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Microsoft OEM Licensing & FAQ...

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An “OEM” license is a license distributed by an Original Equipment Manufacturer, or an “OEM.”  An OEM is a person or company who builds and sells computers.  Some OEMs also distribute software, especially operating systems such as Microsoft® Windows. OEM licensing is cheaper than FPP but has more restrictions on its use and transfer.


When software is pre-installed on a new desktop PC the End User License Agreement (EULA) must be accepted when you first turn on the desktop PC. This type of license is an agreement between the PC manufacturer and the end user. Legal and genuine software that has been pre-installed will also have a Certificate of Authenticity (COA) attached to the chassis and will include the media (software discs) and manuals.


An OEM product is “married” to the original PC on which it was installed. Current OEM licenses are not transferable from one machine to another. The software cannot be moved from PC to PC, even if the original PC it was installed on is no longer in use. This is true for all OEM software – operating systems and applications.


Please Note: OEM products are intended to be preinstalled on hardware before the end user purchases the product.  They are “shrink wrapped” and do not come in a box like the retail products do. One main difference from the FPP is that an OEM operating system license (such as the license for Windows) cannot be transferred from its original PC to another PC.   Also, when a customer purchases an OEM product, the OEM license requires the OEM to provide support for the product.   


Generally, you may upgrade or replace all of the hardware components on your computer and maintain the license for the original Microsoft OEM operating system software, with the exception of an upgrade or replacement of the motherboard. An upgrade of the motherboard is considered to result in a "new personal computer." Microsoft OEM operating system software cannot be transferred from one computer to another. Therefore, if the motherboard is upgraded or replaced for reasons other than a defect then a new computer has been created, the original license expires, and a new full operating system license (not upgrade) is required. This is true even if the computer is covered under Software Assurance or other Volume License programs.


End User License Agreements (EULAs) vary among products and you should check the EULA for each product before installing them. In general, OEM server and OEM desktop operating systems have similar EULAs, e.g., they are generally non-transferable and there are normally no downgrade rights.


1. What happens to my OEM license when my hardware fails and the system requires re-formatting?

Ans: You can re-install the software from the original media and active the license key via the Product Activation Hotline.


2. Do I need to buy a new license if I upgrade my hardware?

Ans: You can upgrade / replace any components except the motherboard and maintain the original license.


3. What happens if my motherboard is faulty and needs replacement? Can I re-use the original license?

Ans: YES, you can re-install the software if you have replaced a faulty motherboard. Obtain the license key via the Product Activation Hotline.


4. What is the Hotline Number to activate Product Key?

Ans: Call 800-852-3543, press Option 1 follow by the asterisk key (*).


5. Are Microsoft OEM products only sold by system builders?

Ans: Everyone can sell Microsoft OEM products.


6. Are there great saving when you sell Microsoft OEM products?

Ans: Yes, OEM license has the best price. It helps you drive the best margins and also provides the lowest total cost of ownership to your customers.


7. Is it easy to sell OEM?

Ans: Yes, just sell it together with a hardware (Same order / Purchase process)


8. Are there differences in functionality between OEM and other forms of licensed products?

Ans: None. Their features and functionality are exactly the same.

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