Windows 98

Posted on 2010-01-05
Last Modified: 2013-12-29
We have older electronic equipment that will talk to Win 98, but nothing newer.  If I have a valid Windows 98 License, can I copy it to more than one PC now that Microsoft no longer supports it - or do I still need to purchase additional license.
Question by:JWalkerMA
    LVL 62

    Accepted Solution

    Not legally - although Microsoft no longer support it they still own the rights to the operating system. Additonally if your 98 licence was for an operating system supplied with a PC (rather than you buying it separately) it was licenced only for use on the PC it came with.

    However depending on how the equipment interfaces with Windows 98 you might be able to run a legitimate Windows98 installation in a virtual machine within XP/Vista or even Windows 7
    LVL 6

    Assisted Solution

    The offical answer from microsoft is no.  Here is part of the EULA for win 98 SE

    Separation of Components. The SOFTWARE PRODUCT is licensed as a single product. Its component parts may not be separated for use on more than one computer.


    Single COMPUTER. The SOFTWARE PRODUCT is licensed with the HARDWARE as a single integrated product. The SOFTWARE PRODUCT may only be used with the HARDWARE as set forth in this EULA.

    Now offically I don't think you can license keys for 98 anymore either.  Their end of life for licenses was in 2004.

    I doubt that microsoft watches or cares about using a 98 license more then once anymore but it is good to stay within legal rights anyways.
    LVL 10

    Expert Comment

    I don't think you can buy a new license any more. But if you have an old one it still can be used.
    I you remove the installation on the old computer and use the license on the new computer you still only need 1 license.  Maybe you can buy old license from somebody?
    If you were able to use only 1 license in the past,then you should be able to use it now on 1 computer right? Or is this older electronic equipement a recent acquisition?
    Does it use serial or parallel communication? Why is it not working on newer OS?
    To install W98 on newer hardware you need to disable hardware detection else it will hang during install     (I can remember the exact install parameter)

    Author Comment

    We are an electrical cooperative and have older microwave and relay equipment that they tell me won't work (test and analysis) on anything above 98.  They have dual OS on some laptops for this reason.  We would like to have at least one addtional dual OS - wasn't sure if we could leagally use the same 98 CD or needed to buy an addtional copy off ebay.
    LVL 6

    Expert Comment

    Legally you would have to buy another license.  
    LVL 62

    Expert Comment

    by:☠ MASQ ☠
    & again if you want to keep within the rules you should make sure you don't end up buying an OEM licence (the one that is tied to the supplied PC) Nor just the CD if you're buying from eBay etc.
    Most of the Disks for sale are left over from when someone trashed their old PC and found the disks that came with it in the garage.  Not illegal to sell but as posted not legal to install :(

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