TRADE in OEM Software!

  mbp 18:13 14 Dec 2004

If you browse the web and look for bargains, you will come across OEM versions of the software offered at affordable prices. {All of us know that OEM's do not get technical support except from the seller of the OEM. And we accept this situation. Some OEM's could also be buggy.] There are more and more such offers available over the web, from such places as Amazon, Ebay, Ebuyer, and many, many others. These OEM's are not pirate, or illegal copies, but genuine OEM's with full registration codes and accepted by the parent company for registration with them.

However, some people believe that such OEM's are illegal. Others believe that it is legitimate software if it meets with the conditions of sale and application. Surely it is the sellers responsibility to meet Trading Standards. If the trade is flourishing, then I must assume that it is acceptable, in Law.

Hoping this will bring out the legal and professional views on the Sale of OEM's so that customers will know where they stand!

  Forum Editor 19:07 14 Dec 2004

As some forum members will know, I have an ongoing interest in Microsoft licensing terms, and on several occasions in the past I've attempted to fight my way through the virtual fog that swirls around the whole subject. I try to talk to Microsoft whenever I can, but it's not easy to get a definitive statement on the subject - at least that's my experience.

Consider this, which is part of a written answer the company provided when I recently asked about OEM software:-

"OEM licensed software is only supposed to be sold with either a fully assembled PC or as pre-installed on a PC. We do not advise that users purchase OEM software outside of these scenarios."

How's that for a wishy-washy response? Is it OK to sell OEM products as standalones? What's all this " only supposed to be sold..." and "we do not advise..."? The software will certainly be activated if you try, so what's going on here - are those of us who buy the retail software versions mugs or something?

I don't normally indulge in MS-bashing, but it seems to me that the company is running a double-standard here. Either the OEM licence is for software that's preinstalled on a new computer or it's not, and if it is then Microsoft ought to take action to stop retailers selling standalone OEM copies of WindowsXP - they could just stop supplying such outlets. The company can't have it both ways, because it might lead people like me to think that perhaps they've decided to just go for the money, no matter what. Otherwise, why are they selling cases and cases of OEM versions of MS Office and WindowsXP to ordinary hardware retailers who openly advertise the software as standalone items?

The problem for you, the consumer, is that if you buy OEM software you can forget about any support from Microsoft. If you buy a new machine with OEM Windows XP on it you'll need to look to the manufacturer for help and support, and if you buy the software on its own you'll get no support from anyone - except us, here in the forum.

  mbp 19:48 14 Dec 2004

[quote:\if you buy the software on its own you'll get no support from anyone - except us, here in the forum. /quote]

That is fine regarding support and people who purchase OEMs realize this. Many are savvy enough to be able to sort themselves out of problems. Forums do an excellent job at it too. As I have not read that thousands of people have been prosecuted in the courts for using OEM software, it is safe to assume that it is not a criminal offence? There are a lot of other software other than Microsoft's and it gets rather confusing when studying Microsoft's rhetoric, as it is vague and not definitive. It would sound a bit daft for prosecuting someone who is using your product that he bought cheap in good faith! Prosecute your resellers and you kill your outlets.

  microswift 19:49 14 Dec 2004

I take the view that the financial benefit of buying OEM software compensates for the lack of technical support, after two years of use of OEM software I've never had occassion to seek technical support vis a' vis the software.

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