OEM and the legalities

  Tycho 17:19 31 Dec 2004

I have been noticing a number of advertsiments for OEM software recently. I thought that OEM was installed on a new machine by the dealer and was offered at reduced price. If buy it separately doesn't it contravene copyright or something?


  Tycho 17:22 31 Dec 2004

Apologies to one and all. I thought that I had posted this to consumer watch. I'll not post it there now or I will commit another sin of cross posting. :-(


  ACOLYTE 17:23 31 Dec 2004

OEM software can only be sold with Hardware,as it doesnt specify what hardware a floppy drive or a mouse would forfill the licence.

  Djohn 17:33 31 Dec 2004

is correct most versions of Microsoft OEM software are quite legal to buy separate to a new PC. The requirements from Microsoft are that the dealer must only sell the OEM software with an esential piece of hardware to operate the PC, some shops do not insist on this latter bit of requirement though.

A cheep mouse [£2.50] will meet the requirements from Microsoft. Only thing you need to do is buy from a reputable dealer and you will not go far wrong.

  Djohn 17:34 31 Dec 2004

Sorry, should be cheap! ;o)

  961 17:41 31 Dec 2004

If you build a computer you can buy a copy of Windows at a reduced price on an OEM basis. However that copy is tied to that computer. When that computer dies, so does the software

You get that copy of windows either with the hardware you buy to build the computer, or by buying it along with a bit of hardware that you are going to install in the computer you have built

If you buy a computer from PCWorld or whoever you will probably find a copy of Windows installed on an OEM basis.

You can upgrade that computer and continue to use the software for as long as you like, but as soon as you ditch that computer and buy a new one you have to start again, buying a new copy of Windows xp, or whatever windows system is current at the time

However, if you buy a copy of Windows as a retail version you can transfer the software to a new machine so long as you un-install it from the old

If you want to buy OEM then please buy from an authorised dealer. Simply, Dabs, Novatech, whatever. There are lots of sealed copies of OEM Windows kicking around on the auction sites that are actually tied to specified machines. You don't want one of those.

The difference in price between OEM Windows and upgrade versions is minimal. Once you have bought your own copy of Windows you can upgrade for virtually the same price as OEM.

The alternative is to buy machines with OEM Windows already installed

  ACOLYTE 17:47 31 Dec 2004

mmmm, i thought you could buy full versions of OEM OS
software with any hardware and re-use it on any pc
i have a OEM copy of win 98se(full version) and i have installed that on a pc i have ,not the one i got it with and it still works.

  Forum Editor 18:37 31 Dec 2004

To be technically correct, OEM software (and here I'm talking about Microsoft software) must only be sold with a new computer OR a 'substantial' item of hardware, such as a motherboard.

I have also seen many advertisements offering OEM copies of Windows XP as standalone items, and when I've spoken to Microsoft about it I've recieved a vague and inconclusive answer. The company pays lip service to its own terms and conditions, but doesn't seem that concerned.

  Forum Editor 18:40 31 Dec 2004

that the OEM licence 'dies' with the computer on which the software was first installed - you may not legally install it on another computer.

  GaT7 18:57 31 Dec 2004

When you say 'die' do you mean the 'death' of the motherboard or hard disk or PSU...? It's a bit confusing! G

  ACOLYTE 18:59 31 Dec 2004

Thank you for that FE, that has put me straight for one, but if microsoft wont to make this clear i think they should update there policy and be ready with answers for the questions that they will no doubt recive,stop a lot of if and but's ,and also a lot of people like myself thinking they can reinstall the OEM software.As i know most do.But i think you can extend the licence from microsoft for another pc,it would mean expense but can be done.

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