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.
For more information about this topic, visit the Windows system builder licensing for personal use page.
Q. Can I install OEM software on a virtual machine (VMware)?
A. You can install OEM software in a virtual environment as long as you have a separate license 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 the 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 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 Microsoft Software License 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 Microsoft Software License Terms and experience Windows Welcome. You will also need to inform the "new" end user that the Windows software program was activated by the original purchaser. Microsoft also recommends that you instruct the end user to use the telephone call center activation method rather than the Internet method, so the user can talk to the customer service agent and explain what happened. The call center 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 Microsoft Software License Terms and activate the software. Please refer to the Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit (Windows ADK) or the OEM Preinstallation Kit (OPK) for information on preinstallation and what can be done to "roll back" the computer system.
For more information about PC returns, visit the OEM Licensing FAQ page.
Q. Can I export OEM software?
A. OEM software is subject to U.S. and international export laws and regulations. To learn about the laws and restrictions refer to section 10 of the OEM System Builder License.
Q. Is OEM system builder software transferable?
Q. My customer would like to downgrade Windows 8.1 Pro to Windows 7 Professional. What is the process and what are the rules?
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