Windows 10 volume licensing questions



  • Hi,

    Need some clarity on MS volume licensing. From what I've read on ML and other forums Win 10 Volume licensing is only available as an upgrade. There has to be an underlying qualifying OS licensed either via OEM/Retail channels to use the upgrade license.

    If I don't have a legit qualifying OS for a few systems, lets say 10, what would be the way to go? Buy 10 Retail license first and then 1 upgrade VL license?



  • That's correct. Volume licensing is upgrade only.



  • @Himura1 said in Windows 10 volume licensing questions:

    If I don't have a legit qualifying OS for a few systems, lets say 10, what would be the way to go? Buy 10 Retail license first and then 1 upgrade VL license?

    That's one option. Assuming your one VL is so that you can image instead of doing manual individual installs, yes. However MOST people would go with OEM here. The chances that you'd want higher cost retail and want to move them around is low. Possible, but low.

    The most typical approach here is all OEM. Generally if you are using Windows you want it to be the only OS you ever use on that hardware.



  • @scottalanmiller said in Windows 10 volume licensing questions:

    @Himura1 said in Windows 10 volume licensing questions:

    If I don't have a legit qualifying OS for a few systems, lets say 10, what would be the way to go? Buy 10 Retail license first and then 1 upgrade VL license?

    That's one option. Assuming your one VL is so that you can image instead of doing manual individual installs, yes. However MOST people would go with OEM here. The chances that you'd want higher cost retail and want to move them around is low. Possible, but low.

    The most typical approach here is all OEM. Generally if you are using Windows you want it to be the only OS you ever use on that hardware.

    Is it okay to install an OEM license to a PC that's running a illegal OS? I thought OEM is for resale only.


  • Banned

    @Himura1 said in Windows 10 volume licensing questions:

    @scottalanmiller said in Windows 10 volume licensing questions:

    @Himura1 said in Windows 10 volume licensing questions:

    If I don't have a legit qualifying OS for a few systems, lets say 10, what would be the way to go? Buy 10 Retail license first and then 1 upgrade VL license?

    That's one option. Assuming your one VL is so that you can image instead of doing manual individual installs, yes. However MOST people would go with OEM here. The chances that you'd want higher cost retail and want to move them around is low. Possible, but low.

    The most typical approach here is all OEM. Generally if you are using Windows you want it to be the only OS you ever use on that hardware.

    Is it okay to install an OEM license to a PC that's running a illegal OS? I thought OEM is for resale only.

    OEM licenses are only approved if you are refurbishing the system for resale. They are not intended for end users to purchase. That's the official MS rule.

    Are there companies who buy OEM licenses to get compliant? Many. Has anyone ever been punished of it? Not that I've heard of.



  • What he said ^^



  • @Breffni-Potter said in Windows 10 volume licensing questions:

    @Himura1 said in Windows 10 volume licensing questions:

    @scottalanmiller said in Windows 10 volume licensing questions:

    @Himura1 said in Windows 10 volume licensing questions:

    If I don't have a legit qualifying OS for a few systems, lets say 10, what would be the way to go? Buy 10 Retail license first and then 1 upgrade VL license?

    That's one option. Assuming your one VL is so that you can image instead of doing manual individual installs, yes. However MOST people would go with OEM here. The chances that you'd want higher cost retail and want to move them around is low. Possible, but low.

    The most typical approach here is all OEM. Generally if you are using Windows you want it to be the only OS you ever use on that hardware.

    Is it okay to install an OEM license to a PC that's running a illegal OS? I thought OEM is for resale only.

    OEM licenses are only approved if you are refurbishing the system for resale. They are not intended for end users to purchase. That's the official MS rule.

    Interesting, I've never heard it worded like that. By this definition, it would be improper at best, illegal at worst when vendors sell HDs along side an OEM license to "qualify" for the OEM license.



  • I agree in principle with @Breffni-Potter and @hobbit666 - Buy your OEM licenses, stick the stickers on the the chassis and call it a day.


  • Banned

    @Dashrender said in Windows 10 volume licensing questions:

    @Breffni-Potter said in Windows 10 volume licensing questions:

    @Himura1 said in Windows 10 volume licensing questions:

    @scottalanmiller said in Windows 10 volume licensing questions:

    @Himura1 said in Windows 10 volume licensing questions:

    If I don't have a legit qualifying OS for a few systems, lets say 10, what would be the way to go? Buy 10 Retail license first and then 1 upgrade VL license?

