licensing issue RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi there,

    I have a few questions regarding licensing hoping someone can enlighten me on.

    1.    If I buy a branded PC without its' OS, and I purchase a OEM License from the open market, am I still considered a licensed user bearing in mind that I am staying in Singapore and the law here is very strict? I understand that OEM licenses are meant for DIY PC or third party branded PC and not for branded PC like Dell, HP, Acer etc.

    2.    If I buy a branded PC/notebook which is already banded with Windows XP Home and I would like to upgrade to Windows XP Pro so that I can use the PC/notebook in the office, can I purchase an OEM Windows XP Pro to upgrade the OS?  

    Can a Microsoft personnel answer these 2 question?  I desperately need an answer.

    Saturday, June 16, 2007 2:26 PM


  • QuestionLicense,


    Please note that based on their past responses, the Microsoft employees who support this forum are prohibited by company policy from "explaining" or "interpreting" the established End User Licensing Agreements (EULA).  They are only allowed to refer you to the EULA that came with your particular piece of Microsoft software, or to the Microsoft legal department.  Licensing agreements are country and region specific and can be somewhat complex and just aren't easily explained on a support forum.


    As a private individual, registered MS partner systembuilder, and MCSE, I have some experience in these matters so I can offer my personal opinion regarding your questions, but since I am based in the USA my answers will be valid in the USA.  I am "clueless" about the licensing nuances of Singapore.


    1.  A branded PC normally comes from its manufacturer with a licensed copy of Windows preinstalled and with the corresponding Certificate of Authenticity affixed.  Does the hypothetical branded PC have these or not?  If the PC already has the CoA and just does not have the XP installed for whatever reason, your best option is to contact the PC manufacturer and buy the Recovery CD kit to install the original XP back onto the computer.  If the PC did not come with any type of license for XP from its manufacturer, then you could purchase and install a genuine OEM license for XP.  Bear in mind that support for the XP installation cannot be expected to come from the brand name company as they did not install XP, you did; and bear in mind that support for the XP installation cannot be expected to come from Microsoft because Microsoft does not support OEM installations of XP, the manufacturer does.  In effect you have to support yourself because by installing the OEM XP you have become the systembuider.


    2.  I cannot say for sure that an OEM copy of XP has a version of Setup that will upgrade an installed XP Home to XP Pro.  This version will certainly do a clean installation, which entails repartitioning and reformatting the hard disk drive, which destroys all user data on the hard disk.  The original OEM license for XP Home that came on this computer is still married to the computer and cannot be moved to any other computer.  This also applies to the OEM XP Pro that you plan to install.  So you could say that you are "wasting" two licenses on one computer.  The retail upgrade license is more flexible in its installation options as well as its licensing restrictions, which may or may not offset its higher price.

    Saturday, June 16, 2007 2:48 PM