You would think Microsoft don't want me to consider using their latest OS in our workplace. We have a total of about 15 systems at my firm that are not licensed for Windows. Some are Macs (and have not run Windows to date) and some are PCs we bought previously, that came with a distribution of Linux.
My request is simple - I want to legimately license these 15 systems with Windows 8 Pro. I don't mind how we do it (or, within reason, what we pay), but it's looking impossible to do.
Before now, I would have splashed out for a new retail box license of Windows. But Microsoft have axed this option. Now they just have the upgrade licenses (which I note are limited to 5 PCs in the enterprise: see terms at bottom of page here
) and OEM licenses. I read the OEM licenses can be used also as 'personal' licenses, but Microsoft are clear in their terms that, again, you may only do this in a corporate setting on 5 PCs:
"If you are using the software as an operating system for commercial use, you may not license more than five copies of the software for such commercial use in total (and each copy of the software must be separately licensed)."
So what about my other 10 remaining unlicensed systems?
Open License is no better, as the Win 8 Pro licenses here can be bought in any quantity, but require a valid license of some form of Windows already linked to the PC in question. They are another form of upgrade, and these computers I have are not in any way licensed for older versions of Windows.
I find this whole business baffling - I've searched on and off for hours, and to the letter of the law I cannot see a way to sensibly license these systems legitimately. Microsoft are almost saying to me "buy a new PC with Windows 8, or stick with your Linux". You can guess the direction I'm thinking.....
The only two ways I can think around it is that I buy the PCs off my firm, 'refurb' them, install Windows 8 Pro and license as an OEM, and then 'sell' them back to my firm. As a system builder (which I genuinely am) I guess this is a legit process, but crazy! Alternative is I buy cheapest retail copy of Windows 7, and upgrade it to Win 8 Pro through Open License. This is more costly than I ideally care for. Can anyone think of a better way around this madness?
Cheers guys :)