    That's one option. Assuming your one VL is so that you can image instead of doing manual individual installs, yes. However MOST people would go with OEM here. The chances that you'd want higher cost retail and want to move them around is low. Possible, but low.

    The most typical approach here is all OEM. Generally if you are using Windows you want it to be the only OS you ever use on that hardware.

    Is it okay to install an OEM license to a PC that's running a illegal OS? I thought OEM is for resale only.

    OEM licenses are only approved if you are refurbishing the system for resale. They are not intended for end users to purchase. That's the official MS rule.

    Interesting, I've never heard it worded like that. By this definition, it would be improper at best, illegal at worst when vendors sell HDs along side an OEM license to "qualify" for the OEM license.

    Vendors sell hard drives with OEM licenses?



  • @Breffni-Potter said in Windows 10 volume licensing questions:

    @Dashrender said in Windows 10 volume licensing questions:

    @Breffni-Potter said in Windows 10 volume licensing questions:

    @Himura1 said in Windows 10 volume licensing questions:

    @scottalanmiller said in Windows 10 volume licensing questions:

    @Himura1 said in Windows 10 volume licensing questions:

    If I don't have a legit qualifying OS for a few systems, lets say 10, what would be the way to go? Buy 10 Retail license first and then 1 upgrade VL license?

    That's one option. Assuming your one VL is so that you can image instead of doing manual individual installs, yes. However MOST people would go with OEM here. The chances that you'd want higher cost retail and want to move them around is low. Possible, but low.

    The most typical approach here is all OEM. Generally if you are using Windows you want it to be the only OS you ever use on that hardware.

    Is it okay to install an OEM license to a PC that's running a illegal OS? I thought OEM is for resale only.

    OEM licenses are only approved if you are refurbishing the system for resale. They are not intended for end users to purchase. That's the official MS rule.

    Interesting, I've never heard it worded like that. By this definition, it would be improper at best, illegal at worst when vendors sell HDs along side an OEM license to "qualify" for the OEM license.

    Vendors sell hard drives with OEM licenses?

    It was a thing 10 years ago - I haven't bought an OEM license that didn't some with a full system in a LONG time.

    Back in the day, the local shops would only sell an OEM license with either a Mobo or HD (heck, many online shops as well).



  • I remember back 15 years go seeing online vendors sell Windows OEM licenses with just a mouse.


  • Banned

    And they might well have allowed OEM licenses to be sold like that 10 years ago.



  • @Himura1 said in Windows 10 volume licensing questions:

    @scottalanmiller said in Windows 10 volume licensing questions:

    @Himura1 said in Windows 10 volume licensing questions:

    If I don't have a legit qualifying OS for a few systems, lets say 10, what would be the way to go? Buy 10 Retail license first and then 1 upgrade VL license?

    That's one option. Assuming your one VL is so that you can image instead of doing manual individual installs, yes. However MOST people would go with OEM here. The chances that you'd want higher cost retail and want to move them around is low. Possible, but low.

    The most typical approach here is all OEM. Generally if you are using Windows you want it to be the only OS you ever use on that hardware.

    Is it okay to install an OEM license to a PC that's running a illegal OS? I thought OEM is for resale only.

    For all intents and purposes, yes. The value to MS is in the fact that it is tied to the hardware and you can't move it around. Technically you have to buy some hardware along with it, most places sell something broken and useless with it to get around that.



  • @Dashrender said in Windows 10 volume licensing questions:

    @Breffni-Potter said in Windows 10 volume licensing questions:

    @Himura1 said in Windows 10 volume licensing questions:

    @scottalanmiller said in Windows 10 volume licensing questions:

    @Himura1 said in Windows 10 volume licensing questions:

    If I don't have a legit qualifying OS for a few systems, lets say 10, what would be the way to go? Buy 10 Retail license first and then 1 upgrade VL license?

    That's one option. Assuming your one VL is so that you can image instead of doing manual individual installs, yes. However MOST people would go with OEM here. The chances that you'd want higher cost retail and want to move them around is low. Possible, but low.

    The most typical approach here is all OEM. Generally if you are using Windows you want it to be the only OS you ever use on that hardware.

    Is it okay to install an OEM license to a PC that's running a illegal OS? I thought OEM is for resale only.

    OEM licenses are only approved if you are refurbishing the system for resale. They are not intended for end users to purchase. That's the official MS rule.

    Interesting, I've never heard it worded like that. By this definition, it would be improper at best, illegal at worst when vendors sell HDs along side an OEM license to "qualify" for the OEM license.

    No, you are confusing the responsibility of the seller with the responsibility of the buyer. There is nothing wrong, at all, about selling it like that.



