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Using WHS OEM for self-built server RRS feed

  • Question

  • Is it legal to install OEM Windows Home Server (CCQ-00061) on a self-built computer, provided I built it myself and I am going  to use the software also myself? Can I be considered a system builder in this case to fully comply with EULA?
    Friday, April 10, 2009 6:30 AM

Answers

  • Yes, that's legal
    • Marked as answer by Toyman_R Friday, April 10, 2009 9:39 AM
    • Unmarked as answer by Toyman_R Friday, April 10, 2009 11:20 AM
    • Marked as answer by Ken WarrenModerator Friday, April 10, 2009 11:44 AM
    Friday, April 10, 2009 8:02 AM
    Moderator
  • A Windows Home Server system builder package doesn't include that license. Instead, it includes a (printed) license which includes:

    2. INSTALLATION AND USE RIGHTS
    a. Server Software. You may install and use one copy of the server software on a single server. You may create up to 10 accounts...

    So yes, an end user may purchase and install an OEM package for their own use.
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Friday, April 10, 2009 11:44 AM
    Moderator

All replies

  • Yes, that's legal
    • Marked as answer by Toyman_R Friday, April 10, 2009 9:39 AM
    • Unmarked as answer by Toyman_R Friday, April 10, 2009 11:20 AM
    • Marked as answer by Ken WarrenModerator Friday, April 10, 2009 11:44 AM
    Friday, April 10, 2009 8:02 AM
    Moderator
  • many thanks!
    Friday, April 10, 2009 9:38 AM
  • Please, explain how can it be legal.

    1. OEM software is for system builders only.
    2. According to Microsoft OEM System Builder license (http://oem.microsoft.com/public/sblicense/2008_sb_licenses/fy08_sb_license_english.pdf)

    «“System Builder” means an original equipment manufacturer, an assembler, a refurbisher, or a software pre-installer that sells the Customer System(s) to a third party».

    3. I.e. no one can install OEM software to a system and than use the system legally. Isn't it?

    Friday, April 10, 2009 10:34 AM
  • A Windows Home Server system builder package doesn't include that license. Instead, it includes a (printed) license which includes:

    2. INSTALLATION AND USE RIGHTS
    a. Server Software. You may install and use one copy of the server software on a single server. You may create up to 10 accounts...

    So yes, an end user may purchase and install an OEM package for their own use.
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Friday, April 10, 2009 11:44 AM
    Moderator
  • Sure, no one OEM license contains Microsoft OEM System Builder license inside. But AFAIK anyone must agree with Microsoft OEM System Builder license before OEM installing.
    For example, http://www.directron.com/ccq00061.html directly states "This product is an OEM package designed for system builders."

    Are there any documents stated that CCQ-00061 is not under OEM System Builder license?

    Friday, April 10, 2009 11:52 AM
  • Igor, no license other than that printed license is presented to someone who purchases CCQ-00061 at any time before installation actually commences (that license is presented in both print and electronic forms). Since the Windows Home Server installation is a completely "hands off" process, at that point it's too late; the next opportunity someone would have to agree to a license is after Windows Home Server is completely installed. The statement by Directron is not notice of a legally binding license.

    And, though I won't be able to confirm until this evening (I'm going to let an installation run while I'm at work), the system builder license you quote from above is not mentioned at any time after the product is installed, either. Legally, it is not possible for Microsoft to impose terms (a license) on someone if that person was never informed by Microsoft of those terms. At most, Microsoft could attempt legal action against the vendor from which the end user purchased the software.

    In a more practical vein, Microsoft is well aware that a large minority of Windows Home Server users are individuals who purchased the software from NewEgg or another e-tailer. They actively encourage and support this channel.
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Friday, April 10, 2009 12:20 PM
    Moderator
  • Ken, I entirely agree that system builder license is not applicable to user, but (AFAIK) it is obligate for any who installs OEM WHS.
    These changes in system builder license were made less than two years ago - see FY08 in document name. An older OEM packages are covered by previos version of system builder license and may be allowed to be installed by user.

    I'm sure Microsoft will not attempt any legal actions against users. I'm not talking about legal action. I just want to explain that brubber's answer is incorrect and such installation is illegal unfortunately.

    One more example: look at WHS OEM at http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&DEPA=0&Order=BESTMATCH&Description=%2Bwindows+%2Bhome+%2Bserver+%2Boem&x=19&y=32 and see disclaimer: "Use of this OEM System Builder Channel software is subject to the terms of the Microsoft OEM System Builder License".

    Friday, April 10, 2009 12:46 PM
  • I'm going to ask for clarification of this from Microsoft. They have explained this more than once, but searching in the forums is, umm, not as functional as it could be.

