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MS liscensing rules

1) What are the rules on MS liscensing specific to windows 7 and MS office.

Say you buy a new PC and want office professional on it, that typically gives you 2x product keys, one for win7 and one for office. Are they only valid then for 1 machine? If the user has 2 machines, do they need 2x liscences?

2) Also, If you then give the installation disc to a freind and they install it and enter the same registry keys - is that illegal, or not?

3) And how do Microsoft detect or prevent this lisence sharing. I.e. how can they see theres 5x machines using that liscence key to use the software, they should all have their own liscence. I did think perhaps it could kick in during update process, i.e. only user 1 can have updates, the other 4 cant get them. But I didnt know if MS can check/enforce this.
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pma111
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pma111
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1 Solution
 
IT_CrowdCommented:
1.  When you buy a new computer with software the licenses are almost always OEM software.  OEM software can only be used with the Original computer.  The licenses are only valid on the machine you purchased.

2.  Yes it is illegal to give Microsoft Windows or Office to someone else.

3.  They use license activation to help prevent license sharing.
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pma111Author Commented:
Can you elaborate on OEM for a novice.

And also on 3, is that a case of "once" activated" it cant be activated again?

Does the activation require an internet connection, and what/where is it checking against? I wondered if you enter it offline, i.e. no Internet access, how it could possibly check anything. So perhaps you could use it on an offline machine forever.
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IT_CrowdCommented:
OEM means Original Equipment Manufacturer. The difference is that an OEM operating system comes with a pre-built pc like a dell.  They can only be used on that PC. A retail copy is bought at a store and can be moved to another computer.  Typically the OEM software can only be installed on the original manufacturer.  You most likely cannot install a Dell Windows OS on and HP computer.  It is also illegal according to the license agreement.

Activation is done by internet or by a phone call.  The code they provide you is usually linked to your mother board or CPU on your computer.  If you do not activate after a certain period of time you will get license activation notifications and your desktop will turn black.
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pma111Author Commented:
So I assume if user Y has already activated the product on Pc Y, and user X tries to activate it using the same key on PC X, it wont let them>?
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redbmasterCommented:
Let me expand on MS Office licensing a little.

Office is licensed on a per machine basis.

If you work in a business with 200 computers and 300 users working in 3 shifts of around 100 people. The company has 200 computers so shift 2 users can login and get going before shift 1 users have finished for the day. Even though all 300 users need access to Office the company only needs 200 licenses.

On the other hand if you work at a company with 100 computers and 75 users. In this case some users have 2 devices, ie. a desk pc and a lab computer. Even though there are only 75 users, all of them need access to Office on any computer they use, so this company would have to purchase 100 Office licenses.

The only real variation to this rule is the OEM vs. retail version of Office Home and Student. The OEM license is valid for one and only one pc and does not transfer from one pc to another. The retail version allows up to 3 PCs in a single household to have office on them and these licenses do transfer from PC to PC.

Lets say your home PC dies and you purchase a new one. An OEM license would require you to purchase a whole new license for this new pc. However, the retail license would allow you to install Office on the new PC and you'd still only use 1 of your 3 licenses.

The issue with this one is that the Home and Student version cannot be use in any commercial avenue (ie, any type of business at all). The details can be found in the footnotes on this link http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/buy/office-2010-which-suite-is-right-for-you-FX101825640.aspx?
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pma111Author Commented:
Id already given points or would give you some, sorry.
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redbmasterCommented:
Not at all worried about the points. Did that at least clear up everything for you?
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pma111Author Commented:
Yeah it did. Is OEM common then, and how do the prices compare between OEM and retail liscences for say office pro. I'd be a bit annoyed if I bought a PC that had office as an OEM liscence, then the device went bang, and then I found out I had to buy not only a new PC but all the software liscences again. I assume OEM must be cheaper than retail based on that, as retail seems to have a bit of a safeguard that you can use it again.
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redbmasterCommented:
OEM is fairly common as its generally $50 cheaper and most people don't realize the difference.

The Professional retail licensed is for 1 user on 2 PC (say a laptop and a desktop). It appears to be about $50 more than the OEM copy.

See, isn't Office licensing fun! haha, its a pain. The Office website does a fairly good job at guiding you to the Office license that you need. See this like for the details, http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/buy/office-2010-which-suite-is-right-for-you-FX101825640.aspx?. Seriously, check the link.
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pma111Author Commented:
Will do. Any easy way to tell what office liscence I have on freinds / families devices, be it oem or retail? They should be aware....
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redbmasterCommented:
This is the "easiest" way to check the currently installed Office 2010 licensing info: http://www.mytechguide.org/8329/check-activation-type-license-status-office-2010-installations/
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