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Transfer of Microsoft OS License

Here at BizWebTech we get a lot of questions regarding the transfer of licenses from an old computer to a newer computer while keeping the operating system on the old computer and giving it to a friend, neighbor,or relative. Surprisingly, Microsoft does not allow it.  In the case of Vista and Windows 7, the operating system most often will stop working after a while. (Microsoft lets you get used to it and then cuts you off at the knees) .  Below are some guidelines for using and transfering Microsoft operating systems with donated or hand-me-down computers.  A more comprehensive discussion is available in  Microsoft Windows Operating System Licensing / Guide for Refurbishing Personal Computers (PC)

Q. Can my customers transfer or sell their OEM software licenses?

A. After an OEM software license has been installed on a PC, the license may not be installed on or transferred to another PC. However, the entire PC may be transferred to another end user along with the software license rights. When transferring the PC to the new end user, the software media, manuals (if applicable), and Certificate of Authenticity label must be included. It is also advisable to include the original purchase invoice or receipt. The original end user cannot keep any copies of the software.

Q. My customer bought a new PC and wants to move the OEM software from the old PC to the new one. Can't users do whatever they want with their software?

A. The OEM software is licensed with the computer system on which it was originally installed and is tied to that original machine. OEM licenses are single-use licenses that cannot be installed on more than one computer system, even if the original machine is no longer in use. The End User Software License Terms, which the end user must accept before using the software, states that the license may not be shared, transferred to, or used concurrently on different computers. System builders must provide end-user support for the Windows license on computers they build, but cannot support licenses on computers they didn't build. This is a fundamental reason why OEM System Builder licenses can't be transferred.

Q. If a school enters into a Microsoft Academic Volume Licensing Agreement (Campus, School, Open, Select), does that mean it is licensed for a full Microsoft operating system, such as Windows?

A. No. Microsoft Volume Licensing agreements license a school or institution only for an upgrade of Windows. No Academic Volume License covers the full Windows operating system.

Q. If a school has an Academic Volume Licensing agreement, such as Campus, that currently covers a Windows upgrade, does it still need a license that covers the full Windows operating system as well?

A. Yes. Academic agreements, including Campus, cover only the upgradeā€”not the full Windows operating system. Schools are required to have a separate license that covers the initial full Windows operating system license.

Q. If a school has an Academic Volume Licensing agreement and purchases a new PC, is it legal for the school to purchase a "naked" PC and use its Academic Volume License to install the full operating system license?

A. No. Microsoft Academic Volume Licensing agreements license a school or institution only to upgrade a previously acquired full version of a Windows operating system license. No academic volume license allows a school to install the full initial operating system on a new computer.