Microsoft spills the beans on OEM licenses

  Forum Editor 18:23 09 Nov 2005

I spoke to them today, and I have good news for home system builders.

Take a look at my blog for an update, and come back here if you need more information.

  €dstowe 18:49 09 Nov 2005

Thanks for clearing that up.

As I mentioned when this first came up, I've bought my 10 copies of XP OEM which I anticipate I will need before the next generation system comes in but, you never know!

  TOPCAT® 19:00 09 Nov 2005

interest the conditions under which a home system builder can still obtain an OEM version of Windows, providing, as you point out, he/she can get someone to sell it to them. I'm sure many people will be heartened by this clarification.

Regarding my own new PC, I have WinXP Home OEM running on it, but due to a misunderstanding with my local man he didn't install the Pro version as I wanted. It has been duly activated and registered. I want to eventually upgrade to XP Pro, so can you please tell me whether I will now need the full retail version to do this or can I buy and use a OEM upgrade on the machine? Might there be a conflict with activation and registration of XP Pro? I am already aware that OEMs do not have Microsoft support, which could be useful at times I would think. TC.

  rowdy 19:01 09 Nov 2005

I wonder just what Microsoft thinks 'new computer ' means in this context. If I upgrade my existing computer ( which has XP Home as it's operating system ) by more than five components then they deactivate XP as this is a ' new computer '

If I update my old computer by five components to bring it up to the recommended specification for XP, is this a ' new computer ' which quaifies for an OEM version of XP. Or as I suspect is this just an upgrade.

It seems to me that they are still not good at joined up thinking and like all big organisations give out contradictary messages. The sad thing is they seem unaware of the contradictions.


  Forum Editor 19:14 09 Nov 2005

As far as I can see there's no reason why you shouldn't upgrade, TC.

  Forum Editor 19:17 09 Nov 2005

In fairness, writing licensing conditions for Windows XP must be a kind of poisoned chalice. Whatever you do there'll be someone who has a set of circumstances which aren't covered.

In the context of the OEM conditions "new computer" means just that - a brand-new, never used before, machine.

  sattman 20:05 09 Nov 2005

From that I take it that we can expect to see the demise very swiftly of all those UK traders who today are offering OEM clearly with disregard and outside the terms of these conditions.

  GaT7 21:22 09 Nov 2005

Fe, thanks for clarifying this with MS.

I hope you don't mind me posting a direct link to your blog concerning this issue, which is at click here. G

  Forum Editor 22:21 09 Nov 2005

Microsoft assure me that they'll be talking to any retailers who offer OEM software in contravention of the licensing terms, but......remember it is no longer necessary to link a sale to a 'non-peripheral' hardware item - as long as the purchaser of the software preinstalls it on a new machine it will be OK.

It's also OK for one purchaser to sell the software on to another person - provided the seal on the box isn't broken. Microsoft used to sell OEM Windows in minimum packs of three, and it was common practice for some retailers to break the packs and sell single, standalone copies. Microsoft now sell individual packs (as well as 3-packs and larger multiples), so when you buy a copy you should find an unbroken seal on it. If you don't, it means that your retailer has split a multiple pack, which is now a contravention of the licensing terms.

  DieSse 22:54 09 Nov 2005

"Microsoft used to sell OEM Windows in minimum packs of three"


I always bought single, sealed copies, from distributors (up until around 6 months ago when I stopped this type of business) - from the UK and from Spain, English and Spanish and German versions.

  PaulB2005 23:24 09 Nov 2005

Here's two situations that i often come across.

1) Customer has bought a PC cheap and discovered it's a pirate installation of XP. Can i "legalise" the PC by installing an OEM copy of XP? The machine is new but has an illegal XP installation.

2) Customer has had a 2 year old PC "repaired" by a dodgy repairman who installed an illegal copy of XP. Again the customer wants to "legalise" the PC. Can OEM be used?

I'm guesing:

1) Yes (i'd hope as it's a new PC - or does the OEM copy have to be sold with the PC?)

2) No.

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