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 Licensing for Hobbyists

There is a growing market for "do-it-yourself" home PC hobbyists who assemble PCs from components for their own use. Microsoft retail software licences are the appropriate licences for the do-it-yourself market. OEM System Builder software is not intended for this use, unless the PC that is assembled is being resold to another party. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

OEM System Builder Licence

Use of OEM System Builder software is subject to the terms of the Microsoft OEM System Builder Licence:

  • The software is intended for preinstallation on a new personal computer for resale.
  • The software requires the assembler to provide end-user support for the Windows software, and cannot be transferred to another computer once it is installed.

Licence Comparison

OEM System Builder Software Full Packaged Retail Product
Must be preinstalled on a PC and sold to another unrelated party. Is intended to be re-sold separately from a PC for installation by the end user.
Cannot be transferred from the PC on which it is preinstalled. See details. May be transferred with some limitations. See details.
Must be preinstalled onto a new PC using the OPK. See details. Does not have an OEM Preinstallation Kit (OPK). Media inside the box can be used to install software onto a personal computer.
System builder that preinstalled the software must provide support for the software. Microsoft provides support services.
Licence terms are granted by the system builder to the end user. Licence terms are granted by Microsoft to the end user.

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