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2188 posts

Uber Geek


#262190 9-Jan-2020 13:51
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Spotted this wording on a well-known computer supply web site - clearly the O/S is being sold as a stand-alone with just a "hint" at being available for retail-supplied new computer builds:


Windows 10 OEM is a full version of the operating system not an upgrade. The OEM operating system is not supported by Microsoft. To acquire Windows software with support provided by Microsoft please see our full package "Retail" product. Microsoft recommends all files and programs be backed-up prior to installation.


Windows 10 OEM is intended for pre-installation on a new PC and cannot be transferred to another computer once installed. Product ships in a white envelope.



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7047 posts

Uber Geek

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  #2389061 9-Jan-2020 14:13
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As far as I'm aware, it's fine. If you're building your own PC then you are the OEM, and are able to install an OEM copy of Windows onto your own PC.


Someone will undoubtedly correct me if I'm wrong :)

428 posts

Ultimate Geek


  #2389066 9-Jan-2020 14:23
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From memory you could buy OEM Windows licenses like that but usually had to be along with a piece of hardware, then the license was considered to be tied to that hardware. E.G if you bought it with a motherboard and later upgraded the motherboard you would need a new license.


7047 posts

Uber Geek

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  #2389074 9-Jan-2020 14:50
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Ah, yes, that does ring a bell now that you mention it!

447 posts

Ultimate Geek

  #2389137 9-Jan-2020 16:46
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with OEM windows back in the day if you wanted support you had to go back to the PC manufacturer and not Microsoft


and if you buy a OEM you have to buy a cpu and/or motherboard 


but i dont know if this is the case now



151 posts

Master Geek

  #2389513 10-Jan-2020 09:48
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From memory you could buy OEM Windows licenses like that but usually had to be along with a piece of hardware, then the license was considered to be tied to that hardware. E.G if you bought it with a motherboard and later upgraded the motherboard you would need a new license.



This is largely correct. I'm guessing without a link to the original page that this is to do with a replacement Motherboard in which case an OEM license would be needed. The product terms for Hardware Replacements are below;


  • Generally an end user can upgrade or replace all of the hardware components on a computer, except the motherboard, and still retain
    the license for the original Microsoft OEM Windows Desktop Operating System software.
  • If the motherboard is upgraded or replaced for reasons other than a defect, then a new computer has been created. Microsoft OEM
    Windows Desktop Operating system software cannot be transferred to the new computer, and new operating system software is
  • If the motherboard is replaced because it is defective, you do not need to acquire a new operating system license for the PC as long as the
    replacement motherboard is the same make/model or the same manufacturer’s replacement/equivalent, as defined by the
    manufacturer’s warranty.

2188 posts

Uber Geek


  #2389523 10-Jan-2020 10:02
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My original question came about because it appears that anyone could buy the OEM Operating System and install it on any machine … there is no policing or proof required that they would then on-sell the machine, as required by Microsoft's policies - this from an MS site:


 Buying the OEM software and installing it on your own new (or old) PC, thereby saving a significant chunk of change in the process, according to Microsoft, is a violation of the terms of the OEM System Builder license agreement, which says, that you must install the software using the OEM Preinstallation Kit and then resell the PC to a third party. If you install that software on your own PC, you don't have a "genuine" copy of Windows.


Also, you should be aware of the following;
 - OEM versions do not offer any free Microsoft direct support from Microsoft support personnel.
- OEM licenses are tied to the very first computer you install and activate it on.
- OEM versions allow all hardware upgrades except for an upgrade to a different model MOBO.
- OEM versions cannot be used to directly upgrade from an older Windows operating system.




Further, there does not appear any requirement by the retailer in question to also sell a motherboard (or any other hardware) as a prerequisite for buying the O/S.


Essentially one is buying the O/S in its entirety for a fraction of a 'full copy' cost?

151 posts

Master Geek

  #2389584 10-Jan-2020 11:00
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Felt like an old fogey when I said to myself it's been happening for years, but more so now with the amount of online cowboys (thanks Google Search). Very much a case of the customer doing their own research to make sure they have the correct licenses.


818 posts

Ultimate Geek


  #2389619 10-Jan-2020 12:35
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I used to build a lot of PCs back in the day. Myself, family, friends, work colleagues. You get the idea, I’d probably build 10-12 a year. I’d buy the components form a local reputable PC parts store in Brisbane and pick up an OEM copy of Windows which was all perfectly legitimate.

The same PC parts store would also sell OEM licensed windows copies to anyone who was also picking up hardware. Didn’t need any hardware, no problem there was a jar of spare HHD screws on the counter labelled “hardware”.

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Uber Geek


  #2389629 10-Jan-2020 12:55
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@Senecio - I do the same TBH, but I think the point they're trying to make above is that that is "technically" against the license T&Cs from Microsoft so technically you don't have a valid copy of windows when you do that because you don't meet the "OEM" requirements, regardless of whether Microsoft turn a blind eye to it in general.   It's been an issue for a long time for Hobbyists computer builders and comes up every now and again - kinda disappointing that it's still not sorted. 

"I was born not knowing and have had only a little time to change that here and there."         | Electric Kiwi | Sharesies
              - Richard Feynman

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