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Transfer of used Windows XP Professional/Home retail box versions. RRS feed

  • Question

  • I have contacted Microsoft live chat several times regarding licensing rules on Windows XP Professional and Home full retail box versions.  I have also been told several times that the licensing is valid for a single use and user, and once the key code is activated it can not be transferred to another individual or computer.  Live chat was very clear about this information.  However, I have just come across some old discussions in this forum where someone asked about transfer and was told it was perfectly legal and not a violation of the licensing, as long as the software had been removed from the computer it was originally installed on and all of the original documents, software, COA's, etc had been transferred to the new user.  Here is an example of one such thread from 2008.

    http://social.microsoft.com/Forums/en/genuinewindowsxp/thread/b8f88dfe-e355-435c-a935-9cc93e5d2273

    In this thread Matt Prall, a Microsoft WGA forum manager stated it was perfectly fine to resell a retail version of Windows XP to a new user for installation on a different machine.  I am wondering why I am getting conflicting information from Microsoft live chat and this forum.  I would appreciate it if someone would please explain whether or not it is a violation of Windows XP licensing to transfer ownership of a previously activated version of this software.  Thank you.

    Please note: I am NOT referring to OEM versions, or other versions that were sold for the purpose of installation on a specific machine.  I am referring to the full retail box versions of this software that is/was offered for sale to the general public.

    Monday, February 18, 2013 6:25 AM

Answers

  • Please review this excerpt from the Windows XP EULA (retail):

    14. SOFTWARE TRANSFER. Internal. You may move the Software to a different

    Workstation Computer. After the transfer, you must completely remove the Software from the

    former Workstation Computer. Transfer to Third Party. The initial user of the Software may

    make a one-time permanent transfer of this EULA and Software to another end user, provided

    the initial user retains no copies of the Software. This transfer must include the Software and

    the Proof of License label. The transfer may not be an indirect transfer, such as a consignment.

    Prior to the transfer, the end user receiving the Software must agree to all the EULA terms


    Carey Frisch

    Monday, February 18, 2013 7:14 AM
    Moderator

All replies

  • Please review this excerpt from the Windows XP EULA (retail):

    14. SOFTWARE TRANSFER. Internal. You may move the Software to a different

    Workstation Computer. After the transfer, you must completely remove the Software from the

    former Workstation Computer. Transfer to Third Party. The initial user of the Software may

    make a one-time permanent transfer of this EULA and Software to another end user, provided

    the initial user retains no copies of the Software. This transfer must include the Software and

    the Proof of License label. The transfer may not be an indirect transfer, such as a consignment.

    Prior to the transfer, the end user receiving the Software must agree to all the EULA terms


    Carey Frisch

    Monday, February 18, 2013 7:14 AM
    Moderator
  • Thank you Carey.  I appreciate your help.  I can't understand why three different Microsoft Live Chat reps gave me erroneous information.  Just to clarify another issue...Live Chat also informed me that it is not legal to use OEM software that is widely available online.  They said that each copy of OEM software is only for distribution by a computer manufacturer and to be used on the specific new computer it was shipped with.  They also told me that even though my computer is new to me and it has a completely wiped hard drive it is still a license violation for me to install OEM software.  Is this information accurate, and if so why are there tens of thousands of copies of OEM software for sale online from retailers who are not computer manufacturers?  I saw several advertisements offering bulk discounts with incremental price breaks up to 100+ copies.  I would think that if OEM were meant for distribution by computer manufacturers only there wouldn't be so many copies available to the public.  Thank you.
    Monday, February 18, 2013 8:09 AM
  • I would also think that if these OEM copies are in fact illegal to sell retail that there would be a lot of people getting arrested for selling illegal software.
    Monday, February 18, 2013 8:12 AM
  • The rules about sale of OEM software have changed over time - and what is applicable to Windows XP is no longer applicable to other versions of Windows (and perhaps also to other Service Pack levels of XP!)

    It has never been illegal to sell OEM software - but there have been restrictions on how it can be sold (such restrictions often were ignored, or trivialised).

    Many people have in fact been prosecuted for illegal sales - but not usually if only a small number of sales is involved (the cost of a successful prosecution is rather high!)

    There are two types of OEM license for XP - Direct OEM and OEM System Builder.

    A Direct OEM license is only available to the largest OEMs - and has stringent restrictions.

    A System Builder license is the one that was/is available over the counter in stores with accompanying hardware. There are TWO licenses involved in this - one for the installer of the system, and one for the end-user.  By opening the package, the System Builder agrees to abide by that set of rules (which are visible from outside the pack), and agrees to ensure that the end-user has the opportunity to either agree or reject the built-in licensing terms which the System Builder must ensure are shown when the end-user first boots the system.

    Early licenses insisted that the sale of System Builder licenses be accompanied by 'significant' hardware relevant to a computer build - this was often interpreted by vendors to mean a screw!.

    Later ones dropped this requirement, but still insisted on the System Builder and the End-User being different people. In Windows 8, the system has changed again, and the Full Retail license has been done away with altogether, and replaced by a supplementary license on the OEM System Builder package.

    Windows Licensing is an immensely complex subject - and it's not easy to get it right (but the activation operators should be able to do so, I agree!)


    Noel Paton | Nil Carborundum Illegitemi | CrashFixPC | The Three-toed Sloth
    No - I do not work for Microsoft, or any of its contractors.

    Tuesday, February 19, 2013 12:31 PM
    Moderator