  • @Breffni-Potter said in Windows 10 volume licensing questions:

    @Dashrender said in Windows 10 volume licensing questions:

    @Breffni-Potter said in Windows 10 volume licensing questions:

    @Himura1 said in Windows 10 volume licensing questions:

    @scottalanmiller said in Windows 10 volume licensing questions:

    @Himura1 said in Windows 10 volume licensing questions:

    If I don't have a legit qualifying OS for a few systems, lets say 10, what would be the way to go? Buy 10 Retail license first and then 1 upgrade VL license?

    That's one option. Assuming your one VL is so that you can image instead of doing manual individual installs, yes. However MOST people would go with OEM here. The chances that you'd want higher cost retail and want to move them around is low. Possible, but low.

    The most typical approach here is all OEM. Generally if you are using Windows you want it to be the only OS you ever use on that hardware.

    Is it okay to install an OEM license to a PC that's running a illegal OS? I thought OEM is for resale only.

    OEM licenses are only approved if you are refurbishing the system for resale. They are not intended for end users to purchase. That's the official MS rule.

    Interesting, I've never heard it worded like that. By this definition, it would be improper at best, illegal at worst when vendors sell HDs along side an OEM license to "qualify" for the OEM license.

    Vendors sell hard drives with OEM licenses?

    Yes, of course, this is a very normal thing.



  • @Breffni-Potter said in Windows 10 volume licensing questions:

    And they might well have allowed OEM licenses to be sold like that 10 years ago.

    Well, but here is the rub, and there is some explanation here:
    http://www.zdnet.com/article/is-it-ok-to-use-oem-windows-on-your-own-pc-dont-ask-microsoft/

    Microsoft has a legal requirement to explain this before a customer buys this license from them. But they do not. And once they've sold the license, Microsoft has legal obligations to the buyer for having sold the product and completed the transaction. The limitations on allowing end users to use the operating system that they bought that MS tries to say exist with OEM would, I'm pretty confident, be illegal in the US making the requirement null and void. MS can make any claim that they want, but you don't have to agree to the contract; because they sold you the product and you bought it in good faith. MS presents it as a licensing option and they are bound by that.


  • Banned

    @scottalanmiller said in Windows 10 volume licensing questions:

    @Breffni-Potter said in Windows 10 volume licensing questions:

    @Dashrender said in Windows 10 volume licensing questions:

    @Breffni-Potter said in Windows 10 volume licensing questions:

    @Himura1 said in Windows 10 volume licensing questions:

    @scottalanmiller said in Windows 10 volume licensing questions:

    @Himura1 said in Windows 10 volume licensing questions:

    If I don't have a legit qualifying OS for a few systems, lets say 10, what would be the way to go? Buy 10 Retail license first and then 1 upgrade VL license?

    That's one option. Assuming your one VL is so that you can image instead of doing manual individual installs, yes. However MOST people would go with OEM here. The chances that you'd want higher cost retail and want to move them around is low. Possible, but low.

    The most typical approach here is all OEM. Generally if you are using Windows you want it to be the only OS you ever use on that hardware.

    Is it okay to install an OEM license to a PC that's running a illegal OS? I thought OEM is for resale only.

    OEM licenses are only approved if you are refurbishing the system for resale. They are not intended for end users to purchase. That's the official MS rule.

    Interesting, I've never heard it worded like that. By this definition, it would be improper at best, illegal at worst when vendors sell HDs along side an OEM license to "qualify" for the OEM license.

    Vendors sell hard drives with OEM licenses?

    Yes, of course, this is a very normal thing.

    I'd like to know what kind of customer buys individual hard drives and gets an OEM license.



  • @Breffni-Potter said in Windows 10 volume licensing questions:

    @scottalanmiller said in Windows 10 volume licensing questions:

    @Breffni-Potter said in Windows 10 volume licensing questions:

    @Dashrender said in Windows 10 volume licensing questions:

    @Breffni-Potter said in Windows 10 volume licensing questions:

    @Himura1 said in Windows 10 volume licensing questions:

    @scottalanmiller said in Windows 10 volume licensing questions:

    @Himura1 said in Windows 10 volume licensing questions:

    If I don't have a legit qualifying OS for a few systems, lets say 10, what would be the way to go? Buy 10 Retail license first and then 1 upgrade VL license?

    That's one option. Assuming your one VL is so that you can image instead of doing manual individual installs, yes. However MOST people would go with OEM here. The chances that you'd want higher cost retail and want to move them around is low. Possible, but low.

