Microsoft to Grant Windows 8 System Builder License to Home-Built PCs

With Windows 8, Microsoft acknowledges for the first time installations on home-built computers.

ZDNet got a hold of the new license agreements that affect the upgrade sold via retail, the OEM license agreement as well as system builder license relating to personal use systems. If you are building your own PC, you can, effectively take advantage of OEM versions instead of having to purchase a full and more expensive retail license.

ZDNet quotes the personal use license for system builders and Windows 8 Pro as follows:

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?”

Note that Microsoft also takes virtual machines and multiple operating systems on the same computer in consideration. This is also a first for Windows. According to ZDNet, Microsoft currently sells Windows in three packages - retail upgrades, full retail licenses , and OEM System Builder packages that are not permitted to be run on personally built systems. This appears to be changing now with Windows 8.


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  • techcurious
    I think the point is that OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) versions of Windows (or Windows License) were "Legally" meant to be used only by companies that build computers and sell them. Now they are officially saying in the License Agreement that it is OK for us "Home-Builders" to use the OEM license.. something we have been doing all along anyway and they had been turning a blind eye to all along.. ;-)
  • killerclick
    Wow, thanks Microsoft, but I'm set with Windows 7 until 2020 or until your whole mobile strategy collapses and you come to your senses.
  • akopp21
    Anonymous said:
    Again ... WTF!
    Most people that read this site already have built their own systems for years.
    guess which version most people use?
    OEM of course.

    According to the license on previous versions of Windows, you weren't legally allowed to use that OEM copy on a computer you built for yourself. You were only supposed to use OEM if you were selling the computer to someone else.
  • Other Comments
  • kawininjazx
    I don't get it, there was always OEM and retail editions.
  • drwho1
    I just had a laugh!
    I have NEVER bought a packaged OS, and will never do.
    I have bought OEM since Windows 95, there is no point on getting a box that you will throw away anyways, not to mention the ridiculous overprice for that card board box.

    Is also a joke that M$ who has always sold OEM thru many online retailers that it has taken them all this time to "acknowledge" this fact.
  • bustapr
    kawininjazxI don't get it, there was always OEM and retail editions.

    if Im not mistaken this allows you to use an OEM liscense from a retail pc on youre homebuilt machine, thus saving you ALOT of money. before, you had to buy a new liscense because OEM liscenses are tied to the original mobo.