Windows licensing and packaging

The Windows license is affixed to the outside of the OEM System Builder pack. It governs a system builder's rights to distribute the software.

Windows licensing terms for OEM system builder packs

Opened pack
By opening the pack, you agree to the license terms. You must preinstall the license for Windows desktop software onto a fully assembled PC's hard drive using the OPK.

Unopened pack
Unopened packs can be delivered to another system builder—an OEM, assembler, refurbisher, or preinstaller of software on computer systems.
End user distribution
Packs should not be distributed to end users. Software is preinstalled onto PCs, and the individual software license—located in the pack—must be given to the customer. Individual software licenses may include a COA, media, and a Getting Started guide.
System builder software: not for legalization
The Get Genuine Kit for Windows—not OEM System Builder software—is the proper legalization solution for existing PCs. Get details.

Windows packaging

Learn what you’ll find in the Windows system builder software pack.

With media

  • System builder pack: available in 1-license pack only
  • System builder license on the front of the package
  • One red "break-the-seal" label at the top of the package; text on back lists high-level distribution requirements
  • COA bar code label on the front of the package
  • Hologram DVD inside a cardboard wallet sleeve
  • A Getting Started guide printed on the inner wallet

The Windows 8.1 system builder pack does not include an OEM Preinstallation Kit (OPK). To customize and deploy Windows 8.1 to new computers, use the tools and documentation in the Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit (Windows ADK).


Without media

An additional medialess option is now available for Windows 7, Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2008 R2, and Windows Server 2012 products. In the medialess product package, the media disc and media sleeve have been removed, and a new COA card has been added.

If your customer prefers physical recovery media, you should order the packaging with media and ship it with their system. If your customer receives their system without media and later needs media, you can obtain the media through the OEM System Builder Media Replacement program.

NOTE The medialess option will not be available in the German language.


Additional packaging changes for Windows 7 Pro and Windows Server 2012

Effective February 1, 2015 you will see important packaging changes for Windows 7 Pro and Windows Server 2012 software that you order from your distributor.

The simplified packaging was introduced with the launch of Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012 and continued with Windows 8.1 and Server 2012 R2. These changes were designed to optimize cost of goods sold (COGS) savings in terms of fewer components, simplified production, and freight/shipping cost reduction. A limited number of Windows 7 and Server 2008 R2 SKUs were converted to this simplified packaging in FY13. Microsoft is implementing the same simplified packaging configuration for the remaining Windows 7 Pro SKUs and adding medialess SKUs for Windows Server 2012 products.

Related resources

Promo Zone
Learn how to decrease time building PCs and increase revenue.
Get direct access to unlimited, text-based support for your presales, technical, and licensing questions through the OEM Reseller Support System.