    The most typical approach here is all OEM. Generally if you are using Windows you want it to be the only OS you ever use on that hardware.

    Is it okay to install an OEM license to a PC that's running a illegal OS? I thought OEM is for resale only.

    OEM licenses are only approved if you are refurbishing the system for resale. They are not intended for end users to purchase. That's the official MS rule.

    Interesting, I've never heard it worded like that. By this definition, it would be improper at best, illegal at worst when vendors sell HDs along side an OEM license to "qualify" for the OEM license.

    Vendors sell hard drives with OEM licenses?

    Yes, of course, this is a very normal thing.

    I'd like to know what kind of customer buys individual hard drives and gets an OEM license.

    Any, this was SO common, I'm honestly rather in disbelief that you are not aware of this as so common as to just be expected. This is just "one of those things" you tend to know in IT because it's so normal, or at least it was. You are acting like you are incredulous, but this is what happened to EVERYONE buying Windows for a very long time. The only thing that has changed is that I don't know people buying Windows anymore, AFAIK this is still how everyone gets Windows OEM.

    Seriously, this is just "how it is" in the US.



  • Of course, it isn't always hard drives, it's any hardware, normally any dead hardware. They just throw whatever damage goods they have in the box as that's all it takes to meet the legal requirement of including hardware with the sale. So CPUs, memory, drives, anything that has been returned and doesn't work. Hence the used mice as a common thing.


  • Banned

    @scottalanmiller said

    Seriously, this is just "how it is" in the US.

    Yes, I'm sorry the clueless brit who lives over 4000 miles from the US, does not know why people buy random bits of junk with a boxed product which you can buy....from just about anyone in Europe without needing pointless hardware.



  • I think this was/is a thing(hw for oem license) because retail box copy of Windows was a higher price than oem, and the difference was enough to do things like this. At least that is why we did this when i worked in pc repair/retail more than a decade ago. People didnt want to pay for a retail copy when the oem copy was exacty the same to them, but cost more.



  • @Breffni-Potter said in Windows 10 volume licensing questions:

    @scottalanmiller said in Windows 10 volume licensing questions:

    @Breffni-Potter said in Windows 10 volume licensing questions:

    @Dashrender said in Windows 10 volume licensing questions:

    @Breffni-Potter said in Windows 10 volume licensing questions:

    @Himura1 said in Windows 10 volume licensing questions:

    @scottalanmiller said in Windows 10 volume licensing questions:

    @Himura1 said in Windows 10 volume licensing questions:

    If I don't have a legit qualifying OS for a few systems, lets say 10, what would be the way to go? Buy 10 Retail license first and then 1 upgrade VL license?

    That's one option. Assuming your one VL is so that you can image instead of doing manual individual installs, yes. However MOST people would go with OEM here. The chances that you'd want higher cost retail and want to move them around is low. Possible, but low.

    The most typical approach here is all OEM. Generally if you are using Windows you want it to be the only OS you ever use on that hardware.

    Is it okay to install an OEM license to a PC that's running a illegal OS? I thought OEM is for resale only.

    OEM licenses are only approved if you are refurbishing the system for resale. They are not intended for end users to purchase. That's the official MS rule.

    Interesting, I've never heard it worded like that. By this definition, it would be improper at best, illegal at worst when vendors sell HDs along side an OEM license to "qualify" for the OEM license.

    Vendors sell hard drives with OEM licenses?

    Yes, of course, this is a very normal thing.

    I'd like to know what kind of customer buys individual hard drives and gets an OEM license.

    Really? This seems like a really weird question.

    Home users of course.
    I built all my computers until the mid 2000's. I never bought a brand name PC until my first laptop.
    This meant I needed a Windows license - and as mentioned OEM was the cheapest.



  • @Breffni-Potter said in Windows 10 volume licensing questions:

    @scottalanmiller said

    Seriously, this is just "how it is" in the US.

    Yes, I'm sorry the clueless brit who lives over 4000 miles from the US, does not know why people buy random bits of junk with a boxed product which you can buy....from just about anyone in Europe without needing pointless hardware.

    Because laws. If you didn't act incredulous for something so normal and obviously logical given the contract requirements, we'd not act so surprised that you don't believe it.



  • @Breffni-Potter said in Windows 10 volume licensing questions:

    @scottalanmiller said

    Seriously, this is just "how it is" in the US.

    Yes, I'm sorry the clueless brit who lives over 4000 miles from the US, does not know why people buy random bits of junk with a boxed product which you can buy....from just about anyone in Europe without needing pointless hardware.

