefore must be OEM. Sorry FE, but in my view this cd cannot be used on any computer other than that with which is was supplied. It may well be that activation will succeed, but does that make it legal?

Unless of course the rules have changed, and OEM licences are now transferable.

  Diodorus Siculus 11:19 08 Dec 2004

ventanas - that was my understanding, so some clarification would be welcome.

Generally these packages say something like "for use only with a new dell / toshiba / hp computer" which I have taken to mean that.

However, I remember that FE did have a long conversation with MS in which all manner of queries relating to licensing were addressed so I take it that he is correct in what he says.

  ventanas 11:38 08 Dec 2004

I hope he is. It would save this firm a fortune if we could re-use OEM discs on new machines, instead of destroying them when the PC's are disposed of. Somehow though I don't see it.

  Forum Editor 15:55 08 Dec 2004

OEM software is inextricably linked to the computer on which it is first installed. In effect the software licence dies with the machine - it may not be reinstalled on another machine, even though the first one may have ceased to exist.

In this case the software has never been installed on any computer - at least I assume it hasn't, which is why I added the qualifying line to my response - so it may safely be installed on a different one to the Dell with which it was supplied. The caveat here is that the OEM supplier (in this case Dell) is liable to provide support for the software if it's required, and the company may refuse to do that if it discovers that the machine in question isn't a Dell.

In your case ventanas, you couldn't legally re-use OEM disk when machines are destroyed because the software was previously installed on them. Remember that the key is that the OEM software licence dies with the machine on which it was first installed.

In order to make absolutely sure that I'm right on this I have zapped an email off to my Microsoft licencing contact. I'll respond in the thread when I have an answer, but I'm pretty sure it's OK to go ahead kenwyn

  ventanas 16:26 08 Dec 2004

OK, but I still beg to differ. The crux lies in the words "supplied with" or "installed on" I once contacted Microsoft because I got some Office OEM discs mixed up. After giving them the licence keys they were able to tell me exactly which make and model of computer they went with. I still think its "supplied with," because any other use would, in my view, constitute a transfer of licence, which cannot be done with OEM, but I wait to be corrected.

I know full well I can't use our OEM discs again. Sorry for the flippancy.

I await your response with interest.

  Forum Editor 17:05 08 Dec 2004

Yes, it's a slightly grey area, and you may well turn out to be right. I've just been speaking to the MS press office about it. Their view is that they definitely agree with my 'rule' about the OEM licence dying with the computer on which the software is first installed, but.............they are not 100% sure on the bit about software that's supplied with a computer if it's not preinstalled. They think that I'm right - it may be installed on a different machine, provided it's only one machine. They thought it odd that Dell didn't preinstall the software, and perhaps you can make absolutely sure that wasn't the case kenwyn, because if it was preinstalled we are all wasting our time - you won't be able to activate the software anyway.

The MS Press Office and I have agreed that there is a need for clarification so they're escalating my enquiry to a senior Microsoft licensing person. I may get a response today, but I doubt it.

Watch this space.

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