Frequently asked questions for OEM resellers and system builders

Find answers to the questions that resellers and system builders most often ask. If you do not find the topic or answer that you are seeking, send your question to Microsoft OEM Internet Business Support. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Office activation and installation support

Q. Where can I find information about Office 2016 activation and installation?
Q. Where can I find information about Office 2013 activation and installation?
Q. Where can I get help with other Microsoft Office questions?

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Technical support

Q. Where can I get help with product activation?

A. For help with activation, you can visit the Microsoft Activation Center or the Product Activation and Key Information page. If you need further assistance, please contact Microsoft Customer Support (U.S only) at 1-800-MICROSOFT (642-7676).

Q. How do I get started with an authorized Microsoft OEM distributor?
Q. Where can I find Microsoft product pricing?
Q. Who do I contact if I am missing product keys?

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Q. Can I use OEM system builder software that I purchase and install myself?

A. If you are building a PC for your personal use or installing an additional operating system in a virtual machine, you will need to purchase Windows 8 software or a Microsoft retail version of Windows 8.1 software. Windows 8.1 system builder software does not permit personal use, and is intended only for preinstallation on customer systems that will be sold to end users.

Q. Can I install OEM software on a virtual machine (VMware)?
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 software?
Q. Can I export OEM software?
Q. Is OEM system builder software transferable?
Q. My customer would like to downgrade Windows 10 Pro to Windows 7 Professional. What is the process and what are the rules?

A. You can find the details about downgrade rights for Windows 10 Pro on the Understanding Downgrade Rights page.

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Replacement programs

Q. I received damaged software media. How do I get it replaced?

A. Complimentary software recovery can be downloaded at Alternatively, system builders should request replacement of damaged COAs through their distributors.

Physical recovery media can also be ordered for a fee at Microsoft Customer Support. Please use the following contact information based on location:

  • United States: (800) 360-7561
  • Canada: (800) 933-4750
  • All other countries, please visit and select Contact us.

  • If you are an end user, refer to the Microsoft Support article on media replacement.

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    ISV upgrade program

    Q. My customer would like an ISV application to be available to upgrade to a more recent version of Windows Server or SQL Server, what can I do?

    A. If an ISVs application is preventing your customer from upgrading to Windows Server 2012 R2 or SQL Server 2014, Microsoft can help. The ISV Upgrade Program provides short-term, highly tactical engagements to accelerate the ISVs development timeline to support the latest version of Windows Server or SQL Server. They will work with the customer and ISVs to build a business case and provide them with technical assistance to facilitate their upgrade. The process is simple – send an email to with your contact information, a contact at the ISV and Customer (if applicable), server version(s), and your estimate on revenue opportunity. We will respond with next steps within 48 business hours.

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    Q. I am experiencing trouble with my Microsoft Account verification. Where can I find help?
    Q. I’ve lost my Microsoft Account (formerly LiveID) username. Can I recover it?

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