    That's just it - Boxed product for Windows is a full license and doesn't require any hardware purchase. But OEM licenses (normally like 50% or less the cost of boxed product) had the stipulation from MS that it came with hardware.
    Perhaps you couldn't buy OEM in Europe ?



  • @Dashrender said in Windows 10 volume licensing questions:

    @Breffni-Potter said in Windows 10 volume licensing questions:

    @scottalanmiller said in Windows 10 volume licensing questions:

    @Breffni-Potter said in Windows 10 volume licensing questions:

    @Dashrender said in Windows 10 volume licensing questions:

    @Breffni-Potter said in Windows 10 volume licensing questions:

    @Himura1 said in Windows 10 volume licensing questions:

    @scottalanmiller said in Windows 10 volume licensing questions:

    @Himura1 said in Windows 10 volume licensing questions:

    If I don't have a legit qualifying OS for a few systems, lets say 10, what would be the way to go? Buy 10 Retail license first and then 1 upgrade VL license?

    That's one option. Assuming your one VL is so that you can image instead of doing manual individual installs, yes. However MOST people would go with OEM here. The chances that you'd want higher cost retail and want to move them around is low. Possible, but low.

    The most typical approach here is all OEM. Generally if you are using Windows you want it to be the only OS you ever use on that hardware.

    Is it okay to install an OEM license to a PC that's running a illegal OS? I thought OEM is for resale only.

    OEM licenses are only approved if you are refurbishing the system for resale. They are not intended for end users to purchase. That's the official MS rule.

    Interesting, I've never heard it worded like that. By this definition, it would be improper at best, illegal at worst when vendors sell HDs along side an OEM license to "qualify" for the OEM license.

    Vendors sell hard drives with OEM licenses?

    Yes, of course, this is a very normal thing.

    I'd like to know what kind of customer buys individual hard drives and gets an OEM license.

    Really? This seems like a really weird question.

    Home users of course.
    I built all my computers until the mid 2000's. I never bought a brand name PC until my first laptop.
    This meant I needed a Windows license - and as mentioned OEM was the cheapest.

    And since there was no means of acquiring it without hardware, SOMETHING you bought had to be the hardware with the OEM license. So the hard drive was a common choice, especially since you can't install the OS on something if there is no hard drive.

    What's shocking is that this seems weird. How else is it expected to work when stores can't sell the product without hardware in the same order.



  • @momurda said in Windows 10 volume licensing questions:

    I think this was/is a thing(hw for oem license) because retail box copy of Windows was a higher price than oem, and the difference was enough to do things like this. At least that is why we did this when i worked in pc repair/retail more than a decade ago. People didnt want to pay for a retail copy when the oem copy was exacty the same to them, but cost more.

    Actually there was a difference. OEM software actually required the seller of the OEM to provide x number of support calls about the OS. Full Box products included like 1-3 support calls to MS for support on Windows.
    Not that anyone calls MS about supporting Windows Desktop version.



  • @scottalanmiller said in Windows 10 volume licensing questions:

    What's shocking is that this seems weird. How else is it expected to work when stores can't sell the product without hardware in the same order.

    This makes me wonder if OEM outside of major vendors just wasn't a thing in Europe, or perhaps outside the US at all?



  • @Dashrender said in Windows 10 volume licensing questions:

    @Breffni-Potter said in Windows 10 volume licensing questions:

    @scottalanmiller said

    Seriously, this is just "how it is" in the US.

    Yes, I'm sorry the clueless brit who lives over 4000 miles from the US, does not know why people buy random bits of junk with a boxed product which you can buy....from just about anyone in Europe without needing pointless hardware.

    That's just it - Boxed product for Windows is a full license and doesn't require any hardware purchase. But OEM licenses (normally like 50% or less the cost of boxed product) had the stipulation from MS that it came with hardware.
    Perhaps you couldn't buy OEM in Europe ?

    They likely have some bundling protection law that makes that contract requirement not exist. So they get used to ignoring the licensing requirements that MS puts on stuff because their government strips it off. So they forget that our distributors are bound by those contracts here.

    But this is so commonly known, I'm shocked that in the UK they don't know that we've always had to do that.


  • Banned

    We buy OEM licenses all the time here...being made to buy a random ram stick or a hard drive to get OEM is bizarre.



  • @Breffni-Potter said in Windows 10 volume licensing questions:

    We buy OEM licenses all the time here...being made to buy a random ram stick or a hard drive to get OEM is bizarre.

    That's the hardware that the license is bound to. Since OEM is always bound to some piece of hardware.