Product licensing overview

It is essential for you to understand how Microsoft software is packaged in order to understand system builder licensing. Review the following resources to see how the software is preinstalled and sold.


The OEM System Builder License

Microsoft OEM System Builder software is licensed to system builders through the license that is affixed to the side of all OEM System Builder Packs. Most OEM system builder software contains an identical software license—the same license covers multiple products.

For example, the same license covers Windows desktop and server products. This license covers the system builder's right to distribute the software. The OEM System Builder License is an agreement between Microsoft and you, the system builder.

Note In addition to the System Builder License, each Customer System must be designed, marketed, and distributed as a general purpose computing device. “General purpose” means the device can be used for consumer or business tasks or processes such as email, word processing, spreadsheets, database, network/Internet browsing, scheduling, and personal finance. A Customer System may not be designed, marketed, or distributed for use as a fixed function device or in an industry or task specific solution, such as industrial automation solutions, automated teller machines, point-of-sale solutions, self-service kiosks, digital signage, medical devices, or set-top boxes, in-car entertainment systems, portable navigation devices, personal media players, DECT and mobile phones, video communicators, and personal digital assistants.

This does not apply to Windows 8.1 Pro, Windows 8 Pro, Windows 7 Professional, Windows 7 Ultimate, Windows Vista Business, and Windows Vista Ultimate Products.

Microsoft Software License Terms

Microsoft Software License Terms

It's important to differentiate the OEM System Builder license from the Microsoft Software License Terms, which governs the end user's right to use the software.

End users must accept the Microsoft Software License Terms when they first run the software. It is an agreement between you and your customer.

The Microsoft Software License Terms defines what end-user rights and restrictions apply to the use of the software, including:

  • How you can use the software.
  • Whether the license can be transferred.
  • Downgrade rights.

Product-specific licensing

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