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What are the legal options for Licensing Windows 7 or Windows Vista? Or how to avoid mis-licensing

I’m often told that Microsoft licensing is complex, but what I actually find are that this either translates to “I have too many choices - ahhhh!” or “I can’t license in the way I want to” or “I can’t find the information I want to”.   Option 1 is always going to happen – the more choice, the more complexity in making the right choice.  Option 2 is often “I don’t want to buy lose licenses, why do I have to..” and Option 3 is poor communications on the part of Microsoft.

To help with the Option 3 situation there is a new guide on the Microsoft Partner portal that explains one of the areas I’m often asked about – i.e. Windows client licensing.  It is really simple.  Here are the rules in summary (non-legally binding and please read the guide for full details):

  1. A PC has to licensed with a Full retail product (FPP, bought from a shop) or supplied with an OEM license (the OEM option can’t be used after the PC has been bought and supplied to the end user)
  2. Volume Licenses for Windows client is only available as an upgrade to the FPP / OEM eligible license
  3. Volume Licenses upgrade only apply to business versions, not Home editions, unless you are a qualifed academic customer and there is more information in the guide.

I don’t think that is complex.  To “Get Legal” there are various options too. 

For more details, have a look at this “Windows Licensing Fact Sheet” - download from here.

 

Thanks

David


Posted Thu, Dec 24 2009 4:08 PM by David Overton

Comments

Guy Gregory wrote re: What are the legal options for Licensing Windows 7 or Windows Vista? Or how to avoid mis-licensing
on Thu, Dec 24 2009 5:19 PM

Hi Dave,

Thanks for that useful summary. I think the one that catches most people out is that you can't license the OS on VL without an existing licence.

Are you aware of a Get Genuine Kit for any post-XP Operating Systems? I've never seen part codes on our disties' sites, and the Microsoft page doesn't mention a version for Vista or 7. I've not come across a 'mislicensed' version of either yet, but you never know when you might find one...

Cheers,

Guy

David Overton wrote re: What are the legal options for Licensing Windows 7 or Windows Vista? Or how to avoid mis-licensing
on Thu, Dec 24 2009 5:46 PM

Guy,

The Get Legal pages are references in the 3 pager download.  As I understand it, they always take you to the latest OS.  If you need to talk about this then our anti-piracy team can have a conversation with your or I can ask in a specific situation.

Thanks

David

Guy Gregory wrote re: What are the legal options for Licensing Windows 7 or Windows Vista? Or how to avoid mis-licensing
on Sat, Dec 26 2009 1:42 PM

David,

Thanks for referring me to the Fact Sheet. I found my answer on the 'Know the Facts' page, which is linked to from the sheet:

"GGK is currently available for Windows Vista Business and Windows XP Professional and will be available in Windows 7 Professional after January 1, 2010."

Not long to wait then!

Thanks,

Guy

Guy Gregory wrote re: What are the legal options for Licensing Windows 7 or Windows Vista? Or how to avoid mis-licensing
on Mon, Jan 4 2010 4:03 PM

David,

I've just found out a useful piece of info about the Get Genuine Kits (especially for resellers) and thought I'd share with you.

Apparently, since Windows Vista, the Get Genuine Kit hasn't been available through the channel. Windows Vista and Windows 7 can only be 'converted' online, by the end-user, after speaking to the Microsoft Licensing team.

Guy

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