    However, I think the short version will be that it's not illegal for an end user to install it, even for their own personal use. If there's a violation anywhere, it's on the vendor's side of the transaction. Once you have the software, you're fine.

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Friday, April 10, 2009 2:36 PM
    Moderator
  • Ken, if you'll write an e-mail, may you add me to CC? My address is in my MVP profile.

    It seems to me there is a relatively easy way to be legal: find a friend, buy a hardware and OEM software, build a server and sell it to the friend. The friend must do the same - voila, both have fully legal servers. ;)

    Friday, April 10, 2009 2:47 PM
  • I'll forward what I receive (with email addresses redacted unless someone says they don't mind :) ).The lists to which I've sent the inquiry won't allow non-members to participate, though. My email address is in my MVP profile as well as in my forums profile, BTW. 

    Your workaround (and similar ones) is exactly why Microsoft has relaxed the system builder restrictions in the past few years. I could, for example, build a server and sell it to my wife for "$1.00 and other good and valuable consideration". The US being a "common law" country, such "peppercorn" contracts are held as binding in almost all cases.
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Friday, April 10, 2009 4:33 PM
    Moderator
  • After my evaluation expired, I was directed (by Microsoft) to purchase and install the OEM version on my home built system which was available from amazon and other retailers.  The gal on the phone actually looked it up on amazon and recommended I purchase the Microsoft Windows Home Server OEM with URP1 for under $100.00.  :)
    Monday, April 13, 2009 6:22 PM
  • Ken,
    I've got an official answer from Microsoft. Installation CCQ-00061 for someone own use is illegal. The builded system must be sold.

    • Proposed as answer by Igor Leyko Wednesday, June 10, 2009 7:26 PM
    Wednesday, June 10, 2009 7:25 PM
  • Ken,
    I've got an official answer from Microsoft. Installation CCQ-00061 for someone own use is illegal. The builded system must be sold.


    I find that extremely difficult to believe.  Who is your source?  What about other OEM software?
    Thursday, June 11, 2009 12:04 AM
    Moderator
  • I find that extremely difficult to believe.  Who is your source?  What about other OEM software?

    I've asked Russian Microsoft office so answer is in Russsian. The WHS OEM rules are exactly same as for any other OEM software. See OEM system builder licence please.
    Thursday, June 11, 2009 4:57 AM
  • Lets wait to see what Ken comes back with; this is confusing and interesting at the same time!
    Thursday, June 11, 2009 5:58 AM
  • Microsoft hasn't gotten back to me; it's possible that they won't, as this is a fairly complex legal question. So I've already said my piece, which is (and please note that IANAL , and so TINLA) that the OEM/System Builder license Igor mentions is not displayed or included by reference in anything that the end user receives, and therefore is not legally binding on the end user.

    I don't understand Igor's motivations here, but I really don't need to. Whether it's legal or not, Microsoft obviously knows about, and encourages , the installation of this particular bit of system builder software by end users for their own use. If Igor is still concerned, though, I highly recommend that he not purchase a potentially illegal OEM copy of Windows Home Server for his own use.

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Thursday, June 11, 2009 11:57 AM
    Moderator
  • I don't understand Igor's motivations here
    I don't like to be called a lier with a link to this thread.
    OEM software installation by end user can be either legal or illegal and that is the question.
    I think the correct answer is "it is illegal but Microsoft closes its eyes and will not do something against end users".
    Thursday, June 11, 2009 12:04 PM
  • If Igor is still concerned, though, I highly recommend that he not purchase a potentially illegal OEM copy of Windows Home Server for his own use.
    Sure. I like non-OEM copies, NFR for example. :)
    Thursday, June 11, 2009 12:17 PM
  • I didn't call you a liar, Igor. (I didn't even imply it.) I said I don't understand your motivations. There's a difference between the two statements.
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Thursday, June 11, 2009 12:20 PM
    Moderator
  • I didn't call you a liar, Igor.
    Oh, Ken, excuse me and sorry for my English, I did not make my words clear. Sure it was not you, it was someone at Russian forum with a link given to this thread.
    Thursday, June 11, 2009 12:23 PM
  • The reason Microsoft encourages enthusiasts to purchase and install the OEM Windows Home Server software is probably because there is no software only retail channel. You can buy it two ways: preinstalled on hardware from an OEM or a true "system builder", or as a system builder package. For the most part system builder restrictions are to protect revenue for retailers; there's no retail channel for Windows Home Server software, and the people who will buy/install the OEM software are rarely people who would buy a hardware/software package, so there's no conflict in this case.

