Q. Can I use OEM System Builder software that I purchase and install myself?
A. OEM system builder software is designed to be preinstalled on PCs that are sold to an unrelated party. If you are installing the OEM system builder software on a PC for your own use, this requirement would not be met. Therefore, a retail version is the appropriate licensing vehicle. You are also entitled to internal-use licences for Microsoft software as you earn a silver or gold OEM competency.
Section 2 of the OEM System Builder licence states:
Authorised Distribution and Acceptance. To distribute the Software or Hardware in this Pack, you must be a System Builder and accept this licence. “System Builder” means an original equipment manufacturer, an assembler, a refurbisher or a software pre-installer that sells the Customer System(s) to a third party.
Refer to the Licensing for Hobbyists page for more information on this topic.
Q. Can I install OEM on a virtual machine (VMware)?
A. You may install OEM in a virtual environment as long as you have a separate licence for each instance of the software. It is fine to use the OEM version as long as it is properly licensed. To be clear, a separate version of software must be installed for both the “standard” and “virtual” installations.
Q. What do I do if a customer returns a computer system that I sold, but the customer has activated the OEM System Builder Windows 7 Professional software?
A. If the returned PC can be resold to another end user without any changes to the hardware components, you may resell it to another end user. You will need to remove the activated software and install it again, as the "new" end user must see and accept the End User Software Licence Terms as well as experience Windows Welcome. The end user should not have any problems using the same product key to activate the software again, because the computer system configuration hasn't changed.
If significant changes have occurred to the computer system's hardware components, you should remove the activated software and reinstall it. The "new" end user must see and accept the End User Software Licence Terms and experience Windows Welcome. You will also need to inform the "new" end user that the Windows 7 software programme was activated by the original purchaser. Microsoft also recommends that you instruct the end user to use the telephone call centre activation method rather than the Internet method, so the user can talk to the customer service agent and explain what happened. The call centre personnel have been notified that this may happen and can reactivate the software using the new PC hardware configuration data.
There is a 30-day grace period before a Microsoft OEM System Builder Windows desktop operating system needs to be activated. Additionally, if you wish to sell the returned computer, you will need to "roll back" the system so that the customer can accept the End User Software Licence Terms and activate the software. Please refer to the OEM Preinstallation Kit (OPK) for information on preinstallation and what can be done to "roll back" the computer system.
Find out more about PC returns on the OEM Licensing FAQ page.
Q. Can I export OEM software?
A. OEM software is subject to US and international export laws and regulations. To learn about the laws and restrictions refer to section 10 of the OEM System Builder Licence.
Q. Is an OEM licence transferable?
A. Per the OEM Licensing agreement Microsoft OEM operating system software cannot be transferred from one computer to another. Once installed on a machine, the licence is tied to that machine only. Find out more about the transfer of OEM licences.
Q. How do I get a Direct Agreement with Microsoft?
A. Some OEMs have direct agreements with Microsoft which give them access to certain SKUs for limited hardware applications, which are not available to system builders. To have a direct agreement with Microsoft, an OEM has to meet various qualifications, the most basic of which is the need to ship more than 5,000 units of Windows products annually. If you believe your company can meet these qualifications, send an email to Microsoft OEM Internet Business Support and we can direct you to an account manager who can explain your options.
Q. My customer would like to downgrade Windows 7 Professional to Windows XP Professional, what are the rules and process?
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