OEM software - is it legal to install ?

  bstock 07:52 02 Mar 04

I realise that OEM software is supposed to be used with new hardware but my question is:

If software is accquired over say ebay and then found to be OEM is it legal to install on your (not new) machine. I realise obviously that it is not supposed to happen but wonder whether its actually illegal

I suspect I know the answer but I am waiting hopefully to be proved wrong.

  thisisnighthawk 08:15 02 Mar 04

so if someone comes forward and says it is not legal, will you still use it? :-)

and at the end of the day, life is too short to worry. put it in and enjoy it..

  ventanas 08:20 02 Mar 04

If you have an OEM version of either Windows or Office, Microsoft will be able to tell you the precise make and model of computer they should be installed on if you give them the installation keys. Use on any other machine contravenes the terms of the licence agreement.

But as thisisnighthawk says, who's going to bother?

  Jester2K 08:24 02 Mar 04

"If you have an OEM version of either Windows or Office, Microsoft will be able to tell you the precise make and model of computer they should be installed on if you give them the installation keys."

How can they do that? If i go into my local PC builder and buy a PC he just installs the next OEM copy of XP that comes to hand. How will MS know what PC it should be on then?

What if a major manufacturer upgrades (before sale) a line of PCs but uses the same OEM copies of Windows?

  ventanas 08:27 02 Mar 04

Because I've done it - Three times. To make sure that certain installations were legal.

I just read over the keys to the guy at MS and was told which machine they were registered to.

Did this on the advice of FAST.

  Jester2K 08:29 02 Mar 04

Faie enough -just wondered how they know and keep track of every single OEM copy. What sort of info do they give back to you?

What if i buy a hard drive and an OEM copy of Windows XP - how can they trace that? Or is it just prefab PCs?

  ventanas 08:41 02 Mar 04

Might be because the two versions of Office 2k I was checking on came from PC World business, supplied with NEC Powermates. Perhaps major suppliers like PC World register their OEM copies with Microsoft before they sell the machines.

Microsoft were able to clarify that they were installed to the correct make and model of PC. (But not the precise PC as there are obviously 1000's of them).

By the way the OEM version of Win98 I also checked on could not be verified, possibly for the reasons you have given. The advice of FAST - wipe the machine, which I had to do.

  Jester2K 08:45 02 Mar 04

Cheers - i see..

  Stuartli 08:52 02 Mar 04

OEM versions have no support from Microsoft - you have to liaise with the seller.

  keith-236785 09:18 02 Mar 04

as far as i am aware, an oem version is supposed to be for a certain pc, but if you upgrade motherboard, proc, memory and a new hard drive.....that means it is a new PC as far as microsoft is concerned (but we know it isnt), the way i look at it is this:- as long as i have a valid licence, and only install on ONE pc then i will put it where i damn well like and i don't care what micro$oft think..... i paid my money to microsoft already (do they want me to pay again for the same thing?) [ i thought only prostitutes had it to sell again, no wonder Bill Gates is the worlds richest man].

  keith-236785 09:21 02 Mar 04

sorry, sent too soon

meant to say, go ahead and install the (as far as you know legal) version of windows and let microsoft prove you havent just upgraded certain bits.............

P.S before anyone jumps on me, i am NOT advocating piracy. just common sense

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