    Note to lurkers: people who purchase MSDN and Technet subscriptions are prohibited by the terms of their subscription from using the software they download in a production environment, with a couple of very narrow exceptions. Technet and MSDN software is for testing and development only. This particular requirement is likely not followed by most subscribers, but if you're concerned about legalities I would hope you're at least aware of this already.

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Thursday, June 11, 2009 3:29 PM
    Moderator
  • Hi Ken,
    did you get any answer?

    Thursday, August 27, 2009 5:35 PM
  • No, and I've been too busy to press Microsoft on the question.
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Thursday, August 27, 2009 7:56 PM
    Moderator
  • Ken,

     

    It looks like both Igor and you are correct.
    The problem is that the Russian license is worded differently than the English one:

    " System Builder” means an original equipment manufacturer, an assembler, a refurbisher, or a software pre-installer that sells the Customer System(s) to a third party."


    The part "or a software pre-installer that sells the Customer System(s) to a third party " is separated with a comma from the rest of the phrase and since in this part there is no comma before "that " word, it can be treated as the following:

    "System Builder" is an original equipment manufacturer
    "System Builder" is an assembler
    "System Builder" is a refurbisher
    "System Builder" is a software pre-installer that sells the Customer System(s) to a third party

    Now we all could name ourselves "an assembler" and be done with legal nitpicking.

    Unfortunately, the Russian version of the same phrase is subtly differentl:

    «Сборщик систем» — это организация, занимающаяся изготовлением вычислительной техники, сборкой, изменением конфигурации или предварительной установкой программного обеспечения, которая продает Пользовательскую систему (или системы) третьему лицу.


    In my unprofessional back translation from Russian to English it is (watch the added comma!):

    "System Builder" means an original equipment manufacturer, an assembler, a refurbisher, or a software pre-installer, that sells the Customer System(s) to a third party. "

    "System Builder is an original equipment manufacturer that sells the Customer System(s) to a third party "
    "System Builder is an assembler that sells the Customer System(s) to a third party "
    "System Builder is a refurbisher that sells the Customer System(s) to a third party "
    "System Builder is a software pre-installer that sells the Customer System(s) to a third party"

    So the American office was correct in permitting self-installation of OEM product and the Russian office was correct in denying it.

    I have no idea why the Russian version is different from the original (I assume the English one as a master copy).


    • Edited by nexusplexus Friday, August 28, 2009 9:09 PM
    Friday, August 28, 2009 7:13 PM
  • One more answer from Microsoft.

    One of the requirements of the OEM system builder license... is that the Customer System must be sold to a third-party. This applies to all of the categories: an OEM, assembler, refurbisher, or software pre-installer. Each of these types of system builder must sell the system to a third-party.

    It was posted to OEM forum http://social.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/partnersysbuildlicensing/thread/21c29b92-b70b-4157-8c32-cbcd244ebe50/.
    You must be a MIcrosoft partner to view a thread.

    brubber, please remove "Mark as answer" from your post.

    • Proposed as answer by Igor Leyko Monday, August 31, 2009 7:29 AM
    Monday, August 31, 2009 7:24 AM
  • Ken, I have to go with you on this one.
    Here is the excerpt from the WHS site (under FAQ)

    Windows Home Server ships as an integrated hardware and software solution. Manufacturers (OEMs) set the final pricing for their products depending on hardware specifications, storage capacity, and additional capabilities. Prices range from $500 and up. The HP MediaSmart Server is available in two models, a 500GB version and 1TB model. System Builders and do-it-yourself users can acquire the software from a variety of online sources. Learn about the retailers that sell Windows Home Server.

    Monday, September 21, 2009 11:45 PM
  • This is a good example that sometimes people make a mistakes.
    There is a page at partner's site that states:
    ---
    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 licenses are the appropriate licenses 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.
    ---
    http://oem.microsoft.com/script/contentpage.aspx?pageid=563841 You must be registered as a partner to accesse the page
    Tuesday, September 22, 2009 6:30 AM
  • Igor, give it a rest. Microsoft officially permits this use for Windows Home Server. See the FAQ topic How much does Windows Home Server cost?. This is purely speculation on my part, but I believe this to be because:
    • Microsoft values the enthusiast community, and wants to make sure they can build their own servers in the absence of a retail channel for the software by itself.
    • Microsoft wants to allow people who would otherwise pirate the software a way to obtain it, in the absence of a retail channel for the software by itself.
    Draw your own conclusions as to which is a bigger driver.

    Locked.

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Tuesday, September 22, 2009 5:04 PM
    Moderator