Windows 8 now allows consumers to install OEM versions

They are the bane of anyone who uses most kinds of software products: the End User License Agreements. Most of the time, we have to click on an "Agree" box below a ton of confusing legal terms for EULAs in order to use software products and only a fraction of people even read them, much less understand them.

You have to agree to the EULA before you use Microsoft's Windows 8 OS. However, a new article at ZDNet.com claims that Microsoft has made some changes in its software agreements for Windows 8 that make them easier to read compared to EULAs that have been provided in the past for previous versions of Windows.

More importantly for regular consumers, Microsoft is allowing them to purchase and install the version of Windows 8 that's normally reserved for OEMs. This under a new Windows 8 license called Personal Use License for System Builder.

According to the terms of the Personal Use License for System Builder:

We do not sell our software or your copy of it – we only license it. Under our license, we grant you the right to install and run that one copy on one computer (the licensed computer) as the operating system on a computer that you build for your personal use, or as an additional operating system running on a local virtual machine or a separate partition, subject to the restrictions outlined under “Are there things I’m not allowed to do with the software?”

This change will allow people who build their own PCs from scratch to purchase and install the OEM version of Windows 8; pricing for this Personal Use License version has not been revealed.

Source: ZDNet
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26 Comments

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snorge said,
What is the difference between this and the old system builder discs?

Some minor rewording and also support for VM installs, something the original OEM license does NOT allow you to do.

GP007 said,

Some minor rewording and also support for VM installs, something the original OEM license does NOT allow you to do.

Exactly. Virtualization (specifically Hyper-V) is the major driver for the change - even better, it now applies to *all* Microsoft OEM/System Builder software (including products for which support either has been discontinued or is about to be discontinued - such as the aforementioned Windows XP and earlier).

rhianntp said,
Ballmer could hand deliver me a free copy and I wouldn't install this fisher price OS

Yet you probably used the original fisher price OS (WinXP) in the end.

rhianntp said,
Ballmer could hand deliver me a free copy and I wouldn't install this fisher price OS

Why would Ballmer hand you a copy of iOS?

Here is the change: Windows 7/Vista's OEM license was only allowed to be installed on a new system for 'resale' not for yourself. The new Windows 8 OEM Licence allows you to install it on your own personal computer.

Guys, I know, and I'm sure others know, that you could buy OEM copies for years now, but I think the difference is in the details. First the qualifying hardware bit is gone though that wasn't much of an issue before. Second, and I doubt this was covered in the original OEM EULA, you can run this in a VM as well. I don't think the original Win7 or older license covered virtual instances and only installing on actual physical hardware.

GP007 said,
Second, and I doubt this was covered in the original OEM EULA, you can run this in a VM as well. I don't think the original Win7 or older license covered virtual instances and only installing on actual physical hardware.

I believe you are correct. I'm sure that the OEM license had to be tied to physical hardware.
Being able to virtualize OEM licenses will be new.

This has always been the case as far back as I can remember. OEM copies cannot be transferred to other computers, but you've been able to buy it from distributors like newegg since at least XP.

What I would like to know, is the license transferable to another computer or motherboard in case of failure on the first machine it is installed on? I know that OEM Sys Builder Windows 7 is tied to the first machine it is installed on.

Mr. Dee said,
......

In the old days, a couple of calls into MS Support to inform them that the hardware change was due to failure usually got them to reset the bindings.
Some phone reps however, were not easily convinced, hence the need for a number of calls.

I expect the same to hold true for this ammendment to the license.

ShiFteDReaLitY said,
I agree with the picture. *two thumbs up*

This is a straight clarification of something that has long been possible (in fact, done) in the BYOPC space - what this does is completely get rid of the *qualifying hardware* requirement (that companies such as ASUS/Dell/HP, not Microsoft, insisted on). The same license applies to virtualizing Windows as well.

deadonthefloor said,

Except your license was purchased from an OEM or had to be sold with OEM qualifying hardware, aka, motherboard, cooling fan , etc.

FYI, I've been using OEM licenses on all my PCs since I went legal as well.

I'm pretty sure MS changed the OEM rules years ago, they used to have to bundle it with a piece of hardware, then that was changed... I'm sure someone can find the news info from when that happened, but it has been many years now.

xendrome said,

I'm pretty sure MS changed the OEM rules years ago, they used to have to bundle it with a piece of hardware, then that was changed... I'm sure someone can find the news info from when that happened, but it has been many years now.


With Windows 7 and earlier version of Windows, you always need to bundle it with any hardware to make it 'legal'. Big shops does that, but smaller ones, they won't do that. You can just buy them without any hardware at all.

FarCry3r said,

With Windows 7 and earlier version of Windows, you always need to bundle it with any hardware to make it 'legal'. Big shops does that, but smaller ones, they won't do that. You can just buy them without any hardware at all.

I've always purchased OEM version on their own without any bundling.

FarCry3r said,

With Windows 7 and earlier version of Windows, you always need to bundle it with any hardware to make it 'legal'. Big shops does that, but smaller ones, they won't do that. You can just buy them without any hardware at all.

I had OEM versions of Vista and 7 here in Germany/Austria. Bought from Amazon.de, so no small shop. Must have been legal and authorized by Microsoft^^

FarCry3r said,

With Windows 7 and earlier version of Windows, you always need to bundle it with any hardware to make it 'legal'. Big shops does that, but smaller ones, they won't do that. You can just buy them without any hardware at all.

I remember many years ago it was under investigation by the EC, probably around the original Anti-trust case.

I'm pretty sure that it's been fully allowed in any EU-country to sell the OEM licenses without accompanying hardware, so it's definitely nothing new here, i clearly remember there was a time where shops had to sell you a piece of hardware (usually a mouse) but this has been absent in every shop here for many years now.

FarCry3r said,

With Windows 7 and earlier version of Windows, you always need to bundle it with any hardware to make it 'legal'. Big shops does that, but smaller ones, they won't do that. You can just buy them without any hardware at all.

Several local computer shops I frequented when I was younger would sell OEM software, and "bundle it" with a molex power splitter (for 25¢), which was promptly discarded as soon as I left the premises.

I'm pretty sure one of them also had a box by the door that let you "recycle